Accommodation Advice

There are many issues to consider when planning to live in another city or country.  The Essential English Centre has an experienced team who can help you with accommodation advice and guidance, and will be happy to help you with anything you may need.  Below are some common questions that students often ask about accommodation in Manchester.


When booking private accommodation you will be required to sign a legally binding contract. Contracts are often several pages long and the type of English language used is often complex. Before signing any contract we recommend asking the following questions.

What is included in the price?

  • Does your rent include internet or do you have to pay extra for that?
  • Are any other bills included in the rent such as gas, electric and council tax?

What is Council tax and do I have to pay it?

Council tax is paid by every household in the UK although in some circumstances a person is considered to be exempt (you do not have to pay). If you are a full-time student you may be exempt from paying.
You must

  • Be 18 years or over
  • Your course must last 24 weeks (minimum)
  • you must study for 21 hours per week (or more),studying for more than 21 hours each week and for a minimum of 6 months then you do not have to pay council tax.

However, if you live with a person who is not exempt then you MUST pay council tax.

Are there any additional costs?

When renting a property you need to be aware of all costs involved so you can ensure you budget appropriately. Additional costs could be any of the following:

  • Registration fees payable to an estate agent
  • Additional bills such as gas, electric and council tax
  • Deposit

You should always check which additional costs will be added on top of the rent

Will you carry out an inventory?

When moving into rented property, the landlord will often ask you to sign an inventory as part of your agreement. An inventory is a list of all the contents, fixtures and fittings of a property which records the condition they are in. You should always make sure that you agree to this at the start of your contract and it is a good idea to take pictures of anything which is broken or in a state of disrepair. Many disputes take place at the end of an agreement because this was ignored in the beginning.

Are bed linen, towels and kitchen equipment included?

If you are staying for a short period of time then the added cost of buying bed linen, towels and kitchen equipment may seem excessive. Always check if this will be provided.

How much is the deposit and do I have to pay it?

Deposits will be required for most properties and this is standard practice in the UK. Ensure you get a receipt for the deposit and ask exactly what it covers. For tenancy agreements lasting longer than 12 weeks, the deposit should be paid by the landlord to the DPS (Deposit Protection Service). The Deposit Protection Service is a government organisation which aims to protect both the landlord and the tenant when returning deposits.

Will I be living with mixed nationalities?

If you choose to live in shared accommodation it is a good idea to ask which nationalities you will be living with. If the sole purpose of your visit is to learn and improve your English then it is important to live with mixed nationalities to avoid speaking in your native language.

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