Student Accommodation Tips – Things you should know

Student Accommodation Tips

So the time has come – you are preparing to move into your student accommodation and begin your university experience. This post comprises an array of student accommodation tips to ensure that your move is as enjoyable and easy as possible, allowing you to get set up and settled in with the minimum of fuss. 

So grab a brew and let’s get started. 

8 Tips When Moving Into Student Accommodation

Prepare a Checklist

Firstly, we all know that no matter how old or young you are, things are easier with a list (just like we are making your life easier with this list of student housing tips – you’re welcome). Making sure that you have a think about the things you need before you start chucking items in suitcases is always for the best. We’ve all been there, when you pack a bag for an event in a rush, and when you arrive and unpack you realise you’ve got two left shoes, no hairbrush and have forgotten your toothpaste…

Nobody needs that hassle in their life. So, have a think and go from there.

Choose Carefully

When making your list, choose carefully the items you are going to take with you. It’s likely you don’t need to bring everything from home, and it’s even more likely that the accommodation you are moving into will come with many items included. 

If you have already seen the house/flat/halls before then you will know the layout of the space you are moving into. However if you haven’t seen it in person, then it could be useful to ask your landlord or agent for a link to some images of your accommodation so that you can peruse the rooms and get a better idea of the things you will need. 

For example, how big are the wardrobes? If they aren’t very large and you have lots of clothes, it might be worth taking some boxes/containers to slide under your bed for more storage. Or being more minimalist in terms of the clothes you take. 

The time of year you start university will also affect what you pack clothes-wise as well. You could take autumn and winter clothes for the first term and then, if you are due to go back home for Christmas, repack for the new season with alternative and more suitable clothing for the next term.  

Make wise choices on what you put on your list to take and your living space won’t be crammed to the rafters with unnecessary items. 

If you are still a little unsure on the best way to make your checklist then look no further – we’ve got your back with our student accommodation tips article in our preparing for university checklist

Choosing carefully, doesn’t just relate to the items you take with you, but also to the space you choose to live in the first place. Making sure the space is what you want, where you want it and meets suitable living conditions is incredibly important. For more tips on choosing the best student accommodation for you and your needs be sure to check out our blog post.

Read the small Print

Reading the small print of your contract, and tenancy agreement, will mean you have a better idea of everything to expect when moving into your student accommodation. By familiarising yourself with the legalities and small print of your tenancy agreement you will be more aware of your rights as a tenant.

It should lay out everything from the length of your student housing contract, the type of contract you are in (joint or individual), if you need a guarantor, and your rights in terms of getting out of a contract if you need to.

Doing this will also help you understand what will happen if anything gets broken, needs fixing or isn’t where you thought it was going to be, and will let you know whose responsibility it is to deal with (you or your landlord’s). 

Check what’s included

Another of our useful student housing tips is to check what’s included as a part of your contract with your accommodation. By reading and re-reading your contract, and the terms of your agreement, you can ascertain whether your bills, internet and digital tv come as standard within your monthly rent payments or whether you have to source and set these up yourself. 

You can also, as previously mentioned, find out what furnishings and appliances already come with your accommodation and from there decide what you need to take. Also, if you know the people you are moving in with, you can have a tete-a-tete about who is bringing which appliances, and from there safeguard against the possibility of moving into a house with four microwaves and six toasters.  

Protect Your Deposit

One of the main student housing tips we suggest to those moving into new accommodation is to always make sure your deposit is protected in the proper fashion. It may sound a bit abstract but actually it’s quite simple. 

The deposit you pay to your landlord at the start of your contract needs to be kept safe so that you can get your full deposit back (as long as you don’t break the terms of your tenancy agreement) when you move out. 

Your landlord legally has 30 days to place the funds you send them into a tenancy deposit scheme. This is where it will be kept (and not spent) until you move out. 

The details of the scheme your money is kept in will be detailed in your tenancy agreement, as will the details of any helplines and information resources regarding this issue. It is useful to read this agreement thoroughly and make a note of these numbers and helplines so if you need to contact them you know where to look. 

Compare Utilities Providers

If you do need to source and set up your own utilities then it is important to compare providers to make sure you are getting the best deal possible. By doing so you will have more disposable money at the end of every month to spend on the things you want. 

It can be useful to do some research on multiple providers to get a bang for your buck instead of opting for the first offer you find. Taking the time to understand the different bills you will be paying, how to read meters and check supply connections, as well as to ascertain how much to expect bills to be, depending on the size of your accommodation, is all valuable research and is advised. 

Check out our student accommodation guide on the best way to compare utility providers, do your research and to make sure you get the best deal. 

Find the Best Broadband and Internet Deals

Finding the best broadband and internet deals is doable if you do some research and consider your needs. Have a think about package data limits and what you are going to be using your data for and how often. It would be super frustrating if you and your housemates got a specific data package and realised after the first month or so it was nowhere near big enough. 

Deciding on package limits, the length of the contract you need and perusing all the competitors’ websites to ensure you get the best deal can seem an overwhelming task, but don’t worry, we have created a list of student accommodation tips here for you to help you get the best deal. 

Make it Home

A great student accommodation guide for all those moving into new homes at university is to make an effort to create a homey feeling environment in your accommodation. You want it to be a home away from home, and to do that it is worth taking the time to get it decorated and set up in the way that will set you at ease.

Bringing things from home that you like in your surroundings is a must. From photos, lighting, ornaments and artwork to video games, musical instruments and your journal – all of these things are ways to add that je ne sais quoi to your space.

If you haven’t got enough of these little bits and bobs and want to splash out then you can always head to your nearest Ikea and peruse the Swedish goodies to make your house a home. Whilst you’re there, don’t forget to pick up some meatballs and cinnamon swirls for dinner from the supermarket section – they’re delicious.  

As well as home furnishings and trinkets, another way to make your home feel homey is to keep it tidy. Spring cleaning often isn’t the most appealing of tasks but once completed it definitely fosters a sense of accomplishment and makes all involved feel productive and more comfortable in the space. 

To sum up, hopefully these student accommodation tips can act as a useful guide for you before and during your move to university. Making this space feel like your home, whilst equipping it with all of the things you need to live your life is a balance. It requires some thought, planning and research so utilising this student accommodation guide should make your process run that bit more smoothly. 

Wishing you lots of luck with the process and remember that in amongst the planning, preparation and doing – enjoy it! 

Find & Advertise Student Accommodation

Still looking for a student property? Search through our wide range of student accommodation and find great student diggz in your town or city. Alternatively, if you have a place you’re looking to rent out, place a free advert and quickly get a tenant in your student property. Both landlords and students can place free adverts!

 

 

 

 

Student Accommodation Deposit– How to get your full deposit back

Student Accommodation Deposit

Moving into your student accommodation is an exciting time; setting up on your own, meeting new people and maybe having the odd celebratory beer or three. Although your student accommodation deposit might not be at the forefront of your mind during these heady days, it is worth bearing in mind and following these handy tips below to ensure you can get your deposit back when your time to leave comes. 

First up it’s useful to start by discussing where your money goes once you pay your landlord for your student house deposit. 

What’s a deposit protection scheme?

Landlords are required by the government to place their tenants’ deposit into a deposit protection scheme within 30 days of receiving it. It will then be kept there throughout your tenancy and awarded back to you when you move out. 

If you find out your landlord has not protected your deposit in the correct way by keeping it in a Tenancy Deposit  Protection scheme (TDP) they are liable in a county court. 

What reasons can a landlord keep my deposit?

Firstly, if you don’t meet the terms of your tenancy agreement, which include basic terms such as paying rent and bills whilst living there, your landlord is allowed to keep your student house deposit.

Your tenancy agreement is the contract you sign when you move into your student accommodation and states the expectations of you and the landlord during your time there. It allows you to reside there as long as you follow the rules, as stated in your contract.

As well as the more obvious terms stated in your agreement it will also contain other requirements of both signing parties. For example it may include that it is your landlord’s responsibility to fix and repair any household issues, the notice periods both you and they can give to leave the property, how long you are contracted to live there and what the rent includes (council tax etc). 

These are just a few examples, so it is worth reading your agreement thoroughly before signing to ensure you are comfortable with all the terms. 

Another reason your landlord could keep your deposit is if your property gets damaged in any way whilst you are there. 

Getting your deposit back is a priority – just think of all the things it can be spent on when it is returned to you… With this in mind there are a few things you can do to make getting your full deposit back more likely. 

Tips and tricks to get your full student deposit back

There’s lots of things you can do to ensure your student accommodation deposit comes back to you when you leave your housing.

Ask your landlord for a full inventory

First up, ask your landlord for a full inventory when you move in. An inventory is a list that details the conditions of the property. It is a great reference point for you and them regarding the state of the accommodation when you move in and out. 

It should contain details and pictures of the space prior to you moving in. Asking for this at the start of your tenancy is useful because it allows you to see how the property looked when you moved in, and will ensure you don’t get blamed for anything that wasn’t your fault when you move out. 

Check and Sign Inventory detailing any missing items or damage

Upon receiving the inventory, check through it and make detailed notes on the issues you see around the property and add them to the inventory so your landlord is fully aware of it’s condition. Even if it is not on the list they send you then this is your chance to update it and inform them.

By signing the inventory you are putting your name to a record that everyone within the agreement stands by. From this point, a dispute down the road is less likely because you and your landlord have already agreed about the condition of the property before you move in.

Take photos of any existing damage and general wear

As well as working your way through your landlord’s inventory it can be a great back up for you to make your own record of any wear and tear you see around your accommodation. 

Make sure to write some notes around each of the issues you see, whether it’s a dent in the wall or a faulty door. Each detail is valuable and will provide you with evidence to look back on in the event of any issues being raised by your landlord during your tenancy or once you move out.

Let’s be honest – when you are living somewhere it is easy to lose track of how the place looked when you first stepped through the front door. Also when you’ve got yourself settled in, unpacked and added your own personal home furnishing touches it would be understandable to have entirely forgotten what everywhere looked like when it was more bare. 

Taking pictures provides you with a collection of images to remind you of your accommodation and gives you some back up in the event there are any queries moving forward.

Email signed Inventory and Photos to your landlord or agent

After making your own records you can email images to your landlord, or agent, so that you are all on the same page about the condition of your accommodation. 

Upon sending your photos to your landlord you can ask them to sign it and confirm they are happy with them, as well as your notes. This means you are all then on the same page moving forward. 

If you break anything or anything stops working let your landlord know immediately

We all know the phrase ‘honesty is the best policy’ and in this case it really is. Being up front and contacting your landlord in the event of something breaking or stopping working within your student accommodation is the best thing to do.

It may be the case that it is written into your tenancy agreement for your landlord to deal with certain things not working. After all it is the nature of housing systems – sometimes things stop working and need fixing. It is not necessarily going to end up with you not receiving your deposit back.  

Ensure all your bills are paid up to date

Another way to stay in your landlord’s good books is to make sure all of your expenses are covered every month. You will have monthly bills to pay from broadband to electricity, as well as your rent. Ensuring these are paid on time and dealt with smoothly means your landlord won’t have any cause to note you down as a problem tenant. 

To read more about student utility bills check out our ultimate guide to student bills here.  

Ensure your deposit is protected legally

The Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme (TDP), referenced earlier on, is a legal requirement of your landlord and so you, as the tenant, are within your rights to clarify that your student accommodation deposit has been securely stored.

You are entitled, legally, to know the following information within 30 days of paying your landlord your deposit.

They must inform you of the address of the property, how much deposit you have paid, how it is protected and the name and details of the TDP it is being held in. Alongside this information, your landlord must also give you the TDP’s dispute resolution service which you can contact in the event of any queries, as well as all their full name and contact details.

You can also expect to be told details of any other parties that have paid the deposit, why they would retain all or some of the monies, and how you need to apply to get the deposit back at the end of the tenancy.

You can also ask for information about what to do if for any reason you can’t get in touch with the landlord at the end of your contract.

Keep your accommodation clean and tidy

It may seem obvious but keeping on top of your space tidiness-wise by not letting the pots pile up and the dust gather is a good tip when thinking about getting your full deposit back. 

Put your favourite music on and have a dance and dust marathon on the regular, run the hoover round and give your place a spring clean. It will help your accommodation to remain in a good condition throughout your tenancy and will show the landlord you are respectful of the space. 

Aside from this, cleaning regularly will make the space a nice one to live in and keep it in a fresh, liveable condition throughout your time there.  

So, to conclude…

Everyone wants their time in student accommodation to be as little hassle as possible and so making sure you are clued up about your student accommodation deposit, by following the tips listed above, is a great way to keep your time low-stress and ensure that when you leave your full deposit ends up back in your pocket.

Find Student Accommodation & Advertise For Free

If you’re still looking for student accommodation, search through our wide range of listings and find great student diggz in your uni town or city. Alternatively, if you have a place you’re looking to rent out, place a free advert and get your student property filled quickly. Both landlords and students can place free adverts!

 

Student Tenancy Agreements – Know Before You Sign

Student Accommodation Tenancy Agreements

Guarantor? Fixed Period? Security Deposit? If any of these terms bewilder you or bring you into a state of existential panic, then you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we will cover all the basics, from the various types of student tenancy agreements to getting your security deposit back in your bank account.

‘The Landlord’ may sound like some kind of video game boss that you can never beat, hurling hard-to-read contracts at you like Gambit in X-Men, but as long as you know your stuff, you will be able to pen that signature with perfectly calm, steady hands, confident that nothing will surprise you down the line. This guide will get you to that place. We will cover the types of student tenancy agreements and contracts you can expect to see, what you need to know about security deposits, and lastly, all the info you need on guarantors. Read on to magnify the small-print.

If you’re still looking for accommodation, or haven’t yet started the search, check out our Choosing Student Accommodation Guide first, and then come back when you’re ready to seal the deal on a place you like.

Types of Student Tenancy Agreements

There are two main types of student accommodation tenancy agreements: joint and individual.

Joint Student Tenancy Agreements

If you’re living with your mates all together in one house, you may well be asked to do a joint tenancy agreement. These types of contracts hold the whole group accountable for each individual’s payments. This means if one of you, for example, drops out of uni and decides to live elsewhere, it’s up to all of you to cover their rent.

The landlord is also within their right to ask the rest of you to move out if you cannot or refuse to do this, since the terms of the contract will be violated. The same goes for any damage caused. If your friend puts his clothes through the dishwasher after a night out, you are all responsible for paying the cost of the repair.

As you can see, this type of agreement provides the landlord with more assurance, hence it’s the most commonly offered.

Individual Contracts

On an individual contract, each tenant is responsible for themself. Here, there is one contract between each tenant and the landlord. So, if one person moves out, no one else is responsible for their rent besides them. Same too goes for any damage caused by one person. If the damage is in your room, you pay. If the damage is in communal areas – unless someone owns up – it’s up to all of you to pay.

This type of contract provides the tenant more assurance. You will likely see this in a spare room type situation and in student halls, but it’s unlikely a landlord will offer it to a group who are all looking to move in together.

How Long Are Student Housing Contracts?

The standard length of a student housing contract is twelve months with the first six months as a ‘fixed period’. This is called an ‘assured shorthold tenancy agreement’ (AST). In the fixed period, you cannot be asked by your landlord to leave without specific legal reasons.

You may have to pay for the property even when you are not living there during the summer – make sure to check what you are tied into before signing.

Can You Get Out Of A Student Tenancy Agreement?

If you are in a fixed-term tenancy agreement, your landlord cannot ask you to vacate the property before the contract is up unless it contains a break clause. A break clause allows either you or your landlord to end the tenancy early so long as certain conditions are met, which is usually just a predefined notice period of sufficient length. 

The break clause could be useful for both the tenant and the landlord but can be disadvantageous to both parties too. If your landlord finds someone willing to pay higher rent, for example, he can ask you to leave once you’re past the fixed term. Equally, it gives you the option to leave if you no longer want to live there. So, be sure to check to see if there’s a break clause in the contract.

Student Accommodation Deposits

A security deposit is a lump sum payment that you, the tenant, have to pay upfront as a kind of insurance for the landlord in the event of any damage to the property or failure to pay rent. The deposit amount should be written into the contract of the student accommodation tenancy agreement. As long as everything goes fine during your tenancy, you should receive this money back in full.

Paying your security deposit will be one of the first things you need to do before beginning the academic year. Check out our Ultimate University Preparation Checklist so you don’t forget to do anything else. 

How Much Is The Deposit For Student Accommodation?

Student accommodation deposits are usually around four to five weeks’ rent. This way the landlord can insure themself against one month of missed rent payment at least and guarantee they are covered for some damage you may cause during your time in the property.

Do I Get My Deposit Back?

Well, legally, if you don’t miss any rent and maintain the general well-being of the property, you should receive your deposit back at the end of your tenancy. Easier said than done, however, as some landlords like to try what they can to hold on to your deposit.

If you make sure you read the contract carefully so you know what you can and cannot do within the building; take dated photographs and make notes of all the damage and wear and tear in the property as soon as you move in; check the inventory carefully to make sure it’s all correct; check to see if you need to clean the property upon leaving it; and use a deposit protection scheme, you have the best chance of getting your money back – so long as you don’t actually create any damage! 

What Is A Deposit Protection Scheme?

By law, all deposits (student accommodation deposits are legally treated as the same as all other types of tenancy deposits) taken by landlords need to be registered with a government-approved protection scheme.  These schemes act as a neutral third party and will keep hold of your money until you and your landlord have come to an agreement on whether or not you should get it back and if so, how much of it.

There are only three of these schemes in the UK: the Deposit Protection Service (DPS), Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), and MyDeposits. Before you sign the contract, check with your landlord that they use one of these schemes to protect your deposit. 

You can also check if the property is on record with one of those three companies by contacting them yourself. It will be on record if your landlord has indeed done what is required. If they haven’t, you may be entitled to compensation.

Student Accommodation Guarantors

What Is A ‘Guarantor’ In A Student Tenancy Agreement?

Most landlords will require every student tenant, even on a joint contract, to have a guarantor.  This is a person who agrees to pay your rent if, for whatever reason, you can’t make the payments. This is a worst-case scenario backup plan for the landlord and not just someone else you can rely on to pay your bills when you’re a bit skint.

Do You Need A Guarantor For Student Accommodation?

It depends on the specifics of the contract but it is usually required since it’s a sensible option for landlords – especially with students who typically don’t have an income beyond their student loan. The higher the rent payment, the more likely it will be that you need a guarantor.

Who Qualifies As A Guarantor?

A student accommodation guarantor can be anyone, but it is advisable to choose someone trustworthy. Most people go with their parents or a guardian, but it could also be an older sibling, an uncle, or a grandparent. So long as they have some savings themselves, and are willing to make the serious financial commitment of covering you for many months of rent if need be.

What Can I Do If I Can’t Get A Guarantor?

It may be the case that you just don’t have anyone in your life that fits that description. Also, sometimes the tenancy agreement requires that the guarantor be UK-based, and this can be a problem for international students. Depending on the landlord, there still may be some wiggle room. Here are two things you can try:

  1. Offer to pay rent in advance. If this is an option for you – i.e. you have a lot of cash sitting around that you can offer upfront – it is unlikely that the landlord will refuse this offer, depending on how many months you can pay at once.
  2.  Use a rent guarantor company. There are some companies that will provide the service of being a Guarantor for anyone for a fee. UKguarantor, for example, is a designed-for-students service that will price match any other company, so they seem like a good bet.

What Documents Does A Guarantor Need To Provide?

Usually your guarantor doesn’t have to be there in person, they can just sign the student tenancy agreement you give to them and provide a photocopy of ID like a passport or driving license. 

That should just about cover everything you need to know before putting pen to paper on that contract and officially becoming a tenant. When you’re ready to move in, head on over to our Moving Into Student Accommodation Guide to make sure you’re aware of everything you need to do upon stepping through the door as a new tenant.

Find Student Accommodation & Advertise For Free

If you’re still looking for student accommodation, search through our wide range of listings and find great student diggz in your uni town or city. Alternatively, if you have a place you’re looking to rent out, place a free advert and get your student property filled quickly. Both landlords and students can place free adverts!

 

 

Moving Into Student Accommodation Checklist

 

Student Accommodation Checklist

If you’re moving into brand new student accommodation and have been worrying about missing some important piece of admin, you need not look further than this student accommodation checklist. Since moving into halls is fairly straightforward and the admin and bills are mostly handled by the halls offices, this checklist will be most useful to those moving into private student housing.

Student Accommodation Checklist

 

Unpack Your Bags

With this student accommodation checklist to hand, I guess we should start with the obvious. You live here now, so get your stuff out your suitcase and start living. Maybe give your wardrobe and draws a little wipe down before you put your stuff in there too.

Plan To Get Your Security Deposit Back

Now, not all landlords are bad, that’s for sure, but it could be considered an unwanted formative experience on the road to adulthood to have to put in a shift just to prove that you deserve your security deposit back.

It’s all too common an experience to suddenly be told that those dents in your bedroom wall, that were there when you moved in (and were probably there ten years before you moved in!) were made by you and your housemates, and you now have to pay for the walls to be redecorated.

So, to give you the best chance of getting that money back in your hands, there are two things you should do upon moving in:

  1. Take pictures and make notes. Go around all the rooms in the house, trying not to miss any of the marks on the wall, dodgy door handles and loose fittings. Keep the pictures somewhere safe and email your landlord about anything that needs fixing, so you’re on record saying it was always that way.
  2. Check their inventory. You should receive this at the start of your tenancy contract. This should contain it’s own notes about the condition of the property  and the appliances that are fitted. Whilst it’s done by a third party, it won’t be as trustworthy as making your own notes. Either way, check it and make sure it’s in alignment with reality. Four years down the line you don’t want to be accused of flogging a fridge that was never there in the first place.

Perform a Safety Check

At the same time as checking for issues, make sure you test all the locks on the doors, make sure the windows close properly, and see if your alarm works (if you’re using one). Student accommodation is notorious for being an easy target for criminals and you want to be able to sleep well knowing your fort is protected from the baddies out there.

Ensure Your Student House Has A Gas Safety Certificate

It’s the landlord’s responsibility to make sure your student housing is safe to live in, but it’s always good to check they’re doing their job properly.

Every 12 months, all landlords are legally required to renew the Gas Safety Certificate (CP12) for all gas appliances in a property. Ask to see it, if you don’t already have it. It might go without saying, but an exploding house is the last thing you want when you’re studying for your finals.

Also, all gas work carried out in your home should be performed by a Gas Safe registered engineer, not just any old bloke your landlord hires.

Check The Smoke & Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors

Again, this is mostly the landlord’s responsibility, so don’t get worried about what you need to do. There should be at least one smoke detector on each storey of the house, so check those are fitted. There should also be a CO detector where there’s an appliance that uses a solid fuel source (wood, coal) but not gas, so the landlord doesn’t legally have to put one by your boiler or oven.

What is your responsibility, is to test that the smoke detectors work once in a while, for your own safety, and get a CO detector yourself if you’d prefer to be on the safe side.

If you’re in Scotland the laws are stricter on landlords – amongst other things, they should provide a CO detector for boilers. 

Get Your Utilities & Broadband Sorted

Perhaps you have your bills included in the contract, in which case you can skip this one. Otherwise, get your best headphones out to enjoy some top-quality ‘on-hold’ music tunes, as you can expect to spend many fun hours raving on the other end of the line with Virgin and British Gas. 

Check out our Ultimate Guide to Student Bills that covers everything from water to contents insurance, and our specific Guide To The Best Student Broadband Deals which will save you hours when shopping for a good WiFi deal and takes you through all the factors you need to consider.

Check Bin Collection Days

Important knowledge – unless you don’t mind sharing your house with rats. Put your postcode in here to find out your collection days. There may also be some specific rules around what to do with your bins in certain cities. The link should take you to the right council website where they detail all these things.

Register with a Local Doctors

Maybe you’re already signed up to the university GP surgery, but if not then this is a must. Here’s a handy NHS tool for finding your local GP. If you also take medication, get your prescriptions sent to a local pharmacy, so you don’t have to remember to get more packs whilst you’re home.

Memorise Your New Address & Postcode

Or at least put it in your phone notes. You probably won’t have to do this intentionally given that you will be repeating it about four times an hour when sorting out your bills, but you certainly don’t want to be unable to tell the cab driver where you’re going when you stumble out of the club at 4 am.

Decorate Your Room

Alternatively, leave it completely blank and depressing like a prison cell – I personally don’t care. But I suppose I’m here to help you, so try a site like this for cheap movie posters and stuff like that. Putting up photos of family and friends from home is also a nice touch – the FreePrints phone app allows you to get pictures on your phone printed and delivered to your door for low price and effort. The inaugural housemates trip to your nearest IKEA is also a lot of fun. Grab yourself a lava lamp and a rug and you’re golden. You also can’t beat some fairy lights, cliche as they may be – getting your lights right should always be the first thing you do when entering a room. 

Get The Essentials For Your House

Hopefully a few of your mates have brought some pans, crockery and cutlery along with them, but you’re bound to need a few things. IKEA also has your back here. Here’s a random list of things you might want to buy that you may otherwise realise you’re missing precisely when you need them:

  • a colander
  • a sieve
  • a knife sharpener
  • a measuring jug
  • a plug bank
  • clothes hangers
  • tupperware

You should also bulk-buy as much as you can and split the cost with your housemates for everything that you might share. You’d be very surprised by how much money you can save when you start buying as much as you can in bulk. You can visit Costco if there’s one local, or do it online at a store like Suma. Here’s a quick list of things you might not think of to buy in bulk for your student housing:

  • cans of chopped tomatoes
  • toilet roll
  • bin bags
  • breakfast bars
  • washing-up liquid
  • rice
  • tea bags
  • toothpaste

Draw Up A Cleaning Rota

You will soon discover that it is hard work maintaining any level of cleanliness in a student house for very long. Several jobs need doing several times a week and if you don’t divvy up the jobs in a regimented way, someone is going to end up unfairly carrying the burden and resenting the rest of you.

Living with people can be hard enough without any of this, so best draw up a plan that you all agree upon. This will also remind you to do certain jobs that you may otherwise forget, like taking out the bins or changing the dishwasher salt. 

So, that’s the end of our moving into student accommodation checklist. Follow all these tips and you should have no nagging thoughts keeping you up at night during your first nights in your new student housing. If you found our student accommodation checklist useful, you should also check out our Preparing For University Checklist for a wider look at everything you need before coming to uni.

Find & Advertise Student Accommodation

Still looking for a student property? Search through 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 Find Student Accommodation – Private Housing & Flats

 

How To Find Student Accommodation

If your curious how to find student accommodation, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide we’ll show you everything you need to think about beforehand, and all the steps you need to take to secure a nice, student home for you and your student housemate.

So you’ve decided to spend your next year at uni in a private student house or flat. Likelihood is you’re a first year student moving into second year looking to rent your first ever house. That’s a daunting task, but you’ve come to the right place. If this isn’t you, no worries, this guide will suit anyone looking to find student accommodation, who wants to make sure they have all bases covered before looking to rent a student home.

It can be difficult to know what you need if you’ve never had to do this before. It’s harder still to find student accommodation that meets those needs. You’ve then got to arrange viewings, make sure you’re on board with the landlord and estate agent situation, before negotiating rent and finally getting your signature on that prized tenancy agreement. We will cover all this and more right here, so hold on tight.

Before You Start Searching

When’s The Best Time To Start Searching For Student Housing?

The shortest answer is: the earlier the better. Ideally you know who you’re living with before Christmas, so you can get on the ball with booking viewings in January the following term and bag a student house not long after. This way you don’t miss out on the good houses, and don’t have to rush.

However, there are different trends in different parts of the UK. The above applies less if you’re in Northern Ireland or London. In this case, you should at least start viewings before March.

In Wales, South West England and the East Midlands, you should be well on your way by January, as students start looking much earlier.

If you’re preparing for uni, whether you’re going into halls or your first new house, check out our Preparing For University Checklist.

Finding Student Housemates

This is a tricky situation, whether you have loads of options or not enough. Though you’re basically an adult now, asking a mate if they want to live with you next year can make you feel like a 14 year-old again, asking your first girlfriend out. You don’t know if they’ve got plans already, or if they might outright reject you. If this happens to you, don’t worry, I still want to be your friend. If you’re the guy who has to reject that person they don’t want to live with, be nice about it, and don’t mess them around.

Either way, be brave, be vulnerable, and you’ll eventually find your way. Make sure you put yourself out there as soon as possible so you’re not left behind. It’s likely that someone from your halls, societies, course or even friends of friends will be looking for another person for their group. Living with your first year sweetheart is perhaps not so wise – but that’s just a mistake you have to make for yourself.

If you’re struggling to get a group together, have a look at the listings here to see if anyone is letting out a spare room in their student home. Living with strangers is no big deal – you may well make some good new friends and besides, you’ll be pretty busy with coursework anyway.

Once you’ve got your group together, create a WhatsApp group chat so you can communicate throughout the whole process, share links, and post pictures from the viewings. My friends still use the original group we put together six years ago.

Booking Viewings

Consider Everyone’s Preferences

Here’s a handy list of all the considerations you’ll want to agree upon together.

  1. Location. Do you want student accommodation close to campus? Close to town? Are there cycling routes? Bus stops close by? Do you value being in a safe area or are you looking to get into regular fights (only kidding)? Check out this interactive crime map to see how safe your future street is.
  2. Parking. Do any of your group have a car and do they need a space? How easy to obtain is a permit on the street if there’s no space?
  3. Entertainment. If you’re moving into student housing in a student-y area, then it’s likely to be just fine on this consideration. If not, check out the area to see if it’s a fun place to be in terms of pubs, bars, cinemas and the like.
  4. Amenities. A Sainsbury’s Local and a kebab shop might be good enough for you, but perhaps the more sensible ones in your group want a bigger supermarket nearby – or a cheaper one, a good Lidl can be a life saver, just avoid the potato salad.

Student Landlords Or Student Agents?

Landlords own the property, agents just look after them, acting as middlemen. Going directly to landlords can reduce the rent price, as agents take commission from the rent, driving up the cost for you.

Using an agent, on the other hand, is generally a safer bet. Check the agency’s website to see if they are listed as members of a government-approved scheme to deal with complaints – they should belong to an ombudsman service.

Make sure to use a website aimed at students that pull lettings into one place, so you get a fuller choice which encourages competitive pricing. We here at DiggzHunter do this and understand students’ needs more than a general property site.

How to arrange a viewing

Once you’ve found a few listings you like the look of on the site, you can inquire about them, ask any questions you might have, and eventually arrange a viewing. You will need to register an account to inquire, which you can do here.

If there are quite a few of you looking to live together, booking a viewing might be hard to fit everyone’s timetables. If only one or two of you can attend a viewing make sure you ask questions on behalf of the others.

Take plenty of photos and videos and make notes and send them all to your group chat. If you’re super keen you can make a spreadsheet to help you decide between them.

Here’s a handy checklist of everything you need to keep an eye out for when looking around your potential new diggz. Make sure to always check ceilings for signs of damp and mould, see if there’s sufficient plug sockets, and if whitegoods and appliances are included.

Sealing the Deal and Moving in

Rent Negotiation

The advertised rent price isn’t necessarily a take-it-or-leave-it type offer. If you can present a good case for a lower price, you might as well try and haggle yourself a better deal. Just don’t take it beyond reasonable limits; low-balling people is a waste of everyone’s time.

Be clear on the additional fees you may have to pay. Security deposits, holding fees and agency fees can take people by surprise, so best find out precise figures upfront.

It might be a good idea to go for places where the landlord includes the bills. You can learn more about this option and other ways to cut energy bill costs in our guide to cheap student bills.

Knowing how to save money on bills in advance, you can increase your rent budget and secure yourself a nicer home.

Signing the tenancy agreement

If you don’t even read your seminar prep materials, you’re even less likely to read your tenancy agreement. You didn’t sign up for a law degree, I know, but this would be a big mistake. It’s important for you and your housemates to take the time to see that everything is as agreed upon, and no sneaky clauses are hiding in the small print. For instance, you don’t want to find out in June that you have to pay rent for your house through the summer even though you’re back at home.

It’s also best to get one of your parents, especially if they have a professional background, to take a look at the contract before you put pen to paper. The more experienced eyes are on it, the better. You may also need a parent or guardian to sign an agreement as a guarantor. This is someone who legally agrees to pay your rent if, for whatever reason, you can’t afford to do so.

Moving In

Once finalised, get a moving-in date that suits you and your new housemates. Try not to have too much of a fight over who gets the best rooms. It’s not unusual to ask if some people are willing to pay a higher share of the rent for a nicer room, which makes things a little fairer. Alternatively, you can have a giant rock-paper-scissors tournament or pull names out of a hat.

Make sure to take pictures of any pre-existing damage it doesn’t get pinned on you when your contract’s up. It can be hard enough trying to get back a security deposit without this.

Once you’ve moved in and got settled you can start enjoying your new pad. Oh wait – you don’t have any WiFi and the boiler’s not coming on. Don’t worry though, get yourself a cuppa and a digestive and take a peek at our Ultimate Guide To Student Bills.

Find Student Accommodation & Advertise For Free

If you’re ready to start looking, search through our wide range of student accommodation and find great student diggz in your town or city. Alternatively, if you have a place you’re looking to rent out, place a free advert and get your student property filled quickly. Both landlords and students can place free adverts!

 

 

 

Student TV Licence – Everything you need to know about UK TV Licence

 

Student TV Licence

If you’re a student who’s wondering about whether they need a TV Licence, how much it costs and, of course, if it’s possible to  get away without buying one, you’ve come to the right place. Here you will find all the information you need, including the much-coveted Student TV Licence loophole.

 

The Questions We’ll be Answering:

Let’s get started!

Do Students Have to Buy a TV Licence?

Unfortunately, yes, there are no exemptions for students. There’s no free Student TV Licence, University TV Licence, nor a student discount available on UNiDAYS.

You can enjoy your student bank account, 16-25 Railcard, and your discounts at literally every high street and online store, but annoyingly, The TV Licence is, if you choose to buy one, another cost on your student bills list.

Legally your supposed to have a TV Licence When:

  • Watching or recording programmes shown live on TV on any channel
  • Watching or streaming programmes live on any platform – including but not limited to All 4, ITV Hub, Amazon Prime Video, Now TV, Sky Go and YouTube
  • Using iPlayer at all – all features including live, catch up and on-demand

You may have noticed that you don’t need a licence for any on-demand viewing, on any platform, except BBC iPlayer. So you can binge away on any non-BBC content as long as it’s not live.

How Much Does a TV Licence Cost?

It currently costs £159 per year for a colour TV Licence – or if you’re totally broke, or an insufferable hipster, you can pay £53.50 for a black and white licence. This is seriously an option. Apparently, there are still around 6000 black and white licences active in the UK.

If you suffer from blindness or have severely impaired eyesight, you only have to pay a concession price of £79.50, which makes a lot of sense. Although instead of getting reduced fees, maybe you should be paying more for the pleasure of never having to properly watch an episode of The Only Way is Essex and view a never ending barrage of trout-pouts!

Remember that you have to renew it 12 months from the date you bought it.

I know, student bills suck, but at least this one can be split between all your housemates. You can also pay in quarterly fees to break up the cost. There is, however, a £5 surcharge for doing this.

Do you need a TV Licence if you’re renting a Student Spare Room or sharing a Student Home?

Basically, you need one licence per tenancy agreement.

So, if you live in a shared student home, with each housemates names on one tenancy agreement, you only need one licence to cover the whole property.

If you live in a shared home or rent a spare student room in a property, with your own tenancy agreement, you’ll need your own TV licence. This also applies to lodgers or anyone paying rent separately from others in the property.

Do I need a TV Licence if I’m in Student Halls?

No – if your parents home (or whatever your out-of-term address is) has a TV Licence, then you are covered by them as long as you don’t use devices powered directly from the mains or connected to an aerial. So portable devices and laptops are covered.

Your student halls will likely have a licence that covers common rooms and other communal areas but if
you want to watch The Chase in your room instead of going to lectures, and your out-of-term address
doesn’t have a licence, you’ll need to buy one yourself.

Do I need a TV Licence to watch British on-demand TV like BBC iPlayer and All 4?

When it comes to on-demand content: yes for iPlayer and no for others. Live content needs a licence for all platforms, iPlayer needs a licence for live or on-demand or any other use.

Do I need a TV Licence if I watch Netflix?

No, you do not need a TV Licence for any use of Netflix since none of it is live. You only need a stepbrother
or friend to pay your subscription, a good memory for passwords and a shameless attitude.

Compare the best digital TV and streaming service and find a great deal

Can Students Use a TV Licence Loophole?

Let’s face it, when you clicked on this article you immediately scrolled to this question. I don’t blame you –
Doctor Who has really gone downhill, Eastenders has always been garbage and on top of all that you’re a bit skint.

Most of us don’t want or enjoy paying for a TV licence and at the end of the day it’s a personal decision.

What we would suggest is, if you value listening to tunes on BBC Radio without annoying adverts, watching David Attenborough continue to save the planet well into his 90s, and enjoy watching Match of The Day without the need advert interruptions, then consider contributing.

If you do indeed not care for any BBC Television or Radio shows, you can just stick to on-demand content on other platforms. This way, your not legally required to purchase a licence. Remember though, that even on-demand content on BBC iPlayer requires a licence.

If you need to watch live TV without a licence here’s a nice student TV loophole or two:

  1. Unplug your TV: If your TV isn’t plugged into the mains or an aerial socket, there’s absolutely no way to prove you were using it to watch any programmes. Just make sure you unplug it every time you’re not using it.
  2. If your out-of-term address is covered by a TV license, you can watch TV on any portable device that isn’t powered directly by the mains. So if you only use your laptops and phones in your student house, you’ll be just fine.
  3. Download iPlayer shows in places that are covered by a licence, and then go home and watch them offline. Untraceable.

Once in a while, they may send an inspector round to have a look at your house.

Can They Detect If I have a TV Licence?

Here’s the real TV Licence loophole: they (mostly) can’t. Of course, they have a database of all addresses who haven’t bought a licence, but they have no idea whether or not those addresses are breaking the law or not.

They likely send a letter every so often to all properties on that database and make the letter look scary and foreboding even though they don’t actually know if you watch TV or not.

Can a TV Licence Officer Enter Your Home?

No, they can’t enter without a police-issued warrant. If an officer happens to knock on your door, they have no legal right to enter your home and your not obligated to answer any of their questions. We’ve heard reports of some officers using intimidation and bullying tactics to force there way into peoples homes.

We would suggest simply telling any officer politely who may knock on your door, that you don’t watch any TV, thanks them for their time and close the door. Normally at that point they will leave, although may suggest they will get a warrant which they very rarely do.

If they persist in knocking, simply pop your head out the window and inform them you know your legal rights and responsibilities and will report them if they continue on

Be mindful though, if an inspector came to your door and the sound of canned laughter was blaring in the background and they can see your TV bright as day through the window and you were holding the remote control in your hand and wearing an ‘I Own A TV’ t-shirt and you denied him entry and said you don’t have a TV and then pissed on his shoes… then they’d probably have grounds to get a warrant to search your house. But otherwise, unless they somehow had very good evidence you were watching TV.

What is the Punishment for Getting Caught Without a TV Licence?

If you’re one of the unlucky ones (and didn’t follow our advice above) then you risk prosecution and a fine of up to
£1,000, plus any costs or compensation you are asked to pay and the cost of the licence. You won’t go
to prison, though, unless you persistently refuse to pay the fine, or did actually urinate in the TV Licence guys shoes.

Can Students get a TV Licence Refund?

Yes. You can request a refund if you won’t need your licence before it expires, and you have at least one full month before the expiry date.

You can apply for your refund here.

To receive a refund, you just need to meet the criteria in the checklist and provide the required evidence. You also need to apply two weeks in advance of the date you want it to stop. If you’re applying for a refund for a licence that has already expired, you can apply if it expired less than two years ago.

What Happens To My TV Licence If I’m Moving Properties?

If you’re moving student accommodation or home, you can just update your address online here and that will automatically transfer your licence over to your new student property.

If you’re moving to a student home that already has a TV Licence, you can either leave it or get a refund for the
months you will not be using it. See above for more info on refunds.

Conclusion

So there you have it. Everything a student could wish to know about TV Licencing regulations. Now you
can get back to your binging, safe in the knowledge that you’re not going to prison just yet.

Check out some our other articles on student bills and other ways to save money

Ultimate Guide to Student Bills

Best Student Broadband Deals

Choosing Student Accommodation Checklist

Find & Advertise Student Accommodation

Still looking for a student property? Search through 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!

Cheap Student Bills – 10 Ways to Save Money On Energy Bills

 Cheap Student Bills

One of the biggest drains on many students homes is the energy bills. Apparently, an average-sized UK student household will spend around £90 a month on gas and electricity. In this part of our student bill series, we offer some quick and painless ways to make the dream of cheap student bills an actual reality.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ‘Student’ as ‘One who is often broke!‘. Even if you don’t feel all that broke, rest assured, if you’re a UK university student, then, you’re probably broke!

By the time we’re done with university, most of us anyway, will have a debt of around £50k in loans to pay back and yet somehow the ‘maintenance loan’ we receive from Student Finance is only enough to maintain our poverty.

It could be argued, that we could all spend less money on nights out, taxis, microwave meals and streaming subscriptions – but then, what would be the point in going to uni in the first place?

As much as our energy bills can drain our bank account, there are certain things we can do and ways to manage that drain which would significantly cut down the overall costs. Sound like something you’d like to learn more about? Then read on for student money saving tips, so hot your radiator will look embarrassed!

Ten Tips For Cheap Student Bills

 

Tip #0: Use Your Common Sense

This isn’t really a ‘hot tip’ as such, but some of you may need to hear these:

  • Don’t set your thermostat to 24C and then sit in your underwear when you could have just put a hoodie
    on.
  • Don’t leave windows wide open (especially when you go out!)
  • Don’t leave the lights on in rooms you aren’t using.
  • Turn off plug switches for any appliances you’re not using.
  • Turn the boiler off when not at home, even if it’s just for a few hours.
  • Don’t block your radiators with furniture or clothing.
  • Take showers instead of baths as they use less heat as well as water.

If these tips and ideas are new and interesting to you, then prepare to have your mind blown with the tips which follow… let’s continue!

Tip #1: Get Your Bills Included in the Rent

If you haven’t yet accepted a tenancy agreement for the academic year, try to look for student accommodation where the landlord includes the energy bills as part of the rent, in a cheap student bills package.

Besides simplifying your outgoing costs and preventing arguments amongst your flatmates, it means you can blast the radiator and leave the lights on all day and not have to worry about anything – except, of course, the poor polar bears.

The rest of the utilities, like your water usage will also likely be included. Just make sure you inspect the contract carefully for any usage limits, so there’s no nasty surprises when the fridge turns off halfway through the month.

Spare student rooms in a private household can be a great option, as bills are usually bundled with the rent.

If included bills isn’t on the cards, asking for the energy-rating of the property, which accounts for the quality of radiators, windows and insulation – is a smart consideration to make before deciding to rent somewhere. The range is large: from A to G; so make sure you’re somewhere near the start of the alphabet at least.

Tip #2: Shop Around for the Best Deals

If you end up having to pay and manage your own energy bills, don’t fret, there are still savings to be had if you’re willing to put the work in and do some research.

Sadly, an entire third of the country’s household population have never switched energy providers. Half haven’t switched in the last three years. Those households are missing out on potential savings of £320 per year.

Use comparison sites like MoneySupermarket to compare prices and keep those profit-hungry energy monoliths in check! This is basically activism, and woke, activist students are far more successful on Tinder.

— Learn more about comparing energy providers and finding the best deals

Tip #3: Take Your Own Meter Readings & Avoid Estimates

In addition to never checking if they’re even getting a good deal from their provider, on their price per unit of gas and electricity, most households also let their provider estimate their usage. This means the provider assumes your usage based on factors such as past usage, local weather and building insulation and then charges you based on that.

Your student accommodation could have been empty and unused for days but the energy provider would assume you were using heating, etc. as usual. You could be following all the common sense tips – diligently switching off lights and appliances – and they may well be assuming usage based on past care-free student tenants.

This is obviously less than ideal. If your unsure how to take a meter reading or not even sure where your utility meters are  located, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

How to take an Electric Meter Reading

How to take a Gas Meter Reading

Calculating your own energy usage may look lame, but it’s the holy grail of cheap student bills.

Tip #4: Bleed Your Radiators

Ensure radiators are bled so that they can run more efficiently. Bleeding means releasing the air that gets stuck in the system. Doing this requires a radiator key which you can buy online for less than a quid. This makes a big difference to any student money saving goals you have, also, your dad would be proud.

To get the gist of how to do it, you can watch this handy tutorial by the lovely Tony:

Tip #5: Want Cheap Student Bills? Use a Radfan!

The Radfan is a simple product that you mount on your radiator. It can be set up in 30 seconds and then runs itself by turning itself on when the radiator is hot, and off when it’s cold. It’s designed to improve the flow of convected heat around the room, thus reducing the amount of energy you need to pump into your radiator to heat your student home. They’re also lab-tested, and government funded which is pretty rad.

Find out more about them and take a look here to find a great deal.

Bonus Tip: They only fit onto the rectangular, metal, water-filled, classic-style radiators, so be sure to check before you order one.

Tip #6: Use Energy-efficient Electrical Appliances & Your
Electrical Appliances Energy-efficiently

  • Putting your appliances like your TV and Playstation on timer plugs will mean you don’t have to remember to switch them off.
  • Use your dishwasher, if you have one, as it apparently uses less energy than handwashing. Just make sure it’s full everytime.
  • If you have a washing machine, only use it when it’s loaded to capacity – coordinate with your housemates and have a laundry day together. Wash at 30?C, it works just fine with most detergents these days.
  • Don’t use a tumble-dryer as they’re horribly energy inefficient – a clothes rack will do. Swap out all your lightbulbs for energy-efficient versions. They’re a little pricier upfront, but last far longer, are cheaper to run and will save you loads of cash over their lifetime.
  • If your radiators are old-style electric heaters, consider asking your student landlord to update them. They use far more energy efficient than modern ones and they decrease the value of the property because they lower the overall energy rating – so it’s a win-win for you and your landlord.

Tip #7: Use Blankets, Hot-water bottles, and Cute Microwavable
Teddy Bears

Of course, you should always wrap up warm even when inside, so you don’t have to turn the thermostat up higher than it needs to be. But have you considered other cosy alternatives? Hot-water bottles are great, using one is like having a bath on the couch. Electric blankets may be even more energy-efficient. I am also unashamed to admit that I have a green dinosaur called Debra that I heat up in the microwave – you can buy these microwavable plushies online or in a store like Ryman’s. Debra smells like lavender too.

Tip #8: Exploit Your University’s Amenities!

The ultimate life-hack to get cheap student bills: make your university pay for them. Taking all of your devices – laptop, phone, tablet, camera, whatever, and charging them at the library is a pro move. Don’t feel guilty, you’re paying like £9000 a year, surely some of that is for some free, juicy electricity. Plus, it won’t hurt your academic prospects to spend a bit more time in that place now would it?

Hey, you could even take a few power-banks and portable batteries and charge ’em up there too, that way you can take the free, juicy electricity home with you too, it’s win-win. If only there was a way to steal their hot air…

Tip #9: Avoid Pay-as-you-go Energy Plans

Paying ad-hoc may feel cheaper, but just as with all subscription services, signing up for a longer-term contract will save you hundreds in the long run. It requires more admin on the part of the supplier and they pass the burden of that cost onto you – just avoid these altogether.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, a complete guide to getting cheaper student bills by saving costs on your energy bills. Follow every single one of these tips and the energy companies will be basically paying you. The polar bears will also express their gratitude for your environmental considerations.

Check out some our other articles for both student accommodation and money saving tips:

Best Student Boradband Deals

Best Digital TV Packages

Guide to Student Discount Cards

Find & Advertise Student Accommodation

Still looking for a student property? Search through 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!

 

 

Student Gas Bills – How to take a gas meter reading

Student Gas Bills

Many students who move from student halls into private accommodation, will for the first time, need to take a gas meter reading. Student gas bills can be expensive, especially as most students already have a tight financial budget. To help you avoid any excessive gas bills, in this part of our guide to student bills series, we’ll show you how to take a gas meter reading and how to calculate the cost of your gas usage.

What we’ll be covering:

Why do I need to Submit Meter Readings?

For the most part, gone are the good old days when energy companies would send their agents round, knocking on your door to read your meter. Now, most people let their energy suppliers estimate their usage. These estimates are based on past readings, temperatures, how well insulated your house is and a number of other factors.

But, as you may expect, these estimates’ may not always be so accurate. The smartest thing to do, especially if you’re struggling to stretch your student finance loans far enough to even afford a Maccy’ D’s, is to read your meters yourself and send your supplier your actual usage info. This way, you can be sure you are getting charged accurately for any student utility bills.

Sounds simple, but given the fact you’ve now entered the assault that is adulthood and responsibility, I’m sure you’re aware that there will be a few finer points to cover.

First step: locate your meter.

— Also Learn how to take an electric meter reading 

Where is My Gas Meter?

Most likely, your meter is on the outside of the property near to one of the doors. This makes them accessible for meter reading agents in order that they can easily read them. In more modern houses, the meter is typically found in a cosy little cupboard outside by the front entrance.

The second most common place, it on the inside porch or in a hallway, right near the front door.

Check these two places first as they’re the most common gas meter locations.

Still can’t find it? Got a basement? Check there. Garage? Check there. Cupboard under the stairs? Tell Harry Potter to shift over and have a quick check in there.

Odd Locations

It could be in more odd places though. If your student accommodation was once refurbished or any spare rooms rearranged, a former garage or porch could now be used as bedroom or kitchen. If those changes occurred, at some point in the past, the meter could well be in a random room in the house so look around.

Ran around every room, looked in cupboards and still can’t find it? Check your tenancy agreement. It may state the location in the handbook.

Failing all that, call your student landlord or agent, they should be able to tell you the meters location.

Types of Gas Meters

In student accommodation, and homes in general, there are a variety of gas meter types. To help identify which type of meter has been installed in your student home, here we’ll provide a brief description on each of the gas meter types and explain how you can take a meter reading.

Digital Metric Meter (five numbers to the left of a decimal point or space)

A digital metric meter will have a digital display that shows five numbers and then a decimal point, followed by some more numbers, which may or may not be in red. This is the most modern type of meter.

To read it:

  • From left to right, write down the first five numbers
  • Include any and all zeros
  • Ignore the numbers that come after the decimal point

Imperial Meter (four numbers to the left of any red numbers)

An imperial meter looks slightly older; it isn’t a screen but rather displays, separate black and white square numbers. The latter numbers will be in red and it may have some imperial unit of measurement on it – probably cubed feet.

To read it:

  • From left to right, write down the first four numbers
  • Include any and all zeros
  • Ignore the rest of the numbers in red

Dial Meter

A dial meter will have four or possibly more dials. Each dial will have a pointer indicating towards a number between one and nine. These are the most complex to read, but also, luckily, the least common.

To read it:

  • Read the first four dials from left to right, usually along the bottom row only
  • Ignore dials in red or in a different size to the rest
  • Write down the closest number to each pointer
  • If the pointer rests between two numbers, go with the lower number
  • If the pointer rests between zero and nine, write down nine

Note: Sometimes some of the dials run clockwise and some run counter-clockwise, don’t get cocky (or clocky) and just look at where the pointer points, like when you’re telling the time: just look at the number it’s pointing to.

TOP-TIP If you’re going through all the effort of reading the meter yourself, be sure sure you get it right, you don’t want to end up being charged extra on your student gas bills.

Smart Gas Meter

A swanky digital meter with cool graphics and a large display. Since it reads itself and sends the usage to your supplier, you don’t really need to read it. You can look at it if you’re convinced it’s sending the wrong readings, or if you’re just really really bored.

To read it:

  • There are many unique types but they’re all very simple to navigate and display the necessary figures clearly

There are a few bonuses to having a smart gas meter. You can literally see in real time the gas your property is consuming. This is pretty handy if you’re leaving the house for awhile and want to make sure the boiler and all your appliances are switched off; you can just check to see if the figures have stopped going up. You can also see if an appliance is consuming a disproportionate amount of gas – maybe something is wrong with it.

They are also very eco-friendly and allow you to keep a clear, real-time account of your gas usage. Very useful when it comes to keeping track of your student house bills.

How Do I Calculate My Student Gas Bills?

Your gas usage is typically measured in imperial cubic feet (ft3;) or metric cubic meters (m3;) depending on the type of meter.

The metric meters display part units as decimals, and the imperial meters display part units in red and or after a space. You can just ignore the part units.

Despite being measured in cubit feet; or metric cubic meters;, you’ll likely find you’re billed in kilowatt hours (kWh).

This means that if you want to see if you’re being billed correctly, you have to convert your readings into kWh.

Doing this requires taken a fair amount of  calculations. There are online Gas Bill Converters that will do this for you. So if your feeling lazy skip ahead and will outline how to use the online gas conversions.

If your a bit of a nerd though or just an aspiring scientist, who’s keen to perform your own calculations, here’s a quick run-through.

— Discover the Best Student Broadband and Digital TV Packages to find the cheapest deals!

Step One:

Firstly you’ll need to subtract your last meter reading from your current one to figure out how much gas you’ve used in that billing period. You’ll need your current and previous gas bills in front of you and a calculator for accuracy.

Step Two – only if you have an imperial meter:

If your meter is in imperial, you need to convert to metric. This is the conversion factor: 100 ft3; = 2.83 m3; . Your meter measures in hundred-units of cubic feet. If the meter says you’ve used 1 unit, you’ve actually used 100 ft3;. So just multiply your imperial meter reading by 2.83.

Step Three:

Multiply the figure by the calorific value of the gas. This give an indication about the quality of the gas used. The exact value will be on your bill. It should be between 38 and 41 megajoules per cubic meter.

Step Four:

Multiply that figure by 1.02264. This accounts for temperature and pressure and something about expansion of the gas due to heat, but best not to stress on the details and instead just do it!

Step Five:

Convert to kilowatt hours. To do this, divide your figure by 3.6.

Final Step:

Now you have successfully converted to kWh and taken everything you need to into account, you just need to work out what the final cost of the bill should be.

To do this multiply by the price per unit your energy supplier charges you, which will be on the bill. Once all complete, you will now have the total cost of the bill in kWh based on your own meter readings.

Gas Bill Calculators

As we mentioned before, with a quick google you can find many reliable, free Gas Bill Converters that will save you the work. In order to use these, you just need to type in your meter readings and the price per unit of gas that you pay.

The calorific value’ and conversion factor’ don’t vary that much so you can go with what ever is suggested. If you want to be more accurate, find these figures on your bill and type those in.

Once you’ve have the final figure, you can check and see if this matches up with what your energy company is charging you. If you’re being overcharged, call them up and explain that you believe there’s been an overcharge on your student gas bill. If you’ve been undercharged, well then, that up to you!

Student Gas Bills Summary

Now that you know everything you need about your student gas bills, from taking find your meter to taking a readying that’s one less thing you need to stress out about! You can now rest assured, that you’re being charged the right amount and you’re on your wat to becoming a fully functioning adult. Now go and treat yourself that Maccy D’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!

Student Bill Splitting – How to split your student bills

Student Bill Splitting

An issue almost everyone who attends university will run into at some point is how to go about sharing bills with your fellow students and roommates. Many disagreements have arisen through out the history of universities, the root cause of which, is student bill splitting!

While these bills may be small, most students find these expenses can quickly add up. Bills can include anything from the cost of your monthly broadband package to sharing the cost of a taxi.

As much as we would all like to be self-sufficient and be able pay for everything ourselves, as a student, normally that luxury isn’t really an option.

So what’s the best way to share bills? In this part of our guide to student bills series, that’s exactly what we’ll be answering as we take you through the best ways to split and share your student bills.

What we’ll be covering

Let’s get started!

The Best Bill Splitting Apps

One great way to split your student bills and share the responsibility of payments is by using a bill splitting app. For those of you who are short on time, see our top three recommended bill splitting apps as listed below.

Acasa

Settle-Up

Splid

For a more in-depth overview on these apps and further budgeting tips, keep reading!

Student Bill Splitting: Decide how to Split Bills

The first thing that anyone should do when deciding how to split costs amongst a group is to come to an agreement over what is fair amongst yourselves.

What’s considered fair will be different depending on what it is your splitting and who benefits the most from the use of the products or service.

Random Payments

As an example, you and your housemates may well decide to keep track of some expenses informally, figuring that in the long run everything will likely even out. This could include things such as group meals, trips to the cinema or any other spur of the moment situations that are hard to anticipate and create a budget for.

The best solution for these sort of scenarios, is to settle-up payments, as and when they occur.

Group Holidays

If your planning to go on a holiday as a group (as many student do), then it’s recommend to sort out any shared expenses before you hop on the plane and ensure everyone is one the same page.

A simple way to split holiday expenses, is to simply split up all  of the costs equally between each person. When you approach this, discuss the various options for sharing expenses. Be sure everyone agrees on an approach which works for everyone.

Sharing Student Accommodation 

If your sharing student accommodation, or renting out a spare room, then you’ll need to come to an agreement with your other housemates.  Most bills and expenses associated with student accommodation, will be payable in re-occurring instalments, which makes things easer when calculating and organise any bill payments.

The difficulty can come in deciding who pays for what. For instance, should everyone pay for a service which only one or two house mates use, or should everyone pay equal amount of heating if only one person keeps turning it on.

Some of the bills students sharing accommodation typically have to pay are:

Discover the Best Student Broadband and Digital TV Packages to find the cheapest deals!

Split the Responsibility

When paying these bills, one approach you can take is to split the responsibility for each of the bills between each housemate. Such as, one housemate would take responsibility for electric, another for gas, another for broadband and one for rent.

Once bill responsibilities have been allocated, each time a bill payment is due, the person who has been allocated responsibility to pay that bill, ensures each housemate has paid their share of the bill and that the bill is paid on time.

If you do 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. In some groups it may be best to have one person oversee this if they are the most reliable, which leads us to are next point, which is…..

Place all Housemates Names on Bills

This is the fairest way to share bills, and it also incentives everyone to pay on time, as 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.

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 legally responsible for an equal share of the bill.

Create a Joint Bank Account

Most people assume you need to be legally partnered to open a joint bank account. But you can in fact have multiple authorized users on most standard joint accounts. With a joint bank account, two or more housemates can manage the same account.

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.

You can often add an additional account holder to a current bank account by simply inquiring at your local bank branch. This is often easiest when still in the application process. Be on the lookout, as some banks will even run special promotions, such as offers of cash bonuses, for opening a new account.

Tracking Expenses

If the idea of doing the maths to figure out your monthly budget makes your head spin. Don’t worry, you’re not alone, budgeting can be an intimidating endeavour so don’t despair too much!

One option is to take advantage of the many budgeting tools which are available online. These tools and programs can help you to track and work out your budgeting and billing costs and are often free.

Each of the bill splitting apps we are going to discuss, also contain functionality which will help you track your expenses. This is one of the advantages of using a bill splitting app, as it removes the need for using other budgeting software and allow you to manage all your bills in a single location, saving precious time.

Of course, if you are already skilled at keeping a budget, feel free to continue using whatever system works best for you. One of the most important parts when creating a budget is being honest and sticking to it once created.

Comparing the Best Bill Splitting Apps

Now that you know everything you need about budgeting and the in’s and out of student bill splitting, let’s take a look and compare some of the best bill slipping apps.

What is a bill splitting app?

Bill splitting apps, as the name suggests, allow you to divide the cost towards any payments where a group of people need to share some sort of bill. They make is easy for groups of students, friends or housemates to contribute their share of any payments.

To use a bill splitting app, you can simply download it to your smartphone or tablet. Any bills you have can be split between multiple people, with each person being assigned their own cost to contribute. It’s also possible to connect them to other payment services such as banks account or payment providers allowing payment to be made quickly and easily.

How much does a bill splitting app cost?

Most bill splitting apps are offered as free or freemium services.  Paid for versions typically give you access to more features and wont display any ads.

Overall, bill splitting apps are actually quite cheap, with prices starting from £0.99 as a one time download or other charging 1 – 3% in transaction fees. When taken into consideration the headaches and hassle involved when trying to split bills yourself, it can be well worth it.

Best Student Bill Splitting Apps

Acasa

Acasa is available to download for both Android and Apple phones. It’s specifically designed to manage household spending offering a tailored solution for student housemates

Free to use, it can be configured to automatically handle all regularly occurring bill payments such as electric, gas internet and rent as well as manage and budget household items.

What’s to like:

  • 100% Free – Use at no cost
  • Household Bill Sharing – Specifically designed for sharing household bills and students housemates
  • Notifications – Send notifications on due dates, payments, and any service switchovers
  • Auto Payments – Set up to automatically pay any re-occurring payments
  • Track Budget & Expenses – Track budgets and any other type of expenses

Settle-Up

Settle-Up is available on multiple platforms, including Apple, Android, Windows and also provides a web version. It comes with both free and paid versions.

The free version will occasionally display adverts, while the paid version allows you to store receipts and offers enhanced customisation features with no ads.

A simple one step sign up process is all that’s required to start using the app. Using the app is reasonable straight forward with a very intuitive UI

What’s to like:

  • Bill Sharing:  Share bills with friends even those who aren’t signed up
  • Create Groups: Create custom groups to organise different expenses with different people
  • Send Reminders: Send expenses via e-mail, social media, WhatsApp, or any other channel
  • Great UI: Super simple user interface and splitting bills is a breeze.

Splid

Splid is available to download for both Android and Apple phones. It’s free version allows you to have one group of people to share expenses, otherwise you need to use the paid features.

It really shines if you use the paid version and can handle 20+ groups allowing you to easily share expenses with fellow students and download them as PDF or Excel files.

It’s primarily used for splitting up holiday expenses but can be used for bills too

What’s to like:

  • Converting Currencies: Convert and tally using 150 unique currencies
  • Download Files: Download a PDF or Excel file with a comprehensive summary of all the expenses
  • Create Groups: Multiple payees can be added to each expense

Final Thoughts

Thus, concludes our guide on student bill splitting and how to share bills amongst your fellow students and housemates. There was a lot to cover, from making and agreeing to a budget, to even the possibility of setting up a joint banking account.

Hopefully you’ve learnt a thing or two and with your new found knowledge will be able to take the stress out of managing your student bills, all while avoiding any disputes or disagreements.

Find & Advertise Student Accommodation

Still looking for a student property? Search through 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!

 

Student Bills Comparison – Switch to the Cheapest Energy Suppliers

Student Bills Comparison

As a university student, moving from halls into private student accommodation can suddenly mean needing to require an understanding of energy bills and how best to handle them. To help you out, in this part of our guide to student bills series, we’ll perform a student bill comparison, show you how to switch energy providers and show you how to get the best deals so you can save yourself some money.

We’ll be covering:

Cheapest Energy Suppliers

Whilst most students will just gloss over their student bills and accept any old set-up, there’s inherent value and benefit for those who take the time to learn how to manage their bills. As well as being an eco-friendly move,  it can also save you a good few hundred pounds each year.

If your in a rush and not concerned with learning all the ins and out, here’s the cheapest energy suppliers who offer the best value electricity and gas.

Bulb Energy

EDF

Greeneum

Utilising Comparison Websites

Comparison websites such as moneysupermarket.com are a great way to quickly compare energy prices based on current market values. By using a comparison website, you’ll quickly be able to see, potential savings between different services.

To perform a comparison on your student bills, simply enter the dates your tenancy will start and finish, then compare your current service to those suggested.

Another useful set of criteria to check when comparing energy supplies, is the customer satisfaction scores and green energy tariffs.

We advise utilising these comparison websites to search for the most competitive tariffs.

It may first appear that doing your own comparisons and switching directly would be the best way to get the cheapest deals, however, it’s worth mentioning, that not all energy suppliers will display the cheapest deals possible on their own websites.

Some of the best deals out there, are only available through comparison websites. In order to access these deals you’ll need to sign up directly through the comparisons site advertising the offer.

Top Comparison Sites

We recommend these comparison sites to find the best energy deals.

MoneySupermaket

Compare The Market

Using Auto Switching Energy Services

Auto-switching services are gaining a lot of popularity. These types of services will continuously compare the market for you and automatically switch you to the best energy deals available, meaning, your always saving money.

If you want to find the cheapest energy providers, with the least amount of effort, then auto switching services may be a good choice. Keep in mind you’ll likely need to pay for the service itself which is a cost you should factor in.

Before using any auto-switching services, check the following:

  • The Cost of the Service – The cheaper the service the less benefits and deals it may offer. You will need to balance out cost vs savings
  • Energy Suppliers and Deals – Not all energy suppliers and all deals are available with all services. Check which ones are available and most suitable based on your own needs
  • Terms and Conditions – Ensure you fully understand, under what conditions, a switch in service will occur

Best Value Auto-switching Services

We recommend these auto-switching services to automate your student bills comparison.

Switchd

Look after my bills

BillBuddy

Student Bills Comparison: How to switch?

So you’ve done your re-search and found a steal of a deal with a great energy supplier but your still not sure how to switch provider. Let us show you what you need to do.

To start with, you’ll need the following details to hand:

  • Your postcode
  • The name of your current energy supplier
  • Your current tariff
  • The tariff you wish to switch too
  • Your bank account details (if planning to pay by direct debit)

How to find your Electric Supplier

To find out who your electric supplier is, you’ll first need to know the energy network.

Use this Find Energy Network tool. It will provide you with the name and telephone number of your network operator. Once you know your network operator, contact them to find out who your electric supplier is.

How to find your Gas Supplier

Use the Find My Gas 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, as the supplier will use this to locate your gas meter.

Top 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. 

Once you have all these details, if switching directly, it’s then just a case of contacting up the energy supplier you wish to switch too.

If your going to switch using either a comparison website or auto-switching service, enter all your details and you’ll then be given a choice of tariffs to choose from. If your unsure about tariffs, keep reading as we’ll touch on this shortly.

Finalising the Switch

Once all information’s submitted and you’ve chosen your new energy supplier and tariff, the final step is to validate your agreement, confirm your switch, and your means of paying. Once everything agreed and verified.. it’s pretty much a done deal!

Top Tip – Paying via Direct Debit can save you not only money but also time, keep reading for further info on payment options.

Once complete, the switching process will now begin.

In the coming days, your new supplier will get in touch with you to confirm your switch-over date. The whole process of switching energy supplier can be fairly fast and reasonably straightforward, all in all, this can take upto 21 days.

If at any point you have a change of heart, it’s within your rights to contact your supplier and cancel within 14 days from the day you agreed to the contract. There’s no requirement to contact the former supplier, since your new supplier will be handling the switching process but it still might be worth informing your landlord.

You can expect to be switched to your new supplier without any interruption to your current electricity or gas supply or even your studies!

Further Info and Money Saving Tips

Tariff Types

There are three types of tariffs you can choose from. These are Fixed Rate, Variable, and Economy 7.

On a Fixed Rate tariff, you will be paying the same amount per unit of gas or electricity for the remainder of the deal which typically lasts for 12 months.

For a Variable tariff, the amount you pay can fluctuate. They track wholesale prices and the cost you pay per unit can go either up or down. Your supplier is entitled to change your rate at their own deaccession but is required to provide at least one months notice before any changes can take effect.

Lastly, the Economy 7 tariff means that you will be charged variable amounts per unit of gas or electricity depending on when you use them. For example, using energy at night costs less than using the same amount of energy during the day.

What ever tariff you choose to switch too, it’s worth checking the terms and conditions carefully to make sure you cover all bases and fully understand the potential costs.

How to avoid exit fees

If your on a fixed rate tariff and plan to leave earlier than agreed, to get out of the contract, there’s usually an associated exit fee.

To avoid paying exit fees:

  • Look for deals which have no exit fees
  • Wait until the last 49 days of your contract, as legally you cant be charged fees
  • Negotiate the exit fee when switching to a different tariff with the same supplier, some will waive the fee.

Dual Tariffs 

Take note that tariffs for gas supply are charged differently to tariffs for electricity supply. There are, of course, suppliers who offer both types of energy under a single contract.

The main advantage of due tariffs is that bills will be consolidated into a single payment. Some tariffs may also require an additional cost of installing a smart meter, so double check for these types of conditions before signing a contract.

Go Paperless

Going paperless is a good way to save some money, as well as helping the environment out. Instead of receiving a paper bill in the post, which lets face it, can get annoying as they pile up in heap in the hallway, you will receive and be able to view your bills online.

Setting up Direct Debit

Choosing to pay via direct debit could save you upto 10% with some suppliers. It also saves time as the payments will be taken out automatically. Just ensure you have sufficient funds in your account to avoid late payment charges.

If you do miss any payment though, don’t worry, most providers will give you some extra time to make the payment before turning the energy off or charging you extra.

How to prevent being overcharged

To prevent being overcharged, it’s a good idea to send your supplier regular meter readings. Taking regular meeting reading helps to ensure you only pay for the energy you consume during your tenancy.

If you have a Smart Meter installed, then the meter can send the reading for you, otherwise you will need to do it manually.

Learn how to read both your gas and elasticity meter. If  your not sure how to take meter readings or want to learn more about the different types of meters, check out our guides below:

How to take an electric meter reading

How to take a gas meter reading

Top Tip – On the first day you arrive and settle into your new student home, remember to take a picture of the metre readings. The reason for this will be explained later in the article.

Refer a friend schemes

Not only can you save some money, it’s also now possible to make some.

Quite a few suppliers offer financial incentives to both the referee and switcher. When selecting a provider check if they offer these types of rewards.

Who can change energy suppliers?

It depends on whether you are directly paying an energy company or not. If you are then, yes, you can choose your energy supplier and there is a consumer protection law that gives you that choice. Now, if your landlord pays the bills for you then it is their choice and it wont be something you need to worry about.

Your rent breakdown must include it as “bills included”. To be sure though, you should read through your tenancy agreement thoroughly and if still unsure reach out to your landlord.

Your accommodation will usually already have an assigned energy supplier before you moved in. If you are planning to make a switch, then it is a good practise to inform your landlord about it. Some tenancy agreements would even stipulate that you must revert back to the assigned energy supplier before you move out.

Student Bills Comparison – Conclusion

That’s pretty much everything and hopefully you have enough knowledge and information to carry out an effective student bill comparison strategy and save yourself some money.

When it comes to student bills there’s lots to learn and many ways to save money, so be sure to check out our other guides which form part of our student bill series.

Find & Advertise Student Accommodation

Still looking for a student property? Search through 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!

 

Student House Bills – The cost of student bills

Student House Bills

Moving from the protective bubble of student halls into real student accommodation can be fairly scary. What used to be a single lump sum payment, with all student house bills included, suddenly turns into multiple separate payments of rent, utilities, wifi, water and broadband.

Whether you’re in a flat of three or a house of nine, there are a few monetary considerations to be made when it comes to student house bills. To save you some time and possibly some sanity, we’ve put together a quick guide which covers all you’ll need to know about the cost of student house bills.

What’s the difference between rent and bills?

Rent

Rent is paid to gain the right to occupy (or live in) a property. This can be paid directly to a landlord or through a property management company. In most first-year halls, the money you pay to the property management company, covers the cost of both student bills and rent.

Bills

Student house bills make up and pay for necessities such as, clean and hot water, energy for electrical appliances and heating. They can also go beyond the needs of a property and can extend to things such as a stable WIFI connection and access to live TV.

While rent tends to be fixed, the cost of bills is priced on usage.

The three main student bills we’ll be touching on are:

– Gas and Electric

– Broadband

– TV Licenses

Student House Bills: Gas and Electric

Gas and electricity provide energy for items such as central heating, lighting, kitchen appliances, washing machines, fridges, kettles, and microwave etc etc.

For a property with four occupants, your utility bills can average at a cost of around £137 a month, which is equivalent to £1640 a year. Splitting this cost between four people would come to £34.25 per person.

Top Tip – Living with more tenants allows you to split the bills with more people.

Student House Bills: Broadband

These days, having good reliable internet is a necessity but it also comes at a price. The price you end up paying can really vary, depending on the provider and package you choose to go with.

Unlike utility bills, this will be a fixed monthly cost. The main element which determines the price of broadband packages is the speed and data usage.

It’s worth noting, there are packages available which do offer discounts for students. We did some research and found the average cost of student broadband to be £26 per household. If we split this out to a household of four people, then the price averages out at £6.50 per person.

One thing to consider when choosing a broadband package, is that having more people in a household using multiple devices requires more data usage which can quickly eat up data and reduce the overall speed. We advise going for unlimited package for households of more than 4 people.

If your interested in learning more, we’ve put together a detailed article explaining everything you need to know about broadband packages which will aid you in making your choice.

Broadband Package Cost Comparison

For a full comparison, check out our article – Best Student Broadband Deals 2021

Student House Bills: TV License

It costs £157.50 per year, for a TV license in the UK. You only need one TV license per household, so if you choose, you can have a TV in both your living room and bedroom at no extra cost. While it’s a yearly cost, you can apply for a refund during the summer months if you return home.

TV Licenses are needed when you:

  • Watch or record live tv, from any network channel such as BBC, ITV, Channel 4 etc.
  • Download or watch any shows from the BBC, including on BBC iPlayer

TV Licenses are not needed when you:

  • Stream from subscription-based sites such as Amazon Prime or Netflix.
  • Connect your game console and use any apps or watch DVDs.
  • Use a on-demand TV or video application to watch pre-recorded shows, such as All 4. (Bear in mind, if you watch any live TV programs on a service like All 4 live, then you still have to purchase a TV licence)

Splitting the cost for a four-person household, TV license would to £39.38 for the year, the equivalent of £3.29 per month, per person.

You can read more about TV Licenses HERE.

Reducing your costs

Insulation

Since your living in student accommodation, it’s unlikely you’ll have any say in the maintenance of the building. Your landlord wouldn’t be too happy if you decided to screw nails into the walls or repaint the living room yellow. But you can have a say in the house that you choose to move into.

Have a look at the insulation of the building. Does the student house use double glazing or single? You can ask questions about the heating: if you’ll have a smart metre (that will charge the exact amount of what you’ve used every month), how long does the house take to heat up, does the house lose heat quickly?

The answers to these questions can help you decide if your housing is efficient. The higher the efficiency, the lower the monthly utility bill.

Energy Efficiency Certificate

Another sure-fire way of knowing what you’re getting into. Landlords should have the information of house efficient the building is, depending on factors such as draught exclusions and double glazing.

As with before, the higher the efficiency, the lower the monthly utility bill.

Take advantage of student discounts

As mentioned, there a number of providers that have a range of packages. This also included discounts for students to utilise.

Check out Virgin Media and BT‘s discount deals here.

The early bird catches the student bill saving worm

Sometimes it’s not a bad thing to be tied into a contract! With alot of contracts, especially Broadband packages, monthly rolling tends to be more expensive than being in an annual contract.

Use only when you need

I don’t mean to sound like a Dad but, couldn’t you avoid putting the heating on by wearing a jumper? Using energy only when you need it can massively reduce your costs, and help you do your bit for the environment at the same time.

Turning the tap off when brushing teeth, taking shorter showers, turning off lights when leaving a room, avoiding daily timers, and just turning the Central Heating on when cold can all be great ways to reduce how much energy and water you’re using in the house.

Use subscriptions

Only you can decide if live TV is worth the money. While not a massive price, TV Licenses are restricting, and if you would rather pay for a wider spectrum of entertainment, streaming services tend to be better for your money.

You can cancel anytime without having to apply for a refund, and you have a wider array of shows, movies, and documentaries to choose from.

Replace the lighting

There are two types of lightbulb that we tend to use, Halogen and LEDs. Halogens tend to heat fairly quickly, whereas LEDs are made to use less energy, be brighter and cost a fraction of the cost of a Halogen bulb.

Opt for using LEDs in your lamps and overhead lighting to reduce the costs for the lighting.

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!

 

Student Bills – How to take an electric meter reading

student bills

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:

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.

Smart Meters

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!

Prepayment Meters

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Student Utility Bills – Guide to student house bills | Save Time & Money

Student Utility Bills

At some point, many university students will have the responsibility for setting up and paying their student utility bills. It’s definitely not considered one of the more  glamorous aspects of being a student. If it’s not something you’ve done before, it can also be fairly confusing, as well as time consuming.

To help save you some pain, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to student utility bills which will cover everything you need to know and hopefully save you some money!

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:

  • Electric
  • Gas
  • Water & Sewage

Then depending on individual circumstance, some students may also have to pay bills towards:

Discover the Best Student Broadband and Digital TV Packages to find the cheapest deals!

Energy Bills

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.

There are all sorts of meters out there for both gas and electricity. The way you read these meter’s can vary but fear not, we’ve put together some useful guides outlying the various meter types and how to read them, so be sure to check them out if it’s something your unsure about:

How to take an electric meter reading

How to take a gas meter reading

Steps to 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.

Contact Suppliers

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.

Compare and Switch Energy Providers

Whilst most students will just gloss over their student bills and accept any old set-up, there’s inherent value and benefit for those who take the time to compare their bills. Knowing how to compare and switch energy providers can save you a good few hundred pounds each study year.

Learn everything you need to know about comparing and switching energy providers in our Student Bills Comparison Guide.

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.

House SizeElectric Gas Combinded
1 - 2 Bed£45£44£89
3 - 4 Bed£70£69£139
5 Bed£90£89£179
7 Bed£110£105£215

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.

Learn ways to Reduce Student Costs  where we take a more in-depth looks at student housing costs

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 Responsibilities

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.

Apps like splitwise or splitoo allow you to request payments from each housemate, keep track of who’s paid, who owes what and provide notification for bill payment due dates.

Tips to save money on utility bills

  1. Ask about bills getting included in the rent
  2. Shop around for the best deals
  3. Always read the small print
  4. Choose the right traffic and contract length (Ideally 12 months max as a student)
  5. Sort your bills out as soon as possible
  6. Take regular meter readings & avoid estimates (Check out smart meters)
  7. Don’t set water and heating temperatures too high
  8. Ensure radiators are drained
  9. Don’t block radiators with furniture
  10. Use a radfan
  11. Take showers instead of baths
  12. Turn of lights and plug switches when not in use
  13. 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.

 

 

Preparing For University Checklist – What to Take | The Ultimate Checklist

 

Preparing for University Checklist

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
  • Stationery
  • Electronics
  • Kitchen Accessories
  • Bedroom Items
  • Bathroom Items
  • Clothing
  • 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

preparing for university checklist

  • 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

Uni Checklist: Stationary to take to uni

  • Pens and pencils
  • Highlighters
  • Rulers
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Scissors
  • Pencil Case
  • Calculator
  • 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 preparing for university checklist
  • Mouse
  • USB hard-drive or memory stick (Back up important documents)
  • Ethernet cable for laptop
  • Extension Lead
  • Spare Electrical Cables
  • Headphones
  • IPod or Airpod
  • Kindle or Notepad
  • Speakers (Portable)
  • Games console (You’ll regret it if you don’t!)
  • USB TV Stick
  • Batteries

 

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

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
  • Deodorant
  • Hairbrush or comb
  • Hair dryer
  • Hand towels
  • Bath towel
  • Dressing gown
  • Flip flops
  • Nail Cutters
  • Toilet roll
  • Sanitary products
  • Small medical kit
  • Medication

 

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.

Compare the best student discount cards and Save Money!

University Checklist: Health and Medicine

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
  • Multivitamins

 

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

  • Cash
  • Padlocks
  • Lighter or matches
  • Vape
  • Decent small bag for books etc (ruck sack, handbag, man bag)
  • Peddle bike (with strong lock-chain and helmet)
  • Water Bottle
  • Thermal Flask
  • Umbrella
  • 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

 

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.

 

 

Choosing Student Accommodation – Checklist

Chooosing Student Accommodation

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

Student Accommodation Requirements

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

Student Accommodation 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

Recording Student Home Viewings

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

Heating and Insulation

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

Student 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.

 

 

 

 

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