Moving on from your hosts accommodation

How to find a property to rent in the UK

When you are ready to leave your host's house, you will most likely look for rented properties in the United Kingdom. Many hosts are willing to assist you in finding housing, but the information below will help you understand where to look for properties, the cost of living and what to expect when moving out.

Where to find properties

The easiest way of finding a property in the UK is to use a property portal website such as Zoopla, Rightmove or OnTheMarket. These will allow you to enter a postcode, a price range and the number of bedrooms you require, and will only show you results that match that search.

You can also use a search engine to locate estate agents in your desired area and view houses on their websites. You may also be able to go to estate agents in person and look at their shop window or inside.

Costs before you move in

When renting a property in the UK you may have to make some payments before you move in. This could include paying for rent in advance and paying a deposit in case you damage the property. It is important to check with your landlord or letting agent so you are aware of any costs.

More guidance can be found on how much it costs to rent on the Citizens Advice website.

Furniture for your new home

Most properties in the UK come unfurnished which means you will need to find your own furniture. 

If you are low on money you may be able to find free or cheap furniture in local charity shops or websites such as Freecycle, Preloved, Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree. Please ensure if you are paying for goods on these websites you see the product first and have the means of getting it home.

You might be able to find that certain charities or community groups can provide specific furniture pieces you're missing. 

If you feel comfortable doing so there are Facebook groups for local areas where you can explain your situation and others may be willing to donate free stuff, there are also buying and selling groups on Facebook.

Take a look at the Help and support in your area page for charities or organisations in your area that may be able to help in this area.

Other places to buy furniture include Argos, Ikea, Dunelm, BM, The Range, furniture123 and many others.

Running a home in the UK

Your host will be paying a number of regular bills. When you are preparing to leave and find your own home, you will need to factor in these costs.


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Council Tax

Council tax is paid to the local authority to cover services such as police and fire service, schools, libraries and rubbish collection.  The amount of Council Tax you pay depends on the value of your home and where you live. Some people are entitled to a reduction on their Council Tax. You can find more information here.

Gas and Electricity

Homeowners in the UK are responsible for paying for the exact amount of energy they use. Homes usually have a meter, which tells the energy company how much to charge. 

The cost of energy in the UK is extremely expensive and many households are struggling to afford the sudden increase. Energy companies and the government review the prices twice a year. The last increase happened in April 2022 and there will be another increase again in October 2022. The average cost to heat a 3 bedroom house in the UK is currently around £166 per month.

Your host will appreciate it if you help them to save money on heating. This might mean wearing an extra jumper or turning off the heating when you leave the house. It is best to ask your host how high they set their thermostat.  You can find tips on how to save money on gas and electricity here


In England and Wales, homeowners also pay for the water they use.  Some houses have a water meter.  Some houses pay a set amount regardless of how much they use. Check with your hosts to see how their water bill is calculated. You can find more information here

TV Licence

In the UK, the law says you need a TV Licence for the following;

  • to watch or record programmes as they’re being shown on TV;
  • to watch or stream programmes live on an online TV service;
  • to download or watch any BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer.

These rules apply to any device, for example, a TV, a computer, a laptop or a mobile phone. You only need one TV Licence per household so you will be covered by your host. You can find the cost of a TV licence here.

Internet, TV and landline telephone

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Car insurance and road tax

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Contents insurance

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House insurance (should be covered in rented accommodation?)

There are two main types of home insurance: buildings insurance and contents insurance.  These can be bought separately or as a combined product. 

Buildings insurance covers you in the event of damage to the structure of your home. It usually covers damage to fixtures and fittings too. If you rent a property your landlord should have buildings insurance.  If you own a property, it’s usually a condition of your mortgage.

Contents insurance covers you for loss or damage to personal possessions in the event of fire, theft, flooding, loss or damage etc. Insuring your possessions is generally a sensible idea for both tenants and homeowners.

While you are staying with your host you will be covered by their insurance. However, you will need to check there is cover if you have high value items. Once you leave, you will need to decide whether or not to take out your own policy. Websites like Moneyhelper can help you make this decision.

Popular websites to find insurance in the UK include Money Supermarket and Compare the Market. There are many companies offering insurance products so it’s important that you shop around and take out a policy that suits your needs. 

Phone packages

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Pet insurance

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Food price 

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