When it comes to utilities, there are many possibilities. Depending on your
situation, the basic utilities - water, gas, and electricity - and others (such as waste disposal
and gardening) may or may not be included in your monthly rent. Very often, gas and electricity
are not included in your rent, but water and garbage collection are.
Phone service is never included. You will need to ask
your housing manager to see what you get under your rental agreement.
If some or all utilities are not provided, you will
have to contact your local utility companies yourself, before you move in, to get service turned
on by the time you move in. Your manager will be able to tell you which companies you need to call.
Take care of this early, or you could be without electricity for your first couple of days!
In addition to the basic utilities, you may want to subscribe to cable TV or satellite TV.
These services provide a larger number and wider variety of television channels than you
would normally get - e.g., MTV (music television), ESPN (sports channel), and HBO (movie
channel), to name a few. Usually, there is only one cable TV company in a given area.
Under that company, different plans are
available at different monthly rates, ranging from "basic cable", which offers about 20-30 channels,
up to "premium" or "pay cable", which offers extra channels. The monthly charge can range from
about $20 to $50 a month, plus the initial installation fee (which may be discounted,
or waived completely, if the company is offering a special deal for people just moving in).
When you have cable or satellite TV, you can order pay-per-view movies and events for an
Inquire with your local cable company or
satellite TV provider about channels in your home language or from your home
country which are often available. This special programming can be very expensive.