By Hollie Luck
It’s that time of year again where you have to fork out a load of money on a deposit and haul all of your things into your new place. Now going into my final year of university, I’ve just moved out of one student property and into a new one, and so I thought it would be useful to give a guide on what to do once you’ve moved in, and your rights as tenants.
First off once you get the keys to the property you will need to complete the inventory form. This should list what furniture and white goods belong in the property and in what condition they are in. You should look through this carefully and make sure anything that is in poor condition or broken when you first moved in is written down on the inventory so the landlord can’t blame it on you when you move out! Anything that is broken should also be reported so that the landlord can fix this for you.
Next up is organising bills, it can be a little tedious at times but it needs to be done! If your bills aren’t included in your monthly rent then it is up to you to organise your water, electric, gas and wifi. Using comparison sites are the best way to find the cheapest supplier for each of these, saving you some money for Mid-Week Mashup!
One bill you shouldn’t be paying for whilst you are a student is council tax. Providing the council with a Student Status certificate (which you can ask for from the iCentre) will ensure you are exempt from paying the bill.
Once you’re all settled in, it’s important to know your rights as tenants. Put simply, if you break something then you pay for it. However, general wear and tear on the property is not up to you to pay for. If white goods randomly stop working or a pipe burst (and you didn’t block the drain) then you are not liable to pay to replace it. Things, like losing your keys or leaving a big stain on the carpet, is your responsibility though so be careful!
Furthermore, although you do not own the property, the landlord or letting agency isn’t allowed to enter the property without your knowledge and giving you 24-hour notice that they will be paying a visit, this is a legal requirement that they must uphold.
At the beginning of your tenancy, you should be informed that your deposit has been placed into a tenancy deposit scheme, again this is legally required by the government. You should ask for confirmation of this if it hasn’t been mentioned already. At the end of your tenancy, your deposit should be given back to you in full unless there is something wrong with the property that you are liable for. A written explanation of what is wrong with the property and how much will be taken from your deposit should be provided to you so you can dispute this with the landlord or letting agents if you feel money has been taken from you unfairly.
For more information about your right as tenants visit this website for more information.
For impartial advice, you can also send in your questions to the SU Advice Team here.
Image Credit: Elle Haywood