New council tenants

If you are a new council tenant welcome to your new home. If you are new to Harrow welcome to the borough. This page outlines some key points to help you settle into your new home.

Paying your rent

Your rent is due one week in advance. You must pay at least one week's rent into your rent account before your tenancy starts. If you don't move into your new home at the start of your tenancy, you will still have to make a payment. In this circumstance you may have to pay rent on two homes.

For more information on paying your rent, see the pay your housing rent page.

Managing your money

We want to help you to be prepared when you move into your property. This is so that you can pay your rent and look after your home now and in the future.

We have broken down typical moving in costs and regular costs. We hope this may help you budget when settling into your new home.

Typical moving in costs

  • Furniture
  • Carpets/flooring
  • Curtains or blinds
  • Cooker, microwave and appliances
  • Fridge, freezer and washing machine
  • Beds, bedding and towels
  • TV and electronics
  • Redecoration.

Typical recurring costs

  • Housing rent (and former rent arrears if any)
  • Council Tax
  • Electricity, gas and water rates
  • TV licence, mobile or broadband
  • Food and household goods
  • Home contents insurance
  • Car expenses and travel to work
  • Credit card or catalogue payments.

Buying or sourcing furniture

Council properties are unfurnished. So you will need to get furniture for your new home. If you are setting up a home for the first time, new furniture can be a heavy cost.

There are websites where you can find cost effective furniture for your home. You could try:

You could also try local charity shops and more mainstream websites like

Some tenants in temporary council housing can get carpets. They may also get curtains and a cooker.

Setting up your utilities

The utilities will not be connected at your new home until you contact the suppliers. This is something you need to do as soon as you get your keys. Your new providers will give you instructions to ensure that any previous debts on the meter are cleared. If you wish to change your gas or electricity supplier, you will need to do this yourself

Setting up your gas

  1. If you do not know who the gas supplier is, telephone 0870 608 1524. They will tell you the name and telephone number of the existing gas supplier.

  2. Telephone the supplier to tell them you have moved into the property. You will need to ask them to put the gas supply under your name.

  3. Take a meter reading as soon as you get your keys. The new supplier will ask for your reading.

  4. You will then need to call Liberty Group on 0330 333 8390 or 0800 614 456. They will arrange an appointment to visit your home to uncap your gas. They should be able to offer you an appointment within 24 hours.

If you have a pre-payment meter, you must have credit on your card. Liberty Group will need this to do this work.

If you smell gas contact Transco on 0800 111 999 as soon as possible.

Setting up your electrics

  1. If you do not know who the electricity supplier is call 0845 601 5467 and select option 1. An advisor will tell you the name and number of the existing supplier.

  2. You must call the supplier to tell them you have moved into the property. You will need to ask them to put the electricity supply into your name.

  3. Take a meter reading as soon as you get your keys. The new supplier will ask for your reading.

Your water supply

In most properties, you will pay water rates. In Harrow, most homes get their water from Affinity Water. You can contact them on 0845 769 7982 or visit the Affinity Water website. You will need to let them know that you have moved into the property

Tenancy conditions

You need to read your tenancy conditions. You need to do this before signing your tenancy agreement. They outline your rights as a tenant. They explain our duties as your landlord.

Your tenancy agreement is a binding contract. It is between you as the tenant and us as the landlord. For more information see our managing your tenancy page.

Home contents insurance

Home contents insurance covers you against loss, theft, and damage. It protects your personal and home possessions. It is your responsibility to insure your the contents of your home.

We do not cover your home contents as part of your tenancy agreement. We have teamed up with Thistle Tenant Risks. They provide special contents insurance for tenants. All tenants living in social and affordable housing are able to apply. Find out more on our Home contents insurance page.

Your welcome visit

We will visit you in your home within six weeks of the start of your tenancy.

The purpose of the visit is to:

  • Make sure you have settled into your new home
  • Discuss any problems or concerns you may have since moving in
  • Discuss your rent and any financial problems
  • Make sure you understand the terms of your tenancy

If you need to re-arrange a visit you can contact us on our Housing officer enquiry form.