Before you get settled in to your new accommodation it is very important that you conduct a thorough inspection of the property.

 

Inventory

Ideally the letting agent or landlord requires an inventory to be completed. If this is not the case make your own inventory noting what furniture is in which room and if there are any damages, scuffs on the walls, stains on carpets, dirty bathroom etc… Take date stamped photographs of everything you note down as this will be used to help ensure your deposit is returned to you in full when you move out. Repeat this process on the day you move out.

 

Utility Bills

You also need to take meter readings of the gas, water and electricity to ensure you do not get charged for the previous tenant’s usage. Take date stamped photos of the meters and keep these with your other ‘moving in pictures’. Call each utility company and inform them you have moved in. Each tenant should take responsibility for one bill and as such they should be named first on the bill with all other tenants named after them.

You will also receive water bills from two different companies during your tenancy - one for the supply of the water (from Southern Water) and one for the sewerage/waste water services (from Sembcorp Bournemouth). Make sure that you've not ignored a bill from one of the companies by thinking you've already paid your water bill!

 

Contents Insurance

Due to increased instances of thieves targeting students it's usually beneficial to get contents insurance. It’s worth checking to see if you’re already covered with your property; most halls come with insurance and all BU Lettings properties . If not then perhaps your parents’ have been kind enough to sort out insurance for your personal effects without telling you; it’s worth checking at least. Of course, you may just feel that you don’t have enough stuff for it to be worth insuring it all. However, you’re probably mistaken in your estimate of what everything you own is worth. People generally underestimate what their contents are worth by at least 50%. To find out more, including companies that offer student contents insurance click here.

 

Maintaining a happy home

These are a few things you can do to help maintain a happy home environment:

  • If the rent is not fixed per room then you can discuss with your housemates whether larger rooms should pay more and smaller rooms pay less

  • Be fair about room allocations; consider housemates may require more room than you for studies etc.

  • Always following up conversations with your letting agent/landlord with an email or letter, especially if reporting repairs or someone wants to move out

  • Keep copies of all correspondence between yourself and the agency/landlord. This is essential when disputing deposit deductions and taking Court action

  • Get all your housemates’ home addresses so you can contact them if one leaves unexpectedly

  • Ventilate the accommodation and ensure the property remains a temperature of at least 15C at all times. Ideal temperature is between 18C -21C

  • Don’t dry clothes indoors as this causes mould and damp

  • Respect each others privacy and belongings

  • Keep your tenancy agreement, correspondence with letting agents/landlord and details of your deposit in one place. Being organised may save you valuable time and money later on

  • Pay your share of the rent and bills (if you are in financial difficulty contact us for advice)

  • Set up a house email address to communicate with your landlord/letting agent so all can see if any issues have arisen and can take action to resolve them

 

Maintaining a Good Relationships

  • Remain professional when speaking with your landlord/letting agent

  • Ensure your landlord/letting agent gives you at least 24 hours’ notice before coming round and that you agree to when they intend to visit

  • Offer the landlord/agent a drink if they come to visit (doesn’t hurt to be polite)

  • Report repairs within a reasonable period of time

  • Making good any damages you have caused

  • Be quiet and respectful– warn neighbors of parties and try to hold them on weekends. If you are issued a Noise Abatement Notice you will be reported to BU who may take action under the BU Disciplinary Procedure.

  • Introduce yourself to your neighbors

  • Tidy the garden/surrounding area of the property occasionally and put bins away

  • Keep TV’s and sound equipment away from neighboring walls. Use headphones where possible.

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