Utilities

Do It Yourself

When you move in make sure you take a note of the gas and electric meter readings (usually downstairs towards the front of the house and sometimes outside – if you get stuck, you can ask us or your landlord). Once you've got these it's also very important that you choose a supplier and take out a contract with them to secure you the best rates for the period of your tenancy.


Who Is My Current Supplier?

You may receive letters from utility suppliers when you move into your house, either address to you personally or to 'The Occupier'. If you open these letters it will be apparent who your current suppliers are.

WATER: your water supplier is Severn Trent (www.stwater.co.uk) in Birmingham.

ELECTRICITY: call 0845 6030 618 or visit www.westernpower.co.uk and click the 'Who is my supplier' link on the left hand side.

GAS: call 0870 6081 524 and answer the questions to find out who your supplier is.

Getting a BILL MANAGEMENT SERVICE

If you're looking to go bills-inclusive and your landlord hasn't offered the package, we recommend you use Redbrick Bills. They are the best priced in the UK, based in Selly Oak and give you a very generous usage allowance where you only pay for what you use.

Gas, Electric, Water and Internet per person per week:

4 bedroom : £11.17 (100mb internet)

5 bedroom : £9.86 (100mb internet)

6 bedroom : £9.13 (100mb internet)

7 bedroom : £8.92 (200mb internet)


Visit www.redbrickbills.co.uk to find out more and get a free quote on house sizes between 3 and 10 people. Sign-up online in 2 minutes.

Click this Brochure with information on their company including the prices vs competitors.

Don't forget to use our referral code DH016 to get £20 off vouchers.


At the End of Your Tenancy

We will ask you to prove that all of your utilities are paid when you leave your property. We will need to see this before we are able to return your deposit to you. When you are asking for your last bill you must make sure to provide your suppliers with the correct meter readings and the date MUST be the last date of your tenancy.

Council Tax Exemption

Council Tax Exemption

Only full-time students are exempt from paying council tax, please read this information as there are certain things you may need to do to ensure you become and remain exempt.


How do I claim council tax exemption?

If you live in an area that is covered by Birmingham City Council, you can apply for council tax exemption by phone, Birmingham City Council now has a system in place whereby students from the University of Birmingham can simply call up to apply for council tax exemption.

Before calling, you should ensure that you have the following details to hand:

  • The full address of your property
  • The full name of each housemate
  • The student ID numbers of all the students at the property
  • Course start and end dates for each student, and whether this is full or part time study

The council will check the details you provide against a list that the University sends them before applying and discounts to your household.

You can call their Contact Centre on 0121 303 1113, please make a note of the name of the member of staff that you speak to at the Council.

You can also apply for council tax exemption by post: send your details to Birmingham City Council, Finance Department (Revenues), PO Box 4092, B4 7AD.


How will the Council know I'm a student?

The University of Birmingham sends an electronic data file to Birmingham City Council every week, which contains the details of all full-time students currently studying there. This is how the Council will verify the details you provide over the phone. If you study at any other University, you are advised to contact the Housing Services department for advice on how to apply for your Council Tax Exemption. When you receive your Exemption Certificate, please forward a copy to us for our records


It is essential that you apply for council tax exemption by calling the Council directly. This is what prompts the council to check the data file and apply the council tax exemption. Failure to do this will result in you receiving a bill for council tax.

Important – it is also very important that you keep your term-time address up-to-date on our system so that the information which you send to the council is correct. You can update your address details online using the my.bham student portal. This should be done whenever you change your address.


Who should phone the Council in a shared house?

This is for you to decide, but at least one person in the house should phone the Council directly, ensuring that you include the details of everyone living at the property. Failure to include the details of everyone living at the property may result in your receiving a bill.


What if I live with someone who is not a student?

Generally, the presence of one non-student renders the whole house liable for 75% council tax. How this is paid is up to the people in the house, but students don't have to pay. It's well worth sitting down with your housemates and discussing the options available to you. You will need to apply for this discount in the same way you would apply for an exemption, as detailed above.


Postgraduate Research (Writing up) students

As a research student who has progressed into the writing up period, you entitlement to council tax exemption can change. This is because once you have completed your research/ taught phase of your course, you no longer meet the criteria of being a full-time student for council tax purposes.


Birmingham City Council currently allows writing up students to claim council tax exemption for entire duration of their writing up stage. This may be different for other local authorities, so it is important you make contact with your local council for more information.


The council has sent me a bill – what can I do?

Contact the Council directly in the first instance on 0121 303 1113.

Send your details by post to Birmingham City Council, Finance Department (Revenues), PO Box 4092, B4 7AD.

*For more information, please click http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/ctdiscounts

WHERE TO FIND US

Direct Housing

543 Bristol Road Selly Oak Birmingham B29 6AU

0121 472 3331

QQ 187 530 8338

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