So you have picked up the keys to your new student house… now what?
So you have just arrived at your new student house with your whole life packed into boxes; we know that it is hard to resist the temptation to immediately start unpacking your things and moving furniture around, but there are a number of important things that you must do first before making yourself at home. If you do not do these things, your deposit could be compromised and it could result in issues later on.
· Check through the inventory, take photographs and report any defects.
You should be given an inventory when you move into your property. An inventory is a list of the rooms in the house – stating the standard of décor and furniture. Note down any defects that you see in the rooms; e.g. damage to any furniture, scuffs on the walls, cracked tiles or any other issues. Be sure to check that all light switches and plug sockets are in safe working condition, that all the plumbing works well, if there are any ceiling cracks or signs of damp and also check the state of any household appliances (i.e. the oven, microwave, washing machine and dish washer).
Haven't been given an inventory by your Landlord or Lettings Agent? Make your own! You just need to list each room in the house and details of the state of all decor and furniture at the time of moving in.
It is also a good idea to take photographs of each room, and particularly of any defects that you have noted. If anything needs to be fixed; either send an e-mail or a letter (sent recorded delivery) to your Landlord/Agent stating which of the items need to be fixed or replaced.
You will normally have 7 days from the start of your tenancy to go through the inventory and then send it back to your Landlord or Agent.
· Take all meter readings and notify the utility companies.
On the day that you move in, be sure to take all meter readings and contact the utility companies to report them.
· Check the carbon monoxide detector and fire alarms.
Ensure that all alarms/detectors are in working order. Make sure that you check them regularly throughout the tenancy.
· Find the mains water stop-cock and fuse box for the electricity supply.
In the case of an emergency, or if repairs need to be made by an engineer, It is important to know where these are. If you can’t find them, ask your Landlord.
· Notify the University (and University Medical Centre) of your new address.
The University may need to be able to send letters to you term-time address; therefore, update your ‘Student Record’ on Studynet with your new address. You can notify the University Medical Centre by completing and submitting a ‘Change of Address’ form.
· Apply for Council Tax exemption on Studynet.
If you are studying full-time, you should be exempt from paying council tax. Log on to your Student Record on StudyNet and be sure that you have updated your term-time address to the address for your new student house. Follow the instructions for applying for council tax exemption.
· Purchase a TV Licence.
If you want to watch or record live television, or watch programmes on BBC iPlayer, then you will have to purchase a TV Licence. For more information, visit www.tvlicensing.co.uk.
Got more questions about housing? Contact the Advice and Support Centre!