So it’s nearly the end of term, you’ve probably sorted your accommodation for the next academic year (it’s OK if not, see below!) and it’s a good time to consider some moving in tips from Liverpool Student Homes (LSH), your University Private Accommodation Service.
You want to make sure your tenancy runs smoothly as possible - who needs the extra hassle? The best way to do this is to start as you mean to go on.
- Take your first meter readings You don’t want to be paying the previous tenants’ bill! Supply the reading to your landlord, agent or energy supplier (if you are paying your bills directly). It’s a good idea to take meter readings every month to make sure your bills are accurate and not estimated, which can be higher than expected.
- Check the inventory
This should be supplied by the landlord or agent and details the condition of the property, fixtures and fittings at the start of your tenancy. Have a good look through it, check there are no missing items, that all appliances work properly and make a note on the inventory of any damage or broken items (take pictures). Once complete, return it to your landlord and request repairs.The inventory will be checked again at the end of your tenancy. If your landlord does not supply one, you can produce one of your own.
- Find out how to switch off the gas, electricity and water
This is important in an emergency! Your landlord or agent will be able to show you if you’re unsure.
- Check the appliance manuals
You don’t want to break something and end up having to pay for a replacement, so make sure you know how to use everything correctly.
- Does the property have a TV licence?
Check your tenancy agreement to see if your landlord has provided a TV licence for the property.You will need one to watch or record programmes as they’re being shown on TV or live on an online TV service. This could be on any device. More details can be found on the TV Licensing website
- Be considerate to your neighbours
Introduce yourself! It’s a great way to start on a positive with those living around you. Be respectful of their properties, adhere to any parking restrictions and avoid any loud behaviour. If you’re going to have a party, keep it under control and set a reasonable finishing time. Also, let your neighbours know in advance, keep windows and doors closed to reduce noise.
- Bins and collection days
Infestations of rats, cockroaches, maggots, flies and other vermin can happen if rubbish is not disposed of in the correct way. Know which bins are for what and put them out on the correct collection days.
- Reporting disrepair during your tenancy
Report any disrepair as soon as possible to your landlord or agent in writing so that you have a record. Any conversations should be backed up with an email with details of what was discussed and agreed. Doing this will help to reduce the chance of disagreements at the end of your tenancy and deductions from your deposit.
Still looking for that perfect property?
Don’t worry there’s no need to rush, there is a surplus of private student accommodation so you can take your time.
The University recommends that you search for properties with Liverpool Student Homes as it is a service owned and managed by University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool Hope University, LIPA and their respective student unions. LSH advertise the largest choice of private student accommodation in Liverpool and is dedicated to helping students find good quality private accommodation. To advertise student accommodation with LSH, private landlords/agents must meet a strict criteria called the LSH Standards, which is similar to an accreditation scheme. Visit www.liverpoolstudenthomes.org to search for a property.
What if things go wrong?
LSH provides free, confidential housing rights advice for students renting privately in Liverpool. They can help with problems such as disputes with your landlord, property disrepair, not being able to get your deposit back, condensation and mould, your rights and responsibilities. To request advice visit:
Contact Liverpool Student Homes:
LSH, 5 Oxford Street, L7 7HL (on campus, behind the Metropolitan Cathedral). Office open Mon-Fri 9.00-4.30pm.