Essential Housing Checklist for Plymouth Students

Plymouth-Student-Accommodation-Checklist

Below is some general information for Plymouth students when renting accommodation for the first time. If you are lucky enough to have your accommodation with Student Rooms 4U then you will benefit from all of the following. This is not true of all landlords or agencies:

At Student Rooms 4U

  • All properties within 250m of the University of Plymouth
  • Our properties are all rated ‘A Grade for ‘Quality by the University of Plymouth Accommodation Service
  • Our shared home prices are inclusive of gas, electricity, water, (plus lots of additional benefits)
  • Our shared houses have Virgin Media Broadband, with 350mgbs and unlimited uploads and downloads for FREE!
  • Our apartment prices are inclusive of gas, electricity and water
  • No deposits
  • No administration fees
  • No guarantors requested
  • Individual tenancies
  • Friendly and Efficient Staff
  • Deal directly with us – Your Landlords

When you enter rented accommodation for the first time there are so many things you have to consider. There are things to watch out for before you move in, as well as rules to adhere to during your time living there, and also things you need to remember when you move out. Here are some handy tips for you as you’re looking for your first rented accommodation.

What to do Before you Move in:

  • Have you viewed the accommodation? Don’t just rent on the basis of a picture on a website, particularly if it is not through a well-known agent. Photographs can be easily modified to mask the truth, so always visit in person.
  • If you are asked to pay your rent up front in full then only do so once are sure the accommodation is genuine. Where possible, pay by Credit Card to provide you with some additional protection, again only pay by Bank Transfer when you are sure the accommodation is genuine.
  • Do you understand your tenancy agreement? Email a copy or bring a copy into the SU Advice Centre. They can check it and let you know if there are any unusual clauses. There are also charities and other companies that can help you to check a contract.
  • If you are paying a deposit then find out which scheme that is being paid into, if a landlord takes a deposit then they are legally bound to place it into one of the 3 deposit schemes. Find out more here: https://www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection
  • Details of what to do if your deposit it not protected can be found here: https://www.upsu.com/news/article/7140/Tenancy-Deposits/

What to do When You’re Moving in:

You will no doubt be excited about moving into your shared student house and we hope you have a fun and exciting time getting to know your housemates. But there are a few general things to think about when you first move in to make life run smoothly.

  • Don’t move in if you think that the property is not in an acceptable state of repair and cleanliness. Once you have the keys, pop into the property before you’ve got an armful of luggage and take a good look around the check that everything is ok. Contact the landlord/letting agent immediately to advise them of this and request that the matter be rectified ASAP so that you can move in. Take pictures as evidence and make sure everything is confirmed in writing.
  • Once you move in, take pictures of everything so that, when you move out, you can demonstrate the condition of the property and furnishings when you moved in. This is a key point, especially when it comes to confusion over what furniture belongs to whom, and also issues of cleanliness on arrival.
  • Take meter readings (gas, electric, water) when you move in and email these to your landlord/letting agent – you do not want to pay for utilities used by previous occupants.
  • Think about arranging insurance for your belongings – your landlord’s insurance will not normally cover your personal items.
  • Arrange a house meeting to set up some general house rules and agree to meet regularly to talk through any issues that might lead to conflict later in the year. Try to delegate tasks and don’t let one person do everything, unless you all agree that one person can take charge for a benefit – for example, paying a smaller percentage of the bills.
  • Find out which day you need to put your rubbish bin(s) out and make sure you understand the local rules for rubbish collection. Set up a rota so that everyone pitches in. To fin out about your bin collection day check the Plymouth City Council website here: https://www.plymouth.gov.uk/binsrecyclingandwaste/checkyourcollectionday
  • Get a TV licence if you need one.

What to do When you Move out:

When you move out of your rented accommodation there are a few things which can help to protect your deposit if you paid one. Remember Student Rooms 4 U do not ask for a deposit.

  • Again, take meter readings and email them to your landlord/letting agent so that you are not billed for utilities used after your contract ends.
  • Take pictures of everything to show that items/décor is in the same condition as when you moved in. Also, don’t try to hide anything – if any damage has occurred, be honest because the landlord will find out eventually.
  • Contact your landlord/letting agent in good time to let them know when you will be leaving so you can arrange a final inspection, return keys and agree the process for repayment of your deposit. The period of notice will be written into your contract.
  • Dispose of your rubbish properly – donate to charity where possible or arrange for large items to be taken to the local tip.
  • Notify people and organisations of your new address – the University, Student Finance, your bank, DVLA, your GP, etc.
  • Arrange for your post to be redirected.
  • Claim a refund on your TV licence.

Summary

If you paid a deposit, it is important that you agree with any deductions the landlord may be making, and the deposit protection scheme is there to help if you wish to contest the charges. If you did not pay a deposit, then the landlord would have to invoice you for any amount they felt was owed to them. If you disagree with these charges then please seek advice from the Advice Centre before you pay the bill. Be honest about any damage caused and pay any reasonable fees, but do fight your corner if you feel like you’re being treated unfairly. If you’re at the pre-moving in stage at the moment, print out this article and put it in a safe place (with your housing contract) to refer to later.