What are the first things you need to do when moving into your new accommodation? Use our check-list!
Here is a quick list of the first things you should do when moving in to your new accommodation:
1. Take all meter readings and report them to the utility companies.
If utility bills are not included within your rent, make sure that the first thing you do on the day you enter the property is take pictures of all the meter readings for utilities (i.e. gas and electricity). Be sure to get all the meter readings you can and contact the utility companies to report them that same day. It is also important to ensure that the Account Holder name is correct and that the utility companies know how to contact you.
2. Check the fire alarms.
Ensure that all of the fire alarms contain batteries and are in working order.
3. Check for/install a carbon monoxide detector.
A carbon monoxide detector should be installed, check that is in working order.
4. Find the mains water stop-cock and fuse box for the electricity supply.
In the case of an emergency, or if repairs need to be made by an engineer, It is important to know where these are. If you can’t find them, ask your Landlord.
5. Check through the inventory and report any defects to the Landlord or Managing Agent of the acommodation.
You should be given an inventory when you move into your property. An inventory is a list of the rooms in the house – stating the standard of décor and furniture provided with the tenancy. Note down any defects that you see in the rooms; e.g. damage to any furniture, scuffs on the walls, cracked tiles or any other issues. Be sure to check that all light switches and plug sockets are in safe working condition, that all the plumbing works well, if there are any ceiling cracks or signs of damp and also check the state of any household appliances (i.e. the oven, microwave, washing machine and dish washer). It would also be beneficial to take photographs of each room, and any of the defects that you have noted. You normally need to return the inventory to then Landlord or Agent within 7 working days of moving in - however the sooner you return it the better. If you don't report any defects which are there when you move in, you could be charged for the damage when you move out - even if it was there before you moved in! So it is really important to be thorough when reviewing the inventory when you move in.
6. Update your term-time address and apply for Council Tax exemption via your online Student Record.
Log on to your Student Record, update your term-time address to your new address and in the "Updates" section click on "Council Tax Exemption" and follow the instructions. Once submitted via your Student Record, the university will administrated your exemption request and your exemption certificate will be e-mailed to the local council (and you will be copied in to the e-mail so that you can retain a record of the exemption).
7. Purchase a TV Licence and contents insurance.
If you watch, record or stream any live TV from any channels (or watch any content on BBC iPlayer) you must have a TV Licence. If you are in halls of an individual tenancy agreement in off-campus accommodation, you will need to purchase your own TV Licence. If you live in off-campus accommodation with a joint tenancy agreement, then you can purchase one TV Licence to cover the whole property. It is also wise to purchase contents insurance to protect your belongings; make sure you get the best deal by using comparison website to get mutiple quotes.
8. Notify your GP Surgery about your change of address.
You can notify the University Medical Centre, or any other Doctor's Surgery, by completing and submitting a ‘Change of Address’ form.
9. Check your Tenancy Agreement to know what your are responsible for within the property.
Are you responsible for maintaining the garden? Are you responsible for any other maintenance tasks? Are there any areas of the house which you are not allowed to use or access? It is vital that you are familiar with all the conditions of your tenancy agreement.
10. Check that you know how to contact your Landlord or Managing Agent if there are any issues in the property.
You should be provided with the address details for your Landlord within your tenancy agreement - however it is also important to have either a telephone number or e-mail address to be able to contact them quickly if there are ever any problems within the property which require urgent assistance.
We hope that you enjoy your new accommodation and if you require any further support or information, you can always contact Hertfordshire Students' Union Advice & Support; our Advisors are available Monday to Friday, 10:00-16:00, (excluding bank holidays and University closed days) and we are always happy to help.