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Household bills that homeowners pay every month

Sadly, the bills must be paid to keep a home running smoothly. Warm cosy nights in front of the TV don't come for free when you're a homeowner. Let’s take a look at the regular household bills you’ll need to budget for.

Guest Author
Words by: Nicky Burridge

Contributing Editor

1. Mortgage repayments

This is the big one. Your mortgage repayment is likely to be your single largest monthly expense. 

Most homeowners use a mortgage to buy their home, and that means making monthly payments to the lender. The amount you pay will be decided by various factors, including your mortgage rate, the mortgage term and how much you've borrowed.

Use our mortgage calculator tool to work out how much you will have to pay each month.

Mortgage calculator

Work out what your monthly mortgage payments could be with our mortgage calculator.

Read more on how to work out your mortgage repayments.

2. Council tax: £167 per month on average

Council tax is another bill you can expect to fork out for as a homeowner.

The amount you pay is linked to the value of your property at a certain time. In England, they are based on values in April 1991.

Homes are put into bands ranging from A (cheapest) to H (most expensive) for council tax purposes.

The average council tax bill for a band D property is around £2,000 a year or £167 a month, according to professional body CIPFA.

You can apply for a 25% discount if you live on your own.

You can find out what council tax band a property is in from your estate agent to avoid any nasty surprises.

An adult chatting on the phone in their kitchen while drinking a cup of tea in front of their laptop

3. Energy bills: £142 per month on average for 1-2 people (spring 2023)

Next up in the pecking order of expenses are energy bills, such as gas and electricity, which are currently a lot more expensive than normal.

The amount you have to pay will obviously vary according to how much you use.

But to give you an idea, the average 1-2 person household will spend around £142 a month on gas and electricity in spring 2023, according to British Gas.

What to do if you're struggling to pay your energy bills

If you're worried about energy bills, take a look at the Energy Performance Certificate of properties you're thinking of buying. 

The certificate rates properties from A to G according to how energy efficient they are. An A rating is the ultimate. It means the property is super energy efficient and that means lower bills for you.

We include the Energy Performance Certificate for properties listed on our website.

4. Water bills: £34 per month on average

The average household spends £34 a month on water and sewerage, according to Water UK.

If you have a water meter installed, your bill will be based on the amount of water you actually use.

Unfortunately, you can’t shop around to find a cheaper supplier for water. There will only be one company that supplies the area where you live.

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5. Home insurance: £12 per month on average

There are several different types of insurance you are likely to need as a homeowner.

Buildings insurance

The first is buildings insurance, which covers the physical structure of your property. 

It pays out if your property is damaged by something such as a fire or a flood, or if there is subsidence.

It is usually compulsory to have buildings insurance if you have a mortgage on your home. 

If you have purchased a leasehold property, buildings insurance is likely to be included in your service charge. See below for more details.

Contents insurance

Contents insurance covers your stuff, such as your clothes and furniture.

It covers them for damage caused by an event, such as a fire or flood, as well as theft.

It may be tempting to cut back in this area. But think about how much it would cost you to replace everything you own if your home was gutted by a fire.

Read more about home insurance, buildings insurance and contents insurance.

Life insurance

Many homeowners take out a life insurance policy to pay off their mortgage if they die.

Although it is not compulsory to have life insurance, some mortgage lenders do require it.

If you have a partner or children, it's important to think about how they would pay the mortgage if you were no longer here.

You can also take out insurance to cover your mortgage repayments if you are unable to work or lose your job. This is known as mortgage payment protection insurance.

6. Broadband: £44 per month on average

Another bill you'll need to factor in is the cost of staying connected.

Broadband is usually sold as a package including TV channels and a fixed landline. It costs an average of £44 a month, according to Ofcom.

You'll also need to factor in the monthly cost of your TV Licence, which is around £13 a month. And your mobile phone bill too.

7. Ground rent

As a homeowner, you may have thought your days of paying rent were over.

But if you live in a leasehold property you'll still need to pay ground rent.

In the past ground rent could be quite high and some homeowners faced steep annual increases.

But the government has announced new rules for ground rents. As a result, ground rents for new leasehold properties will be set at so-called peppercorn rates. That means the cost should be peanuts.

Read more about how the government has overhauled the ground rent system.

8. Service charges

If you've purchased a leasehold property or live in a freehold flat, you'll need to pay annual service charges.

Service charges cover the maintenance of communal areas, buildings insurance, and the management company costs.

Service charges can be as high as a few thousand pounds a year for a high-end property in London.

As a result, be sure to find out if a property you're interested in buying has services charges and what they are.

9. Maintenance

Unlike when you rent home, when you're a homeowner, you'll have to pay for all of your property’s maintenance.

This outgoing is tricky to plan for. Maintenance issues can range from small things, like a leaking tap, to expensive ones, like needing a new boiler.

Newer properties generally require less maintenance than older ones. 

The good news is that if you've bought a brand new home, it will come with a 10-year warranty.

That means you won't have to pay for any major structural repairs, such as a problem with the roof.

But if you're in an older property, it's a good idea to set aside an emergency fund for maintenance.

10. Parking charges

If you own a home in a city, don’t assume that you can park outside it for free.

If you need to park on the street, you may find you need to pay for a parking permit from your local authority.

We try to make sure that the information here is accurate at the time of publishing. But the property market moves fast and some information may now be out of date. Zoopla Property Group accepts no responsibility or liability for any decisions you make based on the information provided.