YOUR STUDENT SURVIVAL GUIDE
All you need to know about living in your house and taking the steps to be in control!
CONTENTS 4 - Contacts
15 - Moving out
5 - Introduction
16 - Getting Involved with your community and staying safe
6 - Inventory and deposits 7 -Deposits 8 -Inventory checklist 10 - Yours and your landlordâ€™s reponsibilities/rights
17 -Local community groups 18 - Student Community Wardens 19 - The Big Give 20 - Safer neighbourhood team
11 - Mould and damp
21 - Subu Advice
12 - Bins and noise
22 - Travel
13 - Getting on with people
23 - Safety
14- Housing for next year
24 - Last top tips
firstname.lastname@example.org - GEORGIA email@example.com – CHARLIE firstname.lastname@example.org – DANIEL
If you want to prevent your deposit being taken off you at the end of the year read this quick guide!
We are Georgia, Charlie and Daniel your SUBU Vice President Community, Vice President Welfare and President at SUBU. This guide gives you advice on how to take the necessary steps in preventing your deposits being taken at the end of the year. It also gives you tips on how to get on with your neighbours, bills and dealing with estate agents or
landlords. Weâ€™ve been in the same boat as you so give this a quick read, take the steps and if you have any questions please donâ€™t hesitate to contact us. Come visit us on the 1st floor of the SUBU Centre on Talbot campus or the ground floor of Studland House on Lansdowne campus.
INVENTORY AND DEPOSITS INVENTORY
An inventory is a list of everything in the property and is provided by your landlord. It should be done within a week of moving into the property from your tenancy start date! (Speak to your landlord if you are moving in after the tenancy start date).
Example of items: • • • •
Furniture Carpets Curtains Appliances
It also includes recordings of: • • •
Damages Marks Worn furniture before moving in
Your landlord must provide an inventory for when you move in at the start of your tenancy as usually you only have seven days to fill it out before it becomes invalid. If your landlord does not provide one, make the inventory yourself (templates can be found on the shelter website https://england. shelter.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_ file/0004/23359/Inventory.pdf) Make sure you inform your landlord that you have made the inventory (if you do not have your landlord’s contact details, speak to your agency). Remember! PHOTO’S PHOTO’S PHOTO’S – Evidence is key for gaining your deposit back at the end of the year so make note of the condition of the property as soon as you move in. Make sure you include photos and send them to your landlord or agent to agree. Ask an independent witness
(someone who doesn’t live in the property) to sign it. Then send a copy of it all to your landlord (make sure you keep a copy). All these steps help avoid disputes over deposits when you move out because it proves the state of the property when you moved in. Before signing the inventory check it carefully, make sure you include every chip, mark, damage within the house which isn’t listed on the inventory your landlord has provided - BE THOROUGH!
A tenancy deposit is a fee you pay which gives your landlord protection against you leaving the property without paying rent or for any damage you cause.
If you’ve paid all the rent due and caused no damage (backed up with evidence from your inventory at the start of the year) your full deposit will be returned to you at end of your tenancy.
Your landlord can reduce the amount you receive back, based on house losses e.g. damages.
Your Landlord MUST protect your deposit by a government backed scheme such as MyDeposits and provide you with information on this within 30 days of receiving your deposit.
You do not have to pay for your deposit to be protected.
If it is not protected, your landlord can be fined and it can make it difficult when ending your tenancy
Each deposit protection scheme has an alternative dispute resolution service which is free and aims to resolve issues without going to court.
If you are in a dispute over deposit write to the scheme which is protecting your deposit and they may be able to offer a resolution. Your deposit is yours until proven otherwise.
TICK ALL 6 BOXES
Complete inventory within seven days of tenancy start date.
Make yourself an inventory if you don’t have one then inform your landlord by EMAIL as evidence for not being provided with one.
Check your inventory thoroughly! All furniture and appliances need to be accounted for and placed in the correct place within the property e.g. bowls, cups counted and that scratches/ marks on furniture and walls noted. IF YOU DON’T STATE EVERYTHING OR SOMETHING IS INCORRECT YOU MAY BE CHARGED AT THE END.
Sign and date it with an independent witness to sign and date.
Take photos of absolutely everything! Every mark, every scuff, every tear and attach them with the date and sign it to your inventory checklist..
Send the inventory back to the landlord (keeping a copy of everything for yourself), if you don’t it will be assumed you accept what it says (do this within seven days of tenancy).
You change your address with your bank, BU, Student Finance and anything else you can think of if it bothers you not having mail sent to your term time address.
Record gas and electricity meters and a water meter if you have one (maybe record them on your inventory). A key should be given to you to check the metre readings (this prevents you being charged extra for your bills).
Make a note of bin days – in Bournemouth there are three types of bins (general waste, recycling, food waste but it varies). Ask your neighbours if you’re unsure.
Make sure you know where your deposit is being held under which deposit protection scheme and by law you should be told within 30 days of them receiving your deposit.
Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detector if you have one (it’s a legal requirement to have working smoke alarms). Record it on the inventory if you don’t have one and inform agent/landlord.
Make sure you have a gas safety certificate. In a house of multiple occupancy (HMO) it’s a legal requirement to have an energy performance certificate too.
Introduce yourself to neighbours, it’s only polite, they’ll appreciate it, exchange numbers, keep on each other’s good side if you have any parties. By having your number they can contact you rather than the Uni if they have issues with noise and vice versa.
Remove your letting board and let agent know. There’s no legal requirement to have it up, leaving them up highlights you as a student house.
THEN YOU’RE GOOD TO GO AND ENJOY YOURSELF IN YOUR NEW HOME, KNOWING YOU’VE DONE EVERYTHING TO PROTECT YOURSELF.
YOU AND YOUR LANDLORD’S RESPONSIBILITIES/ RIGHTS LANDLORD RESPONSIBILITIES: •
Give 24 hours notice if they want to visit the property.
Carry out repairs in a reasonable time once notified.
Take responsibility of general maintenance.
Meet required safety standards e.g. providing smoke alarms/ gas safety certificates.
Protect your deposit with a government approved scheme.
Not allowed to end your tenancy without following correct procedures.
Cannot change the terms of your agreement without all parties agreeing.
Paying rent/ bills on time (otherwise you could be charged extra).
Taking care of the property e.g. prevent damages, mould accumulating.
Sticking to tenancy terms.
Giving landlord access to property so long as 24 hours notice has been given.
Take the reasonable steps to remove mould.
DAMP AND MOULD
Mould is extremely common in all houses, it’s usually caused by condensation. Sometimes it can be the landlord’s responsibility (in which case you can speak to SUBU Advice they can point you in the direction of environmental health). If it is caused by poor insulation of the property, the landlord can act against mould in your property for you by: •
Providing a dehumidifier.
Installing adequate ventilation
You can follow these tips to prevent mould: •
Increase ventilation (open windows and use extractor fans provided).
Close kitchen door when cooking.
Cover boiling pans.
Keep door shut when showering and after, again use extractor fan and open window.
Drying clothes outside or in a room with a window open.
Keeping the heating on a low constant temperature (increase heat as and when required). This eliminates cold surfaces and won’t increase your bills because a room is more expensive to heat from cold.
Move large items away from walls e.g. wardrobe.
Buy mould killer/ bleach and a sponge and wipe off the mould on walls, catch it before it spreads more and keep up the maintenance of this. If you ventilate properly and keep using the bleach it will stop growing back.
BINS AND NOISE BINS You can find your bin emptying day online •
Contact your landlord to arrange an extra bin for you if you are living in a large shared house –if you have issues speak to SUBU Advice.
Please remember to move your bins back off the pavement as soon as they have been emptied.
Remember to separate landfill waste, recycling and food waste into the right bins.
When it comes to old clothes etc. there are plenty of charity shops in Winton. Also look out for the BIG GIVE at the end of the year.
Be considerate to your neighbours who may have children sleeping and they will be considerate to you too.
It’s nice to inform your neighbours if you’re having a gathering - give them a heads up as well as a number to call if they have any problems. This could prevent any issues from going to the university, and could stop you from getting a noise abatement notice.
When leaving to go to a club, plan your taxi travel beforehand or have the discussion inside. Try not to congregate out onto the street late at night.
Be wary when coming home to not slam taxi doors as people and their children will be asleep.
Making too much noise over a consistent length of time could mean that Environmental Health can issue you a noise abatement notice. If you’re a BU student, the university will fine you, or give you community service, and you could end up with a criminal record.
The Student Community Wardens are there to liaise with students and residents to help prevent noise issues escalating, and diffuse any tensions in the community.
Be courteous of others around you and behave decently. If you’re nice to your neighbours and introduce yourself, they’ll be less inclined to make complaints, and it works both ways.
GETTING ON WITH PEOPLE •
Winton and Charminster both have a student atmosphere. It’s important to remember that it’s not just home to students, but also to people with families as well as elderly people who could have been living in the community for a very long time.
It’s good to bear in mind when pre-drinking that many neighbours are not on the same schedule as students, and will have to get up early for work the next day or have children trying to sleep on a school night.
Neighbours might have had a bad experience with students in the past , so be the first to make effort, introduce yourself, show a friendly face and prevent that stigma towards students. A small introduction will really pay off in future, by being a good neighbour to them, they’ll probably return the favour to you.
When it comes to your house mates, get to know each other as soon as you can. Make friends and socialise by finding an activity that helps you bond. It’ll set off a good vibe for the entire year.
HOUSING FOR NEXT YEAR You’ll see lots of advertising through banners across town or word of mouth from peers, which say you should be looking to rent in November for next year! DON’T BELIEVE THIS!
Take your time.
Don’t feel pressured.
Decide who you are going to live with, then look for houses together.
Look for houses as soon as you know you’re definitely staying at BU for another year.
Make sure you’re completely ready to sign the contract you’re happy with. (Ask SUBU Advice to check over it for any hidden costs).
Don’t believe that all the good houses go before Christmas, this is a selling technique. Agencies have been know to sell the worst houses first because they know the good ones will easily go quick towards the end of the year.
We will be running workshops every month to make sure you know what to look out for when hunting for a house. Keep an eye out on social media and around campus for information on these events or contact your SUBU Full Time Officers.
ONCE YOU’VE FOUND A HOUSE CHECK OUT WWW.MOVEM.CO.UK - IT GIVES REVIEWS OF PROPERTIES FROM PREVIOUS TENANTS AND CAN HELP YOU DECIDE WHERE TO LIVE!
MOVING OUT 1
Contact utility companies on the day you move out, give them your final meter reading and billing address.
Make sure you have your housemates new contact details and give your new contact details to your landlord to contact you about your deposit.
Make sure furnishings are returned to their original place and the property as clean and tidy as it was when you arrived. Paint over blue tack marks and replace damages such as broken bed slats.
Follow the tenancy agreement e.g. keeping garden tidy, carpet cleaning, etc.
Redirect your mail at royalmail.com and inform your bank, doctor etc, of your new address.
Make sure the house is secure/appliances turned off/return keys.
Take rubbish and belongings with you or you could be charged.
Recycle old items using SUBUâ€™s BIG GIVE campaign at the end of the academic year.
GETTING INVOLVED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY AND STAYING SAFE BOWER
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Winton Action Group is a residents group that meet every month to discuss what is currently going on in Winton. Representatives from SUBU and BU attend to talk about current community issues. You can also attend! Find out when the next one is, email Georgia VP Community at: V
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Bournemouth House: BH1 3LH
STUDENT COMMUNITY WARDENS The Community Wardens are here to help students and provide a welcoming face for you living in a house, whether you are a BU or AUB student. The Wardens house call around Winton and may pay you a visit to check that you’re settling in. If you have any issues with landlords, estate agents, or neighbours, they’ll be there to point you in the right direction for help. They can also diffuse tension within the community. They may pass on information throughout the year that is useful for you to know, and if you’re feeling lonely or are in a house for first year and don’t know much about the area, they’ll inform you of all the things you can get involved with. Feel free to ask them anything about campaigns they may be running throughout the year such as the BIG GIVE or how you can get involved.
THE BIG GIVE
The BIG GIVE is a campaign run by SUBU to help you when youâ€™re moving out of your home at the end of the year. Last year, we teamed up with the Council to drive around Winton in June collecting your old clothes, DVDs, books, non-perishable food, and anything else you want to clear out! We had BIG GIVE collection points for donations to charity on campus too, which Bournemouth Borough Council collected. Donated items helped charities such as The British Heart Foundation, Hope for Food, The Trussell Trust, We-Do Ethical Fashion, and Salvation Army.
Students managed to donate roughly 1.1 tonnes which all went to a good cause! We can do even better this year! Keep an eye out on the SUBU Website and social media for information on how to donate or volunteer with the Big Give. (THE COMMUNITY WARDENS WILL ALSO BE GIVING OUT INFORMATION ON THIS TOO).
TRAVEL ACTIVE TRAVEL Walking for 30 minutes burns between 90 and 120 calories to and from Uni! So why not get fit and save the environment. There are plenty of free fitness apps that you can download on to your phone, which will measure your steps, and calories. You may want to consider getting a bike and cycling into campus. There are secure bike sheds and if you speak to BU Main Reception at Poole House, you can get your student card activated to let you in and out of the bike sheds. Make sure you have a D-lock for your bike when you lock it up. (Available in The student shop.)
BUSES Travelling around Bournemouth is easy. The transport is frequent and there are buses that operate up and down Charminster, Winton and if you use the M1 or M2 etc. you can get student discount with your student card. The number 6 Yellow bus goes directly to Talbot Campus. Our Uni buses operate frequently between Talbot and Lansdowne. If you havenâ€™t already done so, look into a bus pass http://www. thebusforbu.co.uk/
TAXI New for this year is our SUBU emergency taxi scheme, so if you find yourself stuck after a night out you can always get home safely. Keep an eye out on www.subu.org.uk for further infomation, coming soon.
SAFETY (picture of students locking the door)
On a night out, always stick with your friends, plan how you’re going to get home, and don’t take unlicensed taxis. When it comes to your house, it’s pretty obvious to burglars which are student houses and this makes you an easy target. Do simple things like: •
Keep the front door of your house looking tidy (maybe buy a ‘beware of the dog’ sign).
Ask to take your letting board down (this doesn’t need to be there and advertises your house as a student property with several laptops etc.)
TOP TIPS! •
Student houses are a target for burglaries - don’t give them an excuse to break in. Make sure you lock up doors and close all windows when you go out.
Don’t assume a housemate is always in. Always check and lock up, when you go out.
Keep valuables out of sight away from windows.
Never use unlicensed taxis.
Have home insurance. Endsleigh Insurance specialises in insuring students.
The Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) are local police that patrol Bournemouth. Feel free to speak to them on further advice. They can also help you tag any of your valuables with a UV pen for security.
SAFER NEIGHBOURHOOD TEAM The Universities Safer Neighbourhood Team are police officers who are there to watch out for you and keep you safe – on campus or in the community. They run campaigns, both on their own, or with SUBU, running events such as security tagging on campus. They may pay you a visit in your home, offering you tips on keeping safe, and they’re all lovely people! You can pay them a visit on Talbot Campus, Room T108, Talbot House (over by the campus Dr’s surgery.) Call them: 07754 439650 Email: email@example.com Twitter: @UniversitySNT Monthly surgeries: BU and AUB Visit www.dorset.police.uk to find out more
SUBU Advice: Supporting You SUBU Advice is here to support you with any housing issues you may have, including: •
damp and mould
ensure your rights and responsibilities in your home
advice and negotiate with your landlord
where to look for accommodation
They can provide you with template letters to report repairs, and where necessary advise you on what court action you can take. If required SUBU Advice can contact your letting agent or landlord on your behalf and resolve the issue. SUBU Advice can also help you with: • money • employment •
SUBU Advice is on 2nd floor Student Centre Talbot Campus or Bournemouth Lansdowne House.
There’s no such thing as a silly question and SUBU Advice provide a nonjudgemental, friendly and confidential service to BU students. Find out more: www.subu.org.uk/advice
TOP TIPS: •
Do your inventory
Make the effort with your neighbours. It will make life so much easier for you.
Try not to make unnecessary noise e.g. getting in and out of taxis.
Move bins off pavements to prevent blocking wheelchair access.
Keep your house to a decent standard to help make sure you get your deposit back.
Pay your bills and rent on time until your contract ends.
Respect the people you live with and learn to accept differences.
This guide isn’t written to tell you what to do. It’s main aim is to prevent you being taken advantage of, and allow you to have an easier time living away from home at university. Now you’re good to go and enjoy yourself in your new home - knowing you’ve done everything to protect yourself and take control.
Useful Contacts: (use the space below to make a record of the people you may need to contact.) Landlord/agency: Gas Company: Electricity Company: Water Company: TV Company: Bournemouth Council Switchboard: 01202 451451 SUBU: 01202 965765 firstname.lastname@example.org - Georgia email@example.com – Charlie firstname.lastname@example.org – Daniel SUBU Advice: 01202 965779 www.subu.org.uk/advice
In association with Endsleigh Insurance www.endsleigh.co.uk