- Stay calm! Don't rush into getting a house just because your mates have got one.
- Give yourself a chance to get to know your future housemates.
- Look around - don't just get the first house you see.
- Know your rights as tenants.
- Get your contract checked. If there is something you are not sure about just ask!
- If you ask your landlord/letting agency to fix something, keep a record of the time and date that you did so.
- Make sure you fill out your inventory and take pictures too - email the pictures to yourself. You will regret it when you move out if some of your deposit gets taken because of a mark that was already there when you moved in.
- Make sure you keep your possessions and house burglar safe by taking some simple measures:
- Keep doors and windows locked - NEVER leave your keys in the door!
- Keep expensive possessions like your laptop out of sight
- Mark valuables with a UV pen.
- Don't leave to do lists or calendars on show - so burglars can't see when you're going to be out
- Chain your bike up
- Always remember burglars want to be in and out of your house quickly so don't make it easy for them!
Would you like to review your landlord, letting agent, property or neighbourhood today? The Students' Union are working with Marks Out Of Tenancy where you can let other people know your experience renting. This will also help the Students' Union to understand students' experience renting. For more information visit the Marks Out Of Tenancy website.
In all privately rented property, you’ll have certain rights and responsibilities. NUS have provided free resources and guidance to help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant living in rented housing
NUS Tenancy Troubleshooting guide (England) includes information on during your tenancy, including:
- What you should do
- What your landlord should do
- What to do if your landlord isn’t meeting their obligations
- Where to get advice
NUS have also produced a video on Tenancy Tips.
There are also more resources including Tenancy Guides, Moving In and Moving Out resources at http://readytorent.nus.org.uk/resources/
In England and Wales, if you rent your home on an assured shorthold tenancy that started after 6 April 2007, your landlord must place your deposit in one of the following tenancy deposit protection (TDP) schemes:
- Deposit Protection Service
- Tenancy Deposit Scheme
These government-backed schemes ensure you’ll get your deposit back if you:
- meet the terms of your tenancy agreement
- don’t damage the property
- pay your rent and bills
For more information about Tenancy Deposit Protection please see https://www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection
The website above includes information on:
- Information landlords must give tenants
- If your landlord doesn't protect your deposit
- Disputes and problems
- Get help and advice
When moving in make sure you:
- Fill out an inventory and what condition things are in. Make sure you mark any changes and sign and date it. Don't forget to keep a copy for yourself once you have sent it back to your landlord.
- Make sure you take pictures and email the pictures to yourself. You will regret it when you move out if some of your deposit gets taken because of a mark that was already there when you moved in.
- Report any issues in writing to your landlord or letting agent.
You can find out more information at NUS’ Ready to Rent website http://readytorent.nus.org.uk/moving-in/
When moving out make sure you:
- Read all the meters, and then contact all the utility companies with the final reading.
- Give them a forwarding address for the final receipt.
- Get contact details from all your housemates- you may need to forward deposits etc.
- Remove all of your items from the house- including any rubbish.
- Return ALL the keys to the agents- they will charge you if you don’t.
There are a couple of external agencies that you may be able to find advice or information from including;
What is the Student Community Partnership?
The Student Community Partnership (SCP) is made up of Bath & North East Somerset Council and Student and Staff representatives from the University of Bath and Bath Spa University.
It provides a forum for liaison between the Universities, their Students' Unions and the Council on matters relating to students and the local community. This includes accommodation, transport, welfare, community relations, community safety and environmental issues.
You can have a look at the Student Community Partnership website here.
Households where everyone’s a full-time student don’t have to pay Council Tax. If you do get a bill, you can apply for an exemption.
You will get a Council Tax bill if there’s someone in your household who’s not a full-time student, but your household might still qualify for a discount.
To apply for a Council Tax exemption letter you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org
You must be covered by a TV Licence to:
- watch or record programmes as they’re being shown on TV or live on an online TV service, such as All4, Sky Go and YouTube, 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.
For more information, go to tvlicensing.co.uk/studentinfo
NUS has published new research ‘Homes fit for study’ which revealed that over three quarters of students have a problem with the condition of their home, including Vermin! Click here to read the report and with help on how to deal with pest problems in your home.