The cost of rent varies significantly depending on location. It also varies depending on whether you rent through a private landlord or a housing association, such as Accent Housing.
If you have a low income, renting from a housing association is the best option as it is more affordable than private renting. Plus, it is more secure.
However, before you start looking for a housing association property, you must first determine whether or not you can afford rent.
Budgeting For A Household
Rent is a significant financial responsibility and is just one of several important costs you will acquire when you rent a property. It is important to remember that the cost of rent is only affordable if you can also simultaneously pay for other bills.
When searching for a property, the price of rent will be displayed. You can also ask the landlord/housing association to give you estimates for other important household bills.
This is important as it helps you understand the costs of running the household and can help you determine whether or not it is affordable for you. Household bills usually include:
- Water bills (usually paid monthly)
- Council tax (usually paid monthly)
- Gas and electricity bills (usually by monthly direct debit although may be paid via a pre-paid metre)
- Service charges (in some properties, usually paid monthly).
- TV licence
Aside from household bills, you also have to budget for other vital bills including:
- Mobile phone
- Groceries/food shopping/clothing
- Insurance (contents insurance, life insurance etc.)
- Car expenses i.e., insurance, MOT, petrol etc. (if applicable)
- Travel expenses (if you do not have a car)
- Loan repayments/credit card bills (if applicable)
Can You Afford Rent?
If you would like to manually calculate whether or not you can afford to rent and run a household, you should first write down all incoming money you receive.
This includes earned income from working (be sure to focus on the balance after tax deductions). It may also include any benefits you claim. Other common types of income include inherited income, pension income and savings or investments income.
Calculate how much income you have each month and make a note of the figure. Then, write down a monthly estimation for each of the household bills mentioned above (including rent) and add the costs together. This figure should then be deducted from your monthly income.
The remaining money will need to cover the additional vital costs mentioned above and any other payments, such as dentist appointments, school uniforms (if applicable), medication, and vet bills (if applicable).
Subscriptions, such as gym memberships and streaming services should also be considered.
Once you have deducted all household bills and other payments from your monthly income, you should have a better idea of whether or not you can afford rent.
Manually calculating rent can be tricky. Thankfully, help is available…
Online Budget Calculators
There are a variety of online tools and resources designed to help you understand if you can afford rent and other household bills.
Accent Housing is a housing association providing quality and affordable homes to people in the North, East and South of England. The housing association has many useful free tools and resources available to help you budget for a household. These include:
The Accent Housing Budget Calculator is quick and easy to use. It gives you an understanding of how much it is going to cost you to run a household. All you need to get started is:
- Your income and your partner’s income
- Any money you have coming in from savings/investments
- Any debt repayments you have
- Your household bills
- Your bank statements
Do you claim benefits? Do you think you are entitled to support? Are you missing out on financial help? Are you unsure how much you could be claiming? The Accent Housing Benefits Calculator can help! It is free to use and all details are kept anonymous.
Money Navigator Tool
The Money Navigator Tool from Money Helper is ideal for anyone who needs financial guidance but doesn’t know where to start. Within 30 seconds it provides action-based plans based on your current financial situation.
You can figure out which money issues to tackle first, how to stay on top of bills, what extra support you’re entitled to and where you can get free advice.
Money Helper is an invaluable online resource that offers a wide range of resources to help everyone. The Money Helper Bill Prioritiser, for example, helps you organise your bills in the right order, so you never miss an important payment.
Find An Affordable Home With Accent Housing
Recent changes to the housing market have made it even more challenging to find affordable rented housing. But Accent Housing is here to help.
If you would like to chat with an Accent team member and figure out whether or not you can afford a housing association property, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Alternatively, head to our Find A Home page and start the search for your next home.