Six UK Household Bills you Need to be Aware of

On arrival to the UK most Doctors will tend to use Air Bnb for the initial period of settling in, before moving forward and being able to rent a property.

When renting a property in the UK, it is important that you are aware of the different bills you will be liable to pay, these bills will be in addition to the monthly rental cost. There are a minimum of 6 household bills, and you will be responsible for them. As a tenant the rent each month will be the highest out going, the landlord is the owner of the property and this is where you will pay the rent to, directly to the landlord or in other cases through a letting’s agency.

Council Tax

Council tax is paid directly to the council, and this pays for things such as schools, roads, libraries, any support for venerable adults and children, any rubbish collections that may be needed. Council tax is also paid to support the police, the fire service, and many other local services. You need to know the following three things.

(The links are attached her. Check your Council Tax band – GOV.UK (
Scottish Assessors – Scottish Assessors Association website (

Council Tax: Who has to pay – GOV.UK (

You will usually have to pay rent if you are 18 and over, own or rent a property. A full council tax bill is based on at least 2 adults living in a home, spouses and partner who live together are both responsible for paying the bill. If you are a single occupant and are living on your own, then there is a discount which is applied to you bill of a deduction of 25%.

Gas and Electric Bill.

When living in a rental property, you are required to pay the gas and electric bills, although depending on your property and landlord in some cases gas and electricity are included, you will find this information in your tenancy agreement. You can use comparison sites to find the best deals for your gas and electric. Usually, gas and electric are taken by direct debit which will you set up with the provider this also ensures you are paying your bill on time each month.


As a tenant you will be required to pay a water rate as part as you rent, you can also check this in your tenancy agreement once received, if it is your responsibility to pay your water bill, you will need to find who supplies your water in that area. With water there is no shopping around needed for a better deal, there will be a set water rate for the size of the property or alternatively there could be a water meter which means you only pay for the water that you use in the property.

Phone and Broadband

To have access to a phone an internet you will be required to find a company on a comparison website and pay them directly, the price of this will depend on the area and the internet coverage that they can provide. Providers also provide bundles this is sometimes cheaper to do this. So, look around first.

TV License

As a tenant it is your responsibility to pay for a TV license, if you intend to watch TV. From the 1st of April 2021 a standard TV license costs £159.00 for the year there is a penalty of approximately £1000 so it’s important to set this one up as soon as possible.

Your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

What is a Biometric Residence Permit?

As an international Doctor on a Tier 2 Visa, you will receive a BRP if you:

  • Transferred your Visa to a new Passport
  • Applied for permanent settlement in the UK
  • Extended your Tier 2 Visa for longer than 6 months
  • Obtained a Tier 2 Visa for longer than 6 months

When your Tier 2 Visa is approved you will be automatically be sent your BRP, so there is no need to apply for this separately.

Your Biometrical Residence Permit will have your name, date and place of birth, your fingerprints and photographic identification in which are within the microchip. It will also provide details on your immigration status and whether you have access to public funds.

Also, your national insurance number should be printed on the back of your BRP, if you receive it and don’t have your national insurance number on the back, then you will need to apply for one.

If it has been 10 days after arriving in the UK, you can follow the progress of your BRP, the Home Office typically responds within 5 working days to inform you of what you need to do next.

You can also start your NHS role if you have not yet received your BRP.

If you lose your BRP or it has been stolen, you are able to order a replacement but only from inside the UK, the Home Office will contact you within 1 working day of you reporting it. A replacement BRP costs £154.00.

After Arriving in the UK and What you Should do First?
Set up a bank account:

To open a bank account, you’re a required to show some documents, one will be to prove your identity and one to prove your address.

Here are some documents you may require helping to open a bank account

  • A tenancy agreement
  • An electricity or gas bill dated within the last 3 months
  • A recent bank or a credit card statement dated within the last 3 months, please be aware this cannot be printed out
  • A current council tax bill

If you are new to the UK, you won’t have the documents they require so usually the banks will ask you for other documents to support your application such as a letter from your employer as proof of address.

There are 4 major banks used in the UK and they are as follows:

  • HSBA
  • Halifax
  • RBS/NatWest
  • Lloyds


Registering with a GP and Dentist

In the UK everybody can register with a GP without charge, UK GPs are self-employed and have contracts with the NHS.

Follow the link below to find a GP surgery close you where you are staying, once you have chosen the surgery, it is a good idea to go a visit in person and ask what relevant documents they require. They will ask you to complete a GMS1 from as part as your registration. GP surgeries may ask for proof of name and date of birth, the documents they would accept would be, passport, driving license or a home office letter.


Attached below is a link for you to be able to find a dentist that is close by to you, once you have found a dentist you can either go into the practice or call them on the number provided on their website and ask if you can register as a NHS patient, please be aware that not all dentist practice take on NHS patients. If the practice you have contacted take you on as a patient, you will be required to fill out a registration form and then arrange for you to have a routine check-up this is typically free, depending on income.

Find a dentist – NHS (

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