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Can you afford to rent?

If you already have a place of your own you’ll know just how much it costs to run a home. On top of rent and council tax, there are utilities such as gas, electricity and water.

If this is the first time you have thought about setting up your own home, you'll need to think about if you can afford to run a home.  You need to make sure that you can afford all the costs before you apply to join the register and before you accept any offer. It is also important to remember that if you don't keep your rent account up to date, you can lose your home.

Here are a few things to think about:

1. Can you afford to pay the rent? 

Whatever tenure you move into you will need to pay rent in advance, even if you are claiming benefits.

If you are offered a tenancy you will have to pay enough rent to cover the period from the day you sign your tenancy up until the end of the first full week or month, depending on your payment pattern, before you are given the keys.

This includes everyone, it doesn't matter if you are working or on benefits.  Your tenancy will start on the day you complete the sign up forms and you will be charged rent from the following day. So if your tenancy starts on Wednesday rent will be paid daily for Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, then rent will be paid weekly.

If you are on benefits make sure that the housing benefit you get covers your rent, or that you will be able to afford to cover the difference.

Find out more about benefits and the changes to benefits on the Wolverhampton Homes money advice webpages

2. Can you afford to pay for furniture and fittings?

You will also need to save up to make sure you can afford to buy all the contents for your new home and decorate. We will make sure that our homes are clean, safe, secure and in reasonable repair when they are ready to let, but they will be empty. Click here for Wolverhampton Homes' Lettable Standard. Please note that other housing providers will have their own lettable standards.

Things you’ll have to consider saving up for:

  • Decorating equipment – paint, brushes and rollers, wall paper, wall paper paste
  • Furniture – beds, sofa, table, chairs, wardrobes
  • Tableware – plates, bowls, cups, knives, forks, spoons, kitchen utensils, pots, pans & dishes
  • Appliances – TV, cooker, washing machine, microwave, kettle, toaster, fridge/freezer
  • Fabric items – Carpet, curtains, towels, bedding
  • If you move to a home with a garden you’ll also need to think about how you are going to maintain it
  • Contents insurance