Tax and Bills
As students in full time education, you are exempt from paying council tax. However it is important that you ensure that Birmingham City Council are aware of your student status.
Your faculty at BCU will either inform the council of your status automatically or you may need to complete an exemption form which you will find here. Don’t forget to include a copy of your council tax exemption certificate which you’ll also obtain from your faculty.
If you do not have an ‘all-inclusive’ agreement with your landlord, it will mean that you are responsible for the usage and payment of all energy, water and internet from the day that your tenancy agreement commences. Even if you do not move in until a later date, you will still be liable for any utility usage from the start of your agreement.
Ensure you obtain a meter reading of gas, electric and water (where applicable) taken as closely as possible to the commencement of your tenancy agreement. Ideally, take a photo of the meter’s reading so that you can refer to it at a later date.
Find out who are the utility suppliers and contact them as soon as you have the starting meter readings so that the bills can be correctly addressed to you.
If you have a joint and several agreement you (or your guarantor) will all be equally responsible for the payment of the utility bills. Therefore it is not uncommon for houses with more than one occupant to put the utility bills in everyone’s name.
Be aware of where the utility meters are located. Often they are in someone’s bedroom which means that routine access to these meters are required. Especially important if the door has a lock on it.
Payment of Utility Bills
By default, you will inherit the incumbent suppliers to the property, however you have the right to change your supplier. There are many energy and internet suppliers all competing for your business so it is worth shopping around to get the best deal and service. You also have the option of companies who specialise in supplying to a house where students live such as Glide or Split the Bills (this is not a recommendation for these companies, you will need to conduct your own due diligence when searching).