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Many students who are living in their first student home, will have never taken a meter reading. On top of this, taking a meter reading for the first time can also be fairly confusing. In this part of our guide to student bills, we will show you how to take an electric meter reading and teach you how to calculate the cost of any given appliance.
We’ll be covering:
- Why you need to supply Meter Readings
- Types of Electric Meters
- Standard Electric Meters
- Dial Electric Meters
- Digital Electric Meters
- Smart Meters
- Prepayment Meters
- Economy 7 and Economy 10 Electric Meter
- How to supply a meter reading
Student Bills – Why you need to supply Meter Readings
Sending regular meter readings to your energy supplier, will ensure your paying the correct amount for any energy consumed.
Without a meter reading, an energy supplier will take an estimated reading which will be based on past usage. These estimates can sometimes be over-estimated, therefore, supplying regular meter readings is good way to ensure you don’t get overcharged and end up paying more money towards your student bills than you should.
As a result, it’s best to send meter readings once every two or three months, however, if you like to keep on top of your student utility bills, you can also send monthly readings.
Top Tip – One way to save on your student bills is to purchase a smart plug! If you ever leave your diggz and realise you’ve left stuff on, with a smart plug you can turn them off. Over the long haul this can save you £££’s
Types of Electric Meters
A variety of electricity meter types are installed in UK and Irish student homes. To help you identify which type of meter has been installed in your student home, we’ve outlined a brief description for each of the meter types and explain how to read and take the meter reading.
Standard Electric Meters
The most common meter found in most student accommodation is the standard electric meter. It is a basic meter which measures electricity in kWh (kilowatt hours). Taking a reading from this type of meter is reasonably straight forward.
To take a meter reading from a standard meter, jot down the number as displayed from left to right.
Numbers either displayed in red or which have a red background are the decimal point numbers, therefore, you can omit these numbers when supplying your meter reading.
If you do decided to include the decimal point number, ensure you remember to add the decimal point or you may end up with an unexpectedly expensive student utility bill.
Dial Electric Meter
Dial Electric meters contain a series of dials which look similar to miniature clocks. These type of meters are not the easiest to read and each of the small dials will turn in a different direction, going either clockwise or anti-clockwise.
The direction of the numbers flow around the dial, indicate the direction the dial goes in. Normally the first, third and fifth dial will flow clockwise with the remaining dials flowing anti-clockwise.
Each of the dials will run from 0 to 9, read the meter in the same direction the numbers flow in.
In order take a meter reading correctly, there are a few rules you need to be aware of and follow:
- Starting with the left most dial, read the dials from left to right
- If the dial hand is between two numbers go with the lowest number (if between 3 and 4, write down 3)
- When the dial hand is between 0 and 9 or always go with 9
- If you have taken a reading of 9 on any dial, reduce the reading taken on the dial to the left by 1. As an example, lets say the third dial reads 9 and the second dial reads 7, you would write 6 for the second dial instead of 7
- You can ignore the last dial, displayed in red or labelled 1/10
Digital Electric Meter
This type of meter is similar to the standard meter but with an LCD display. Standard digital meters will be labelled as ‘Single-rate’ where as economy 7 and economy 10 digital meters will be labelled as ‘multi-rate’.
Taking a meter reading is fairly straight forward. Write down all numbers as presented on the digital LCD display from left to right. As with a standard meter, all numbers to the right of the decimal point can be ignored.
Economy 7 and Economy 10 Electric Meters (Multi-Rate Meters)
Multi-rate meters generally look fairly similar to standard electric meters and they measure the electricity usage in kWh. The main difference on these meters is that they display two separate dials. One for on-peak traffic and the other for off-peak, commonly referred to as economy 7 and economy 10.
The display on digital multi-rate meters typically alternates between the on and off peak readings. In order to tell which rate is being displayed you will see a small number displayed to the left hand side of the reading which will be either display either a 1 or a 2.
To supply a reading, write down both the on and off-peak readings and send them over to your supplier. Normally these can be sent online with the required format will be outlined in the online portal.
If you happen to have one of the older mechanical meters, then both readings will be visible on the display.
A smart meter is new type of meter which measures real-time electricity usage. With a smart meter you don’t need to worry about supplying a meter reading as it’s able to send your electrical usage direct to the supplier.
That’s really is smart and is one less student bill to have to worry about!
Top Tip! Using LED bulbs over conventual bulbs can heavily impact the cost of your electric bills. LED bulbs have been proven to use 75% less energy compared to conventional bulbs. A great and simple way to save some money!
Prepay meters are usually digital meters. These meters typically have a button which allows you to switch the display between total electric usage and the remaining credit balance. With prepay meters you pay for the electricity upfront by loading credit onto a meter card or a meter key.
Because you pay as you go, there is no need to supply a meter reading. What you may want to do though, is keep an eye on your credit balance.
In the highly likely event, you may forget to take check your credit balance, thus, running out of electricity, prepayment meters have an emergency balance option.
When your credit balance hits £0, the electricity supply will cut off. To allow you time to load credit onto your card or key you can activate the emergency credit by pressing a button on the meter. Any credit you use while in emergency mode will be deducted once you enter your loaded card or key.
Most meter have an emergency balance of £5, once this runs out you will need to load up your card in order to turn you electricity supply back on.
Student Bills – How To Supply a Meter Reading
If you want to learn how to supply a meter reading or any other aspects of student bills, then check out our ultimate guide to student bills. We’ll take everything you need to know in regards to student bills and also offer other useful insights which as well as making life easier, may also save you some £££’s.
Find & Advertise Student Accommodation
Still looking for a student property? Search through out our wide range of student accommodation and find great student diggz in your town or city. Alternatively, if you have a place your looking to rent out, place a free advert and get your student property filled quickly. Both landlords and students can place free adverts!
How to Set up and Pay Student Utility Bills
At some point, many university students will have responsibility for paying utility bills and will need to set up utility payments. It’s definitely not one of the glamorous aspects of being a student, and if it’s not something you’ve done before, can be fairly confusing, as well as time consuming.
To help save time and money and take away the confusion, we’ve put together this guide which will walk you through all you need to know and do in order to get your student utility bills set up and paid!
We’ll be covering:
- Which utilities you’ll need to pay for
- How to check supply connections
- How to setup your utility bills
- The cost of your utility bills
- How to split bills with student room mates
- Tips to save money on student utility bills
Let’s get started!
Which Utilities You Need To Pay For
As a student, the main utilities you’ll need to pay bills towards are:
- Water & Sewage
Then depending on individual circumstance, some students may also have to pay bills towards:
- A TV Licence
- Student Council Tax
- Contents Insurance
- Digital TV Packages
- Accommodation Rents
Gas and electricity bills, typically referred to as ‘Energy Bills’ make up the majority of all utility bill expenses.
Although uncommon in student rentals, if your student home has oil central heating, we would advise speaking to your landlord as oil is normally ordered, paid for, then delivered. The oil tank will need topping up at regular intervals depending on energy consumption.
Water & Sewage Bills
Water and sewage bills cover the cost of water and sewage infrastructure. Full time students are still required to pay water bills, however, a lot of student landlords will include the cost as part of the rent. If your unsure who should pay this, double check with you landlord
How to Check Supply Connections
One of the first things you should do when you move into your new student home, is to check that your electric, gas and water supply are all fully connected.
How To Perform Each Check
- Electric supply – turn on a light switch
- Gas supply – turn on a gas cooker or turn on a radiator
- Water supply – turn on the taps
If each of these services is working as expected, this indicates that the supply is connected. It’s unusual for these services to not be connected. If for some reason they appear not to be connected, reach out to your landlord right away.
How to Take Meter Readings
Once you’ve confirmed your energy services are fully connected, the next thing to do is to take the meter readings.
Why Take Meter Readings?
From the date a tenancy commences, the tenant is placed by the energy suppliers on what’s called a “deemed contract”. This is automatically set up by any energy suppliers the previous tenant used, unless your landlord has set it up otherwise.
A deemed contract will be slightly more expensive than a standard contract but will only last up until the day you switch or confirm your new tenancy with an existing energy supplier.
Taking the meter readings at the start of a new tenancy is important, as it ensures you only pay for the energy you consume during your tenancy.
Taking the Meter Readings
All student properties will have electric meters but not all properties will have a gas meter.
Meters will normally be located in cubbyholes near the main front or back entrance, outside in meter boxes or they can also be located in basements or cellars.
In most flats and apartments all the meters for each flat or apartment, will normally be located together in the same place, with the meter for your flat or apartment labelled accordingly.
If you have trouble finding the meter(s) have a read through any information packs you may have been provided, otherwise give your landlord a shout.
Check out the articles below which explain how to take meter readings and what the different numbers on the meters mean.
Setting up Student Utility Bills
Find the current suppliers
Once you have all the meter readings, the next priority is to find out who the current energy suppliers are.
Quick Tip: See if there are any utility bills lying around to quickly identify who the current energy suppliers are or ask your landlord as they may already know. Don’t open any letters or bills addressed to a specific name as this is deemed illegal. Look for letters addressed to the ‘Current Occupier’ or ‘Current Tenant’, as those letters you can legally open.
Find the Electric Supplier
In order to find out who the electric supplier is, you will first need to know the energy network.
Use this Energy Networks Association postcode search tool which will provide you with the name and telephone number of your network operator. The network operator will be able to tell you who supplies your electricity.
Find the Gas Supplier
Use the Find My Supplier tool to find your gas supplier. It will provide you with the name of your supplier and a meter point reference number, aka ‘MRPN’. Take note of the MRPN, the supplier will use this to locate your gas meter.
Once you have the supplier details, make contact and provide them with your tenancy details and the meter readings you took earlier. When the supplier has this information you will be transferred onto the standard tariff.
The Cost of Student Utility Bills
Various factors such as location, time of year, house insulation, number of house mates, living habits etc etc, will all play a part in how much you end up paying, so use the costs displayed below as more of an indication.
This table show the average monthly costs students typically spend on gas and electric each month.
|1 - 2 Bed||£45||£44||£89|
|3 - 4 Bed||£70||£69||£139|
Since these are ball mark figures, at the start of your tenancy, we recommend setting aside a monthly budget to cover the likely cost of your utility bills until your able to work out your own average monthly spend as the year progresses.
Keep reading as we’ll soon outline some great money saving tips!
How to Split Bills with Student Room Mates
That last thing you want is to end up arguing with your house mates over who should pay what.
When it comes to who’s responsible for which payments, student housemates will need to decided and agree how the payments will be shared equally.
Every student home will be unique but there are a few things you can do which will make managing any shared bill payments easier.
Place all Names on the Bills
By law, if only one persons name is on the bill, then that person is solely responsible for the bill payments. Placing all housemates names on each of the bills spreads this responsibility. With jointly named utility bills, every housemate is responsible for an equal share of the bill.
This is the fairest way to share bills, it also incentives everyone to pay on time, in order to avoid getting a bad credit score. If you use this method, only those individuals who fail to pay, will be given a bad credit score.
Split the responsibility for each of the bills between housemates. As an example, one housemate would take responsibility for electric, another for gas and another for broadband.
Once bill responsibilities have been allocated, each time a bill payment is due, the person who has been allocated to pay that bill can ensure each housemate has paid their share of the bill and that the bill is paid on time.
If you decide to take this approach, ensure that everyone is responsible enough to meet any payment deadlines and the bills don’t get forgotten or missed.
Use a Joint Bank Account
Set up a joint bank account in each housemates name and fund the account with a monthly kitty.
With a joint bank account, two or more housemates can manage the same account. This can also be used to pay the bills from, once money has been pooled together into a kitty.
Estimate the overall monthly costs of the bills and split the costs between each housemate. Each housemate can then pay their share of the estimated amount into the account each month. If there are any funds left in the account at the end of the tenancy, once all bills payments have been met, this can then be divided up between housemates. It could even be used for one final house party!
Use Bill Splitting Apps
There are a number of free bill spiting apps available which are a great way to manage bill payments between several student housemates.
Tips to save money on utility bills
- Ask about bills getting included in the rent
- Shop around for the best deals
- Always read the small print
- Choose the right traffic and contract length (Ideally 12 months max as a student)
- Sort your bills out as soon as possible
- Take regular meter readings & avoid estimates (Check out smart meters)
- Don’t set water and heating temperatures too high
- Ensure radiators are drained
- Don’t block radiators with furniture
- Use a radfan
- Take showers instead of baths
- Turn of lights and plug switches when not in use
- Wear warm cosy clothing when chilling out
If your still looking for a student home or starting to think about moving next year? Check out our property listings.
The Ultimate Preparing For University Checklist and The Best Things to Take
If you’re a 1st-year student getting ready to leave home for university and wondering what to take, then fear not. As part of our preparing for university series, we’ve put together a university checklist which will take you through all the items your going to need.
One of the biggest challenges many students face when preparing for university, is deciding and knowing what things to take and what things to leave behind.
Apart from the essentials, it’s not going to matter too much if you prefer to bring most items with you or if instead you prefer to buy them once you arrive at uni. Whats is important, is having a good overview of all the things your likely to need. You don’t want to get caught out and forget something.
In order to ensure your prepared, go through and use the preparing for university checklist below.
Preparing For University Checklist Overview
The checklist is fairly extensive but we’ve broken it down into the following segments:
- Important Documents
- Kitchen Accessories
- Bedroom Items
- Bathroom Items
- Health and Medical Items
- Miscellaneous Items
As you go through the checklist, make a list of the things you consider essential (meaning either it’ll be required or you’ll need to have it from day one) and copy each essential item into a spread sheet which you can tick off.
University Checklist: Important Documents
- Passport / driving license or any other form of ID
- University acceptance letter and other official uni correspondence
- Student accommodation details such as address and contact number
- Student finance documents
- Scholarship and bursary letters
- Bank account details and correspondence
- Bank cards
- Insurance documents
- National insurance card and number
- Student discount cards
- Passport photos
- Medical Prescriptions
TOP TIP: While travelling, it’s best to keep these documents in a folder or wallet and ensure they’re kept safe and on your person. When you get to uni, keep them all in a safe place, this way you’ll always know where they are and can easily access them when required.
If your an international student some other documents which you may need to bring are:
- Visa Documents
- Proof of Funds
- Travel Insurance
- Cash (Pound Sterling)
You can find further information about UK student visas on the official GOV.UK student visas page. You can also check their other page which explains what items you’ll need to display once you arrive in the UK.
Uni Checklist: Stationary to take to uni
- Pens and pencils
- Pencil sharpener
- Pencil Case
- Stapler & staples
- Salo Tape
- A4 and/or A5 note pads
- Ring folders and/or Wallets
- Sticky Notes
- Paper clips
- Dairy, Calendar or Planner
- Course textbooks and study materials
TOP TIP: If your missing any items, head over to a your universities student library. Uni library’s stock many of the stationary items students require, which will be free to use, or purchasable at a discounted price.
University Checklist: Electronic items to bring
- Mobile phone and charger
- Laptop and laptop bag
- USB hard-drive or memory stick (Back up important documents)
- Ethernet cable for laptop
- Extension Lead
- Spare Electrical Cables
- IPod or Airpod
- Kindle or Notepad
- Speakers (Portable)
- Games console (You’ll regret it if you don’t!)
- USB TV Stick
TOP TIP: Consider getting any valuable items you’ll be bringing with you to university insured. This will protect you and save money if any of those items become lost or stolen.
University Checklist: Kitchen Accessories
- Cutlery set (knife, fork, spoons etc)
- Crockery set (Plates, bowls etc)
- Coffee/Tea mug
- Drinking glass
- Tin opener
- Bottle opener
- Knife set
- Chopping board
- Pots and pans
- Frying pan and/or wok
- Oven gloves
- Backing tray
- Other utensils (scissors, kitchen tongs, cheese grater, potato masher, potato peeler, ladle, spatula, whisk, measuring jug)
- Other accessories (Tea Towels, Bin bags, Washing cloths and liquid, cling-film, tin-foil)
- Student cook book
- Essential snacks (Pig out, no ones looking!)
TOP TIP: Only bring the essentials with you, then once you arrive at university arrange with your new housemates what items each person will buy
If your moving into student accommodation with shared kitchen facilities, many students end up sharing certain kitchen items such as pots/pans toasters etc. It usually makes more sense buying one of each item as a group and it also saves on limited kitchen space.
University Checklist: Bedroom Items
- Pillows and pillow cases
- Duvet and duvet cover
- Bed sheets
- Spare Blankets
- Mattress protector
- Coat Hangers
- Laundry Basket
- Desk Lamp, Fan & Bin
- Floor Rug
- Wall Clock
- Cool Pictures or Posters
- Family Photos
TOP TIP: Before purchasing any bedding, check with your landlord or halls of residence on the bed size. Many student halls provide standard single beds but it can vary depending on the type of room you rent and the type of student accommodation your moving into.
University Checklist: Bathroom Accessories
- Shower gel
- Hand soap
- Washing cloth
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Razor and shaving cream
- Hairbrush or comb
- Hair dryer
- Hand towels
- Bath towel
- Dressing gown
- Flip flops
- Nail Cutters
- Toilet roll
- Sanitary products
- Small medical kit
TOP TIP: Carrying a small pack of tissues can always prove useful if an emergency crops up!!!
Uni Checklist: Clothing to take to uni
- Underwear (boxers, pants, socks, tights and bras)
- General clothing (T-shirts, tops, jumpers, dresses/skirts, jeans)
- Smart clothing (shirts, ties, trousers, dresses)
- Coats and jackets (Winter and Summer)
- Footwear (shoes, trainers, boots, heels, slippers, flip-flops)
- Gloves,hats and scarfs
- Gym wear & Swimming
- Night wear (Pyjamas, gowns, onesies)
- Fancy dress outfits
- Accessories (Belts, wrist-bands, watches, jewellery)
TOP TIP: If your planning on revamping your wardrobe, only take the items of clothing you’ll need and save some packing space. Once you get to uni and get your discount card you’ll be able to buy brand new clothes at a discount prices.
University Checklist: Health and Medicine
- Any prescriptions and medications
- Details of your current GP and surgery
- Glasses, contacts and prescriptions
- Small First Aid Kid (plasters, cold and flu medication, allergy tablets, antibacterial wipes, pain killers)
- Birth control pills and/or condoms
TOP TIP: Ensure you register with a GP when you first get to uni. This will save you precious time and help you afford long prolonged waits (think hours!) if you do become sick or injured and need to visit a doctor.
Miscellaneous Items to take to Uni
- Lighter or matches
- Decent small bag for books etc (ruck sack, handbag, man bag)
- Peddle bike (with strong lock-chain and helmet)
- Water Bottle
- Thermal Flask
- Hot water bottle
- Iron and ironing board
- Small sewing kit
- Musical instruments
- Religious texts
- Home house keys
- Playing cards
- Board games
Some Other Useful Tips
- Order products online and have them shipped to your uni address
- Check out the various types of student packs and save time shopping
- Have a look at the various broadband packages available for students
If you don’t have access to a car or van and will be travelling on foot, consider travelling with a light load and only take the things you’ll need. Remember you can buy most of what you need once you get to uni and if you get your student discount card sorted out you’ll be able to buy some items cheaper. That pretty much covers everything you’ll need, we hope you found our preparing for university checklist useful.
If your still looking for student accommodation then check out our latest listings, it’s free to contact landlords and other students if you see any rooms or properties you like.
If your a student and looking for someone to take over your room or tenancy then you can post a free advert and advertise your student room or home. Get your free ad posted up in five simple steps.
How to get student discount cards and which UK student discount cards are best!
Getting a student discount card is a necessity for many UK students, it’s a great way to save money on goods such as food, clothing, software, stationary, travel, and entertainment. In this post, we explain the benefits of student discount cards, show you how to get them, and review the various type of cards available to UK students.
What are Student Discount Cards?
Student discount cards entitle students to discounts on various types of products allowing students to save money and buy products or services at discounted prices. Discounts can range from anywhere between 5% and 90% from the original purchase price.
There are a variety of discount card types, each with their own benefits. Some, like the NUS Extra Card are small physical plastic cards (just like bank cards) which are usable in the high street. To use them you simply show your card to the member of staff in the store where your making your purchase. Others like the UNiDAYS card are more of an online scheme in the form of a web or mobile application, as opposed to a small plastic card. These provide primarily provide discounts when purchasing online products but can also be used in high street stores.
Before you make any purchase, always shop around and check if a student discount is available and that you have the correct card to qualify for the discount.
It’s possible for certain products to already be cheaper in a specific store than it would be even using your student discount. So it’s always worth spending that extra bit of time shopping around if your main aim is to save money.
What are the Benefits of Student Discount Cards?
As well as offering discounts there are other benefits to using student discount cards which you may not have considered:
- Can be used as a form of ID
- Can be used both nationally (UK) and Globally (World Wide)
- They allow for savings on a wide and varied range of products, goods and services such as:
- Eating Out
- Driving Lessons
- Books and Stationery
- Software and Tech
- Car Insurance and Breakdown Cover
- Health and Beauty
How much do They Cost?
It depends on the type of discount card you are going for. Some discount cards are free while others may charge up to £70, it all depends on the type of card and it’s validity period.
Although with some of the cards there is an initial cost, it’s worth taken into account the overall discounts provided, and checking if you’re likely to really use the card in order to benefit from the savings it provides. If you choose the correct card, in the long run, it can save you a fair amount of money.
Check out our comparison table below for a quick overview on the different discount card types and their benefits and prices.
How to get a Student Discount Card
This will vary depending on the type of card you apply for but typically, they involve filling in a short application form where you’ll need to confirm
- Where it is your studying
- The length of your current course.
Some may also request a copy of your student ID to be and sent over as a form of proof.
Check out a quick overview below and if you wish to find further information you can navigate to each of the sites using the links provided at the bottom of the table.
Student Discount Cards Comparison
|Card||TOTEM (NUS)||UNiDAYS||16-25 Railcard||ISIC||18+ Student Oyster Card:|
|Overview||Entitles students to special discounts in most major high-street stores||Online discount app for both online and in-store discounts||Offers discounts on rail travel to students aged 16-25||The International Student Idenity Card offers students discounts worldwide||Offers discount on travel for students studying in london|
Lots of Brand Discounts
An endorsed Proof of ID Card (pay extra £2.99)
|Free To Get|
Brand Name Discounts
|1/3 of Rail Fairs and Tickets|
Various discounts avaiable from Experiance Days to Dining
Mobile App and Plastic Card
International Recognised ID
|Save 30% on adult-rate Travelcards and Bus & Tram Pass season tickets.|
|Price||£12 - One Year|
£22 - Two Years
From £14.99 with ID Card
|FREE||£30 - One Year|
£70 - Three Years
|£15 - £20 Per Year (Price Varies)|
Discount Available if you have a NUS card
|Bonus Offer||Buy a 2-yr membership card today give and get extra year FOR FREE!||N/A||Various Offers Available - Check Offers Page|
|Various Offers Available - Check Offers Page|
ISIC UK Offers
|Valid until your course ends|
|Website||Totum||UNiDAYS||RailCard||ISIC Card||18+ Student Oyster Card
Other Places to Find Student Discounts
As well as discount cards listed in the comparison table, there are other places offering student deals and discounts which are worth checking out:
- Student Discount Book – Offers a wide variety of student discounts, deals and student offers
- Student Beans – Also offers a wide variety of student discounts, deals student offers with free information and advice around many relevant students topics
- Save the Student – Provides free information and advice on ways to save money and make your money go further
- Prime Student – Service from Amazon prime which provides student benefits such as discount amazon prime as well as discounts on books and some other Amazon goods and services
Student Discount Directory
Student Discount Directory – Save the student have a great student discount directory which lists out many currently available discounts. It can be a great way to save time when looking for a discount if you know what type of products or service your looking for for a discount on.
Some Broadband providers offer savings for students. Check out our post on the Best Student Broadband Deals for further and guidance on choosing the right broadband package.
Free Student Advertising
If your a student and looking for someone to take over your room or tenancy then you can also save money by posting your advert with us for free. You can get your free ad posted up in five simple steps.
If your a student looking for accommodation, check out the listing in your area and contact landlords all for FREE.
Before purchasing any student discount card, take some time to consider if it’s worth your time and if your really going to benefit from it. Remember, always shop around before ever making a purchase to ensure your getting a good deal and try to avoid buying items or products on a whim which you may later regret buying.
Becoming a landlord and renting to students, things you should consider first
If your considering becoming a landlord and renting to students, in this article, we go over some important topics which every potential student landlord should consider.
Why you should be renting to students?
With over 2 million students studying throughout the UK and Ireland every year, student rentals can be a lucrative option for many landlords. We’ve previously gone over the pros and pitfalls of renting to students, so check that article out.
To quickly summarise:
- You can maximise properties earning potential by renting out multiple rooms on individual occupancy contracts
- The student market is fairly predictable with an influx of new and returning students returning year on year
- Students, in general, tend to be less demanding in terms of what they expect and you don’t need to have the latest interior designs or furnishing
Which property types are best suited when renting to students?
Property location is one of the most important things to consider when choosing a student property. Ideally, you want a property with good transport links which provides access to universities, shops, bars and entertainment spots.
In regards to the type of property, ideally, you’d want to look at properties with 3+ bedrooms. Some students look to rent in large groups of up to 12 people but the majority tend to be in groups of 3-5. It’s also quite common to convert a dining room or attic/basement room into an addition student room which you can rent.
Having some form of communal area is fairly important, so it’s best to have at least one room where students can gather and congregate together. Other things which could be considered as ‘nice to have’s’ but not necessary a necessity, would be, parking space, a garden and multiple toilets/bathrooms.
Should landlords consider using Homes of Multiple Occupancy Contracts (HMO’s)
Compared to renting out the whole property on an individual tenancy, HMO’s can ensure less hassle for both the landlords and students.
It’s fairly common that some students will wish to cancel their tenancy, which can be for a multitude of reasons. HMO’s are useful as they place the responsibility of both rent payments and deposit onto each individual student. This means, if in the worst-case scenario, any individual student does wish to move, the responsibility to meet any contractual agreements lay with that particular student.
Another benefit of HMO’s, is that it also makes it easier to sublet rooms out over the summer months and make even more money renting to students.
You can find further information about HMO’s on the UK governments website.
When renting to students how should I furnish the student property?
Furnishing a student property when renting to students will be slightly different from furnishing regular accommodation. Students will expect a minimum range of furnishings in each of their individual rooms as well as the whole property itself. One benefit when it comes to furnishings is that you don’t need to spend too much money and can quite easy pack out your property with modern and stylish cheap furniture (think Ikea!).
Individual Student Rooms should have:
- Room Lock
The Student Home Or Student Apartment Should have:
- Washing Machine / Dryer
- Oven Cooker
- Fridge Freezer
- Hoover, Mop, Dustpan brush and basic cleaning items
- Tools for any expected basic home or garden maintenance
What we have listed here is really just the minimum requirement in furnishings and equipment and you may need more than what we’ve listed, depending on the type of student your marketing too. We would advise doing some further research about renting to students and the various segments that the student market can be broken down into.
A good place to start would be to read the Student Accommodation Survey.
Knight Frank in collaboration with UCAS have produced the report. It provides insight into the opinions of over 60,000 students and how their university accommodation choices and preferences which can help landlords who rent to students or are considering renting to students, make more informed decision and plan more effectively when choosing student housing or property and deciding how to furnish them.
How can I be a good landlord when renting to students?
Renting to students is slightly different compared to renting to families or working individuals.
It’s important to realise, that for many students, this will be their first experience living independently. This can often result in students misunderstanding their own responsibilities as a tenant.
To help students better understand their own responsibilities, it can be a good idea to provide a welcome pack. These can be used to set out clear rules and each of the responsibilities the student has as a tenant.
The pack should contain:
- Outlining of basic rules in easy to understand the language
- Useful contact numbers
- Bin collection dates
- Appliance instructions
- Home/garden maintenance expectations
Another way to be a good landlord is to be reliable and available when issues do arise, it will help greatly in building a good relationship with your student tenants. It’s important to remember that many students will refer other students to landlords that they have had good experiences with and if you have any social media or web presence, getting good reviews can help boost your reputation as a good landlord.
Being an unreliable landlord can have the opposite effect and with the rise of social media word can quickly spread. Receiving bad reviews or getting a bad reputation can have a negative impact on your student rental income and ability to rent to future students.
What is a Rental Exchange Scheme?
The Rental Exchange Scheme provided by creditladder.com allows student tenants to strengthen their own personal credit score and history by simply paying their rent.
It’s also a great benefit to landlords, as it encourages students to ensure that their rent is paid on time.
Where can I advertise my student accommodation?
You can advertise your student properties here at DiggzHunter. All landlords get one free advert and it’s completely free for students to use. Check out further details about advertising with us here and get your free ad posted up in five simple steps.
TV Online – Digital TV package or Online Streaming Service
A favourite past time for many students (once studying is done!!) is binging on TV. We’ve put together a quick comparison guide to help you decide between choosing a digital TV package or online streaming service
Just a few years ago students only had a few options available when it came to watching TV Online. Now, with the rise of on-demand streaming, there are multiple options available depending on your needs. Streaming services aren’t the only option though and digital TV services can still prove a good money-saving choice depending on the type of broadband package you purchase.
In this article, we’ll look at the various options available and do a quick comparison to help you choose the best TV or streaming service which meets your personal needs.
Cheaper and Simpler
Online streaming services tend to be cheaper and it typically only takes minutes to get up and running and watching your desired content.
While watching content on streaming services your not going to be interrupted with adverts.
Content available on demand
You can watch desired content as and when you want as everything is available on demand.
Desired Content Not Available
It’s likely that the streaming service you choose won’t have all the desired content you wish to watch on it
Bandwidth and Buffering
Due to the content being streamed over an internet connection, at times users can experience issues with content pausing or becoming unavailable due to bandwidth speeds or connection issues.
As with any online service, there is a chance (although small) of your account being hacked and your personal data being stolen or used for fraudulent means.
|6-month free trial then £3.99 per month|
|Up to 6||Visit Now|
| 7 day free trail then £4.99 per month|
|Up to 6||Visit Now|
| From £3.99 per|
|Up to 6||Visit Now|
|£5.99 per month|
|Up to 4||Visit Now|
If you get a TV and broadband package then all your bills will be conveniently paid together
Wide and varied Choice
Digital TV packages typically have a varied and wide choice of content with some providers even offering access to some of the streaming services.
Reliable and Secure
The chance of having your data compromised with a Digital TV service is extremely low and you can expect minimal disruption while watching content.
Compared to streaming services, digital TV is typically more expensive but lately, companies have been offering cheaper deals.
Programs not always on demand
Content is typically shown on a schedule meaning you cant always just watch content as and when you choose to, and a bit of pre-planning is usually required even just to record your desired content.
Broadband TV Packages
The below table provides a general price comparison and shows the cheapest option available when adding a TV package as part of a broadband package.
Please note: We are displaying the cheapest option available out of all possible packages and deals. Prices and deals tend to change regularly so prices may not always be up to date.
|Provider||Speed||Contract Length||Monthly Cost||Website|
|25Mbps||24 Months||From £39.99||Visit Now|
|54Mbps||18 Months||From £33||Visit Now
|10Mbps||18 Months||From £24.98||Visit Now|
On-Demand Streaming Breakdown
With Prime Student, you get access to Prime Video which is the UK’s second most popular streaming service and other prime services such as quick free delivery on amazon products and discounts on services such as prime music.
Popular Programmes and Movies
Thousands of hit movies and other hit programes such as Mr Robot, Outlander, Preacher, The Man in the High Castle, Vikings and Lucifer
You can stream content on up to 2 devices.
Cost Breakdown & Deals
As a student when you sign up you are given a free 6-month trial then pay £3.99 per month with the option to cancel at any time.
Apple TV+ is new on the market when it comes to streaming services. Compared to its rivals doesn’t currently have the biggest choice of content. It does come with very high specs with everything being streamed in 4K ultra HD using Dobly Vision and 3D surround sound. The means if you have correct technical setup Apple TV+ can offer you the most immersive watching experience currently out there.
Popular Programmes and Movies
Currently, the content is limited but Apple TV+ has big plans with plenty of shows and movies coming up, a lot of them featuring big-name stars. Some notable content so far: Mythic Quest, Beastie Boys Story and The Shrink next Door.
You can stream content on up to 6 devices. It’s available to stream on any apple device, PC’s or smart TV’s. Unfortunately, it’s not yet available on Andriod or PS4. See all supported devices ->
Cost Breakdown & Deals
7-day free trial then £4.99 per month with a standard subscription. If you buy a new Apple device then you get 1 years free membership.
NowTV is a streaming service offered by Sky. It allows users access to exclusive Sky content without needing a satellite dish or Digi box. It’ works by offering subscription-based ‘passes’ which are divided across subject areas and can be tailored to your own viewing habits.
The default streaming resolution isn’t the best at only 720p, and an extra £3 a month unlocks 1080p streaming with the ability to stream on three devices rather than two. Depending on your needs it can either be very cheap or a bit pricey but overall the quality and quantity of content you have access to is pretty good.
Popular Programmes and Movies
The content you get will depend on the type of pass(s) you subscribe too. You can mix and match pass to meet your own viewing needs and cheaper bundles are available on some passes.
With the entertainment pass, you would have access to Sky One, Sky Witness, Sky Atlantic, Sky Comedy, Gold, Comedy Central, SYFY, Fox, MTV, Discovery, Pick, Challenge, Nat Geo Wild, and Vice.
With the sky cinema pass, you would have on-demand access to 1,000+ movies which includes both movie classics and new releases.
The Hayu pass is great if you want access to both sky tv channels and on-demand streaming service
You can stream content on up to 2 devices or 3 with a boost for £3 a month extra. It’s available to stream on Android, Apple, Roku, PlayStation, Xbox, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Smart TVs, YouView, BT TV Box, Now TV, web browsers, PC’s or smart TV’s
Cost Breakdown & Deals
Free 7 day trial then pay a monthly subscription.
Entertain pass £9.99 per month
Sky Cinema pass £11.99 per month
Hayu pass £4.99 per month
Sky Sports passes at either daily or monthly rates
Mix and match pricing on various bundles available
Disney+ is a newcomer on the market offering streamable content. It offers much more than just the Disney back catalogue and with streaming in 4k with HDR is becoming a good choice for some
Popular Programmes and Movies
Users have access to the full Disney catalogue as well as the Star Wars saga, all Marvel and Pixar Films and all episodes of the Simpsons. Disney+ are also producing their own original content such as The Mandalorian, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Wandavision. Although currently limited in content it may be a good alternative for some.
You can stream content on up to 4 devices simultaneously. It’s available on most devices, see supported devices ->
Cost Breakdown & Deals
£5.99 per month or £59.99 per year.
Pro’s and Con’s when renting for students
With over 2 million students studying throughout the UK and Ireland, student rentals can be a lucrative option for many landlords. In this part of our of student landlord guide, we take you through the pros and pitfalls that student landlords typically face when renting for students
Student Rental Guides:
The Pros of Renting For Students
There’s a possibility to receive a higher return from your property when renting for students compared to renting to normal tenants. As a student landlord, you can rent out rooms individually and convert dining rooms or attic rooms into student bedrooms. If a property is occupied by 3 or more tenants, then this is referred to as a HMO (Houses in Multiple Occupations) and if you rent out individual rooms to 5 or more students, then a licence is required.
Although the rent on each room individually may appear low, returns from multiple students in a single property can be very lucrative.
Read more about HMO’s and your legal responsibilities
Less Demanding Tenants
Students, in general, tend to be less demanding in terms of what they expect and you don’t need to have the latest interior designs or furnishings. There’s a current trend with certain segments of the student market to go for high-end accommodation but these are still the minority. The majority of students are just looking for a safe, comfortable and affordable place to live.
Over the last few years, student numbers have been growing year on year creating a higher demand for student accommodation. Although COVID has created what could be considered a blip during 2020/21, demand is likely to pick back up meaning it’s a fairly safe investment providing you choose the right student accommodation in the correct location.
The student accommodation sector remains strong and is considerably less volatile than other areas of the property market. With increasing student numbers, the demand for student lettings is higher than ever. The standard need for a guarantor, often a parent, is another reason why student lettings remain secure. This predictable market is a great opportunity for potential student landlords to secure lucrative rental yields and a regular healthy income.
With student tenancies typically lasting 9-12 months and a new intake of students arriving each year the market is fairly predictable and can provide student landlords with some stability and the ability to plan ahead.
The Pitfalls of Renting For Students
Late Rental Payments
Students finances often come in the form of loans or grants which are sometimes received later than anticipated. As a student landlord, it’s best to provide some flexibility and anticipate for late payments without forcing students to pay additional charges.
One way to deter students who purposefully miss payments is by having guarantors in place.
Property Damage and Maintenance
For many students, this will be their first experience living independently. This often results in a higher workload for student landlords as students often misunderstand their own responsibilities as a tenant which can also increase the likelihood of damage occurring.
Having a security deposit in place is a good idea and also ensuring you have guarantors on the tenancy agreement.
To help the student understand their own responsibilities, it can be a good idea to provide a welcome pack. These can be used to set out clear rules and the responsibilities the student has as a tenant. Also proving useful contact numbers, bin collection dates, appliance instructions etc and anything else to aid in settling in can help in reducing workload.
It’s generally knowing that students like to have parties and can be loud. Although this is all part of the student experience, it can sometimes result in complaints from neighbours.
Ensure you have policies in the tenancy agreement which clearly outline specific times it’s expected any noise will be kept to a minimum and that respect is to be given to neighbours.
If you receive complaints from neighbours, give them your backing to speak with the students directly. You can also assure them that it’s not something you as the landlord will tolerate.
Quiet And Empty Periods
University courses typically run for 9 months of the year with breaks occurring at Christmas and during the summer months. As a student landlord, it’s best to make allowances for theses empty periods and ensure your insurance covers these times.
The summer months can be a great time to carry out any maintenance or property upgrades before the next intake of students.
Typically, students stay in halls of residence for their first year of university. They then move into private student lettings for the remainder of their course. During this period many students drop out of university for varying reasons, so it’s something which needs to be taken into account.
In certain towns and cities, student accommodation is becoming a saturated market. In some areas such as Manchester or Liverpool, many private student properties are lying dormant. With the arrival of PBSA’s (Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) competition to find student rentals has become fierce.
The good news is PBSA’s don’t seem to be as popular as initially predicted and have become un-affordable for many students who are now opting for cheaper private student lettings.
A few things which can help your student property stand out are:
- Make it Affordable
- Ensure your property is comfortable to live in and secure
- Buy in locations with direct links to universities and easy access to supermarkets, cafes and bars
Last but not least, if you already own a student property or have a student room which your looking to rent out and want to reach a wide pool of students, you can place a free advert with us in 5 easy steps
If you have multiple student properties you wish to rent out then check out our flexible packages.
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A Breakdown of the Best Student Broadband Deals 2021
Every student wants fast, reliable and affordable broadband running through their student home. To help save you time while searching, we’ve put together a list of the best student broadband deals out there.
Student Broadband Guide: Things to Consider
Before you start searching for the best student broadband deals, there are a few worth being aware of and taking into account.
Understanding broadband speeds, data limits and the types of contracts available will help you in selecting the best student wifi packages.
Aimed with this understanding, you’ll be able to select the best packages which best match you and your housemates needs
Broadband Speed & Housemates
Download speed is very important and standard broadband packages typically provide download speeds of 17Mps.
This level of speed is suitable for a house of up to 3 people. If you have any more than 3 housemates and you’ll ideally want to be looking at faster broadband speeds.
If you require the best speeds possible, look at fibre optic packages. Fibre broadband provides lightning fast internet and download speeds and is a great option for students sharing a home of 4 or more people.
Package Data Limits
You’ll need to consider how often you or your housemates are going to be streaming or downloading data. In our experience, students tend to be using their home internet all the time so we would suggest looking for unlimited data packages.
Unlimited data will give you some peace of mind and you won’t run into the issue of hitting any data caps, there’s nothing more annoying than having your internet cut off just when you really needed it to carry out some research, even worse if your halfway through an epic Netflix episode.
Although you may pay a bit more initially, it can be a lot cheaper to choose unlimited data than hitting a data cap, then having to pay out extra.
Most contracts in the UK last for 12 to 18-months. There are a few 9-month contracts available but overall there not necessarily any cheaper than a 12-month contract. 18-month contracts can still be ok, you just need to calculate the overall cost and if you do plan on cancelling early work out the cancellation costs.
We’d advise going for 12-month contracts where possible as they seem to offer the best value.
Broadband Packages Overview
|Provider||Speed||Contract Length||Cost (Inc Fees)||Website|
|10 Mbps||12 Month||£16||Visit Site|
|50 Mbps||12 Month||£22||Visit Site|
|10 Mbps||18 Month||£15||Visit Site|
|54 Mbps (Fiber)||18 Month||£30||Visit Site|
|50 Mbps (Fiber)||24 Month||£28||Visit Site|
Useful Tips to Save a Few £’s
- Ideally select packages which have unlimited data
- Always enquire about other hidden charges before taking out a package
- Where possible use paperless billing
- Pay for you broadband package upfront
- Cancelling your contract early may work out cheaper than continuing
Other Things to consider
Requiring a landline is gradually declining but whether you need one or not will depend on the package and provider you choose and most providers will include the cost of line rental to the package cost. If you go for a package which uses either 5G or fibre optics then you won’t require a landline.
Buying a Router
Most broadband packages will provide you with a bog-standard router (and sometimes charge extra). To get the most out of your wifi it can be worth buying a faster more Powerful Router
Typically it will take up to 2 weeks if going for a standard phone line connection but with 5G or fibre it’s possible to be connected sooner.
Always ask your provider how long this will take before deciding on a package some properties may take longer than the standard 2 weeks.
Check Your Broadband Speed
Once you’ve got your broadband up and running you can run a quick speed test and check both the upload and download speeds. Speeds can vary depending on the time of day so run a few checks at different times. If your speed is below what your chosen provider advertised, get in touch and let them know as there may actually be an issue. Use this tool to run a quick test speedtest.net
If you’re considering getting digital TV package, it’s definitely worth looking into all in one Broadband and TV bundles as these can potentially be a good cost-saving.
There are many Student wifi packages out there, hopefully, we’ve helped you in narrowing down your search.
If you’re still looking for a student home you can use our a site to find for your ideal student home.
The correct way to advertise a student spare room or property
A quick internet search shows competition to rent a student spare room or student property is fairly fierce. In this post, we’ve put together some useful tips which if used, will help your spare student room advert or student property stand out!
Create a Catchy Advert Title
Advert titles should be short and descriptive, which will quickly allow students to get a good feel about what’s being offered. A common mistake we see from many landlords advertising a student spare room or property is advert titles which are too short and undescriptive, or advert titles that contain far too much detail.
Take a look at the examples below to see an illustration of these common mistakes:
Bad Title Examples
- Too Short and Undescriptive: Student Spare Room Available
- Too Long, and To Much Detail: Student Spare Room available for rent to students in a five-bedroom home and lovely housemate located in Manchester with En-suite and all Bills Included
Remember you don’t normally need to include too many descriptive details in the title. Some details will be covered elsewhere in the advert, others like the location will be filtered out when in search results.
Good Title Example
- Readable Length and Descriptive: Student Spare Room in Modern Home with En-suite, Bills included
This advert title isn’t too long but highlights the main key features students will likely be interested in.
Use Quality Images
The old saying.. ‘A picture speaks a thousand words’ has some truth to it. It should come as no surprise that ads with pictures have better conversion rates. Another important point to consider is using pictures which show the room or property in it’s best possible light.
Images should be bright and clear and the room should be tidy and clutter-free. If you have a student home with multiple rooms, use a cosy or modern-looking room as the main image. To crop or edit your images use a tool like photoresizer
Focus On Selling Points
When adding advert details, concentrate on the selling points, this could be plasma TV’s in each room, inclusive bills, a great location etc. Each room or property will have it’s own unique selling points and it’s important to point these out.
Provide As Much Info As Possible
Where possible, provide as much info as you can in your advert. Most student accommodation platforms, like DiggzHunter will prompt you with fields which cover various information points students are interested in.
When creating your advert, not all fields will be mandatory but filling in as many as possible will be helpful to students and adverts that do so are likely to fill more quickly.
Keep Descriptions Brief and Precise
Having taken onboard each of the above points, you want to keep your overall description as brief and precise as possible, too wordy and people will move on, too short and they may just ignore your ad. Ad descriptions are a great chance to provide info on those unique selling points and any other points which the mandatory fields haven’t covered.
Also important is correct grammar and spelling, a useful tool is something like Grammarly.
Keep Your Advert Updated
It’s important to update the state of your room or property, this has two benefits:
- You won’t be contacted by students about a property which is already rented
- Students won’t be put off when they discover you haven’t bothered to update your listings
We understand that leaving adverts running can be beneficial in terms of visibility. Here at Diggzhunter, we provide an option which allows you to mark your advert as rented. This provides the benefit of visibility but also lets students know that the room or property is no longer available.
Where to Advertise a Student Spare Room?
That pretty much sums everything up. If you apply each of these steps then you’ll be one step closer to getting your advert noticed and rented out.
If you have a spare student room or a student property you’re looking to rent out and would like to reach a wide pool of students, you can do so here at DiggzHunter for Free. Simply sign up and create your free listing. and get your student room or student home noticed.
Things you should check when choosing student accommodation!
Choosing student accommodation can be fairly time consuming. It can also cost you money if you make the wrong choice. In order to help you get ahead in the race to finding student accommodation we have put together a checklist every student should go through before choosing their next student home.
List your requirements and ask questions
Before you arrange a viewing put together a list of your requirements. When you reach out to the landlord or agent ask them on each of your requirements. This will save time for both you and the landlord when choosing student accommodation.
Choosing Student Accommodation – Work Out Your Budget
This one may seem obvious but for many student it can be tempting to want to live in luxury student accommodation. Although it will look amazing and provide bragging rights, it can also leave you with a tight budget and increase your student debts. Try to stick to a student property you can genuinely afford. To help calcuate your renting budget, give this Rent Calculator a go.
Location Location Location
Things to consider in regards to the location are:
- How easy is it for you to get to your campus
- Are there decent transport links
- Are there plenty of shops and supermarkets nearby
- Is the area deemed safe, is the area noisy etc.
While viewing, it’s also worth taken a stroll and getting a feel for the area, you can also do this beforehand using something like google maps.
Record your Visit
Often during a visit, there’s lots to take in and you may not notice everything. Use your phone to record your visit so you can review back the footage later. This is also useful if you’re viewing on behalf of others.
Choosing Student Accommodation – Check for Damp
Damp can be a real nightmare which leads to damaged clothes, a bad smell and potential health issues. Check walls, ceilings and skirting boards for mould or watermarks and if the room feels cold or looks newly painted, give the walls a touch and ensure that they’re dry.
Fixtures and Fittings
Check things like curtains, desks, and chairs are included and there are a sufficient number of power points in each of the rooms. It can be frustrating to suddenly realize your room has a limited number of power points.
Heating and Insulating
During the winter months trying to study in a cold house can be frustrating and uncomfortable. Things to check for are double glazed windows, well-spaced heating systems, secure doors and windows and no signs of damp on walls and ceilings.
Electrical Appliances and Whitegoods
The last thing you want is to move into a home which is missing or has inadequate white goods such as a small fridge or no washing machine or freezer. Double-check these are included and meet your expected requirements.
Choosing Student Accommodation – Bills
Energy bills can be one of the biggest costs students face. If bills are included in your rent, great but check if there are any max limits and find out how you’d make payments if those limits are reached. If not included, ask for the energy efficiency rating which can give you an idea on monthly costs.
Some landlords also include broadband as part of the rent or offer to give a reduction in price. It’s worth checking if there is an existing landline in the property. If you do require broadband check out our overview on the best student broadband deals and save some money.
View in person
We’d recommend where possible to always view the property in person, it’s a fairly big risk to accept a property without seeing it yourself. Sometimes a friend may view on your behalf, other times you just can’t get there for various reasons. If you genuinely cant view it yourself in person, get as many details as possible and do some research to check all is legit.
Revisit If Needed
If you’ve done all the above but are still undecided you can always arrange for a second viewing, sometimes on the second viewing you’ll see things you didn’t notice the first time around, a second viewing can also put you at ease and help you reach a decision.
Where to Find Student Accommodation
Here at DiggzHunter, we have a wide range of student properties, start searching to find your perfect student diggz.