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Paying bills and arranging insurance

As well as your rent and deposit, you'll need to set up other accounts to pay for utilities and other services.

These include:

  • your electricity supply
  • your gas supply (if you have one)
  • water and sewerage
  • council tax
  • insurance

Water and sewerage

If your water is provided by Scottish Water and you do not have a water meter in your home, the cost is included as part of your council tax bill.

If you do have a water meter, you pay Scottish Water directly. They will send you a bill depending on how much water you use.

Most homes in Scotland have sewerage systems provided by Scottish Water. Only a small number of homes have a private septic tank.

If your sewerage is provided by Scottish Water, the cost is included as part of your council tax bill.

Electricity and gas

When you move into your new home there may already be an operator providing your electricity supply and gas supply (if you have one).

Your landlord or letting agent should be able to tell you which operator is currently providing your electricity and gas.

Setting up an account

When you move in, find your electricity meter and gas meter (if you have one) and take readings from them (write down the numbers displayed on them).

You should then contact the operator supplying your energy, tell them you've just moved in, and give them the readings.

This will make sure you do not pay for any gas or electricity used by the people who lived in the home before you.

You do not have to use the operator that's supplying energy when you move in. If you find an operator that offers you a cheaper deal, you can sign up with them and they'll take over the gas and electricity supply for your home.

Council tax

Council tax is payable to your local council. The money collected from council tax payments helps to pay for local services such as rubbish and recycling collections and local area maintenance.

Visit your local council website for information about:

  • registering for council tax
  • finding out your council tax band
  • how to pay
  • how to apply for a discount or exemption
Aberdeen City CouncilAberdeenshire CouncilAngus CouncilArgyll and Bute CouncilClackmannanshire CouncilComhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council)Dumfries and Galloway CouncilDundee City CouncilEast Ayrshire CouncilEast Dunbartonshire CouncilEast Lothian CouncilEast Renfrewshire CouncilEdinburgh CouncilFalkirk CouncilFife CouncilGlasgow City CouncilHighland CouncilInverclyde CouncilMidlothian CouncilMoray CouncilNorth Ayrshire CouncilNorth Lanarkshire CouncilOrkney Islands CouncilPerth & Kinross CouncilRenfrewshire CouncilScottish Borders CouncilShetland CouncilSouth Ayrshire CouncilSouth Lanarkshire CouncilStirling CouncilWest Dunbartonshire CouncilWest Lothian Council


You should not have to pay buildings insurance if you're renting privately – this should be the responsibility of your landlord or whoever owns the block (if you're renting a flat).

You are responsible for contents insurance, though.

Contents insurance covers the possessions you own in your home. If they're stolen by a burglar or damaged by a fire or flood, contents insurance will help you replace them.

You do not have to have contents insurance, but if your possessions are stolen or damaged it will be your responsibility to pay for replacements.

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