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Finding somewhere to live

Bournemouth is a thriving town on the beautiful south coast of England, and is home to nearly 190,000 people. It’s easy to find your way around, and its less than two hours from London with direct trains to Waterloo, good transport connections and an airport.

Famous for its sandy beach, Bournemouth is home to vibrant nightlife, international cuisine, an array of watersports – and a Premier League football team. In the surrounding area, you'll find the UNESCO World Heritage Jurassic Coast, the beautiful New Forest and waterfront towns like Poole and Christchurch. Further information can be found on our local area pages. 

You may wish to rent or buy a house, flat or bedsit / studio apartment depending on how much space you and your family may need. Shared accommodation (renting with other people) can be a good temporary arrangement as it is one of the most cost-efficient ways to rent. Further details of the different types of properties available in the UK (eg, semi-detached houses, flat, etc) can be found on the British Council Euraxess United Kingdom website.

The area you wish to live in will depend on your personal preferences and circumstances. You may wish to take into consideration the following:

Your colleagues may also be able to offer useful information and advice on Bournemouth and the surrounding areas, and other matters such as schools, childcare, cost of living, public transport, commuting times, shops and other facilities.

Finding properties to rent or buy

Estate agents are a common way to source property and offices are usually found in most high streets.

You may find the web-sites listed below helpful in order to find either temporary, or long term accommodation:

Rightmove
Prime Location
Gumtree
Find a property

Overnight accommodation

Information about short-term accommodation is available on the following web-sites:

Bournemouth Tourist information
BU Webpages

Bournemouth University’s Residential Services department also maintain a list of local family homes with spare rooms.  You can also call on + 44 (0)1202 961671 for an up-to-date version of the list.

Budgeting housing expenses

Whether you are renting or buying a property in the UK, you will need to budget for a range of expenses linked to your property. Further information can be found on the British Council Euraxess United Kingdom website.

Rent

Rent is normally paid monthly in advance, with monthly rental costs depending on the size and location of the property.

Deposit

It is standard practice in the UK to pay a deposit to the landlord in advance of moving into your rented accommodation. This is normally equivalent to one or two months' rent, but the exact amount may vary. Make sure you get a receipt for any deposit or fees you pay.

The landlord should refund the deposit in full when you move out, unless there has been damage to the property or its contents during your tenancy. Your landlord must not make deductions from the deposit for fair ‘wear and tear’, ie, the normal deterioration of fixtures, fittings and items which occurs through normal use during your tenancy.

It is advisable to keep a written record of all the rental payments that you make. If you have problems with your landlord, you can get advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau, which has rental specific guidance.

Your landlord is legally required to put your deposit into one of the government-backed Tenancy Deposit Schemes. This ensures that your deposit will be protected if your landlord refuses to refund it without good reason or makes unreasonable deductions. Every scheme provides a free dispute resolution service. If you disagree with your landlord about how much of the deposit should be returned, the dispute resolution service will resolve the matter and refund the appropriate amount of your deposit.

Council Tax

Council Tax is collected by local authorities to fund local services such as street lighting, road maintenance, rubbish collection, education and social services. 

The amount of Council Tax you are liable to pay will depend on the type of property in which you live and on the area. When you move into your home, you will probably receive a notification from the council about the amount of tax for the property.  To pay your council tax online, please visit their site.

Household Utilities (gas, electricity and water)

In the UK, the tenant is normally liable for utility bill payments though some landlords may choose to include some of these charges in the rent. The costs for gas, electricity and water may differ between providers. Your landlord should have details of water, electricity and gas suppliers that previous tenants used, and you will have to contact these companies directly to set up payment methods for your bills throughout the year. Alternatively you should be able to set up new providers.  Most bills come in once a month or every three months. 

Make sure you are not paying for any costs accrued from the previous tenants.  When you move into your property, you should make a note of the gas, electricity and water meter readings to ensure you are billed correctly. The independent consumer advice group, 'Which,' offer guidelines on how to get the cheapest utility tariffs. 

Telephone and internet

There may be an existing telephone line in your property. To activate an existing telephone line or to arrange for one to be installed, you will need to contact a telephone provider.

There are many different providers of telephone and internet services. You can find quotes on websites such as broadbandchoices, Gocompare.com, comparethemarket, and MoneySuperMarket.

TV licence

You will need a licence to watch television in the UK, including viewing live television on devices such as your computer, mobile phone and ipad. Information on how to pay and the fee is available on the TV licensing website.

Contents insurance

Insurance is recommended to protect you against the loss of personal property and damage within your home or flat, particularly if insurance from your home country does not cover you whilst abroad.  You may wish to protect your possessions against damage or theft. Go to the Citizens Advice Bureau website for more details.

Comparison websites, such as MoneySuperMarket, Gocompare.com or comparethemarket.com, will give you competitive rates from a variety of insurers. Your bank may also offer special deals on insurance cover.