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. A template inventory can be found on the Shelter website.
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!
Switching your utility bill provider could save you money so its worth spending five minutes to find out more. Selectra has created the Complete Student Switch Guide 2018 to help you. Check out their website for more information.
Health and safety
When your all settled in to your home its important to ensure your home is safe and protected. This could include checking fire alarms (this should be a priority when you move in), ensuring you have appropriate insurance to cover your own belongings and knowing where fire escapes are in your home.
Shelter is a useful website which outlines general Health and Safety standards you could look out for and if you don't think your house is up to the standard make sure you contact your letting agent or landlord. If you would like advice about any issue, whether you have moved in to a building site, there is damp, you don't have a Gas Safety Certificate or the smoke alarms don't appear to work you should contact your landlord or letting agent in the first instance to seek a resolution. If you have no luck, contact SUBU Advice for advice and guidance.
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 your parents’ have been kind enough to sort out insurance for your personal effects without telling you.. 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.
Knowing when your bin collections are so you arent left with very full and smelly bins
If you live in Winton or Charminster keep an eye out for the Community Wardens who will give you timely information, answer your questions and signpost you to sources of support, advice and guidance.
Whether you’ll be tuning in to the wealth of ‘must see’ live TV moments throughout the year, catching up on programmes outside lectures or relaxing at the weekend watching your favourite shows, it’s really important you know when you need a TV Licence
Do I need a TV Licence?
Getting a TV Licence
You need to be covered by a TV Licence to watch or record live TV programmes on any channel, or download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer. This could be on any device, including a TV, desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, games console, digital box or DVD/VHS recorder. If you do any of the above without a valid licence, you risk prosecution and a maximum penalty of up to £1,000, plus any legal costs and/or compensation you may be ordered to pay. You will also still have to buy a TV Licence if you need one.
How can I buy a TV Licence?
There are lots of different ways to buy a TV Licence. Whether that’s through weekly cash payments, using your nearest PayPoint outlet, spreading the cost with monthly, quarterly or yearly direct debit, credit/debit card or by post – just choose the one that suits you best.
If I live in halls, won’t I already be covered by a TV Licence?
Your room needs to be covered by its own licence if you're plugged in to watch or record programmes as they're being shown on TV or live on an online TV service, or if you download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer.
What if I live in a shared house?
You'll probably only need one licence between you if you have a joint tenancy agreement for the whole house – this is the most common type of shared house arrangement. You might need your own licence if your accommodation is self-contained. That means you have exclusive access to washing facilities, or your own entrance to the property. You will also need your own licence if you have a separate tenancy agreement for your own room. If you're not sure, check our advice for tenants and lodgers.
Won't my parents' licence cover me?
Your parents' licence will not cover you while you're away at uni unless you only use a device that's powered solely by its own internal batteries and not connected to the mains.
What if I'm not at uni for the summer?
If you're leaving your halls or rented accommodation and moving back home for the summer, there's a good chance you won't need your TV Licence if there's one at home. You can see our policy and apply for a refund online.
What if I don’t need a licence?
If you don’t need a TV Licence, you still need to let TV Licensing know.
You can learn more about TV Licenses, including if you need one, how to pay for one and what will happen if you don't have one, on the TV Licensing website.