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?
You will need to have one week or one month's rent saved up as you'll need to pay this in advance if you sign for a tenancy. 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.
If you are signing a new tenancy then your housing benefit (or housing element of Universal Credit) will be based on the Local Housing Allowance from 2019, and may not fully cover your rent. Make sure you save some money to cover any difference to avoid arrears.
Find out more about benefits and the changes to benefits on the Wolverhampton Homes money advice webpages.
You will also need to save up to make sure you can afford to buy furniture and essential items for your new home. When you are shopping for your kitchen appliances make sure you check out Right Price Electricals, they offer great discounts on goods as well as low cost finance.
We make sure homes to be let are clean, safe, secure and in reasonable repair but they are empty, so you will need to buy furniture, carpets and curtains and some may need to be decorated. Find out more about the Wolverhampton Homes Lettable Standard. (Other housing providers will have their own lettable standards.)
The Wolverhampton Homes Cost of Running a Home booklet is a good place to start to find out how much it will cost and this budget planner will help you work out if you can afford to rent a home.