THE STUDENT LIVING GUIDE
WELCOME Love your time in Bristol, it’s a great city with plenty to do within its diverse communities. Welcome to your new (or old) home. We’ve put together this guide to community living to help you get the most out of your time in your neighbourhood. This includes top tips on knowing your rights as a tenant, your responsibilities as a tenant, what to do if a conflict arises and how to deal with it, how to keep your property and personal belongings safe as well as useful maps and contacts. If you need any help or assistance with any community, housing or landlord issues, or just general advice, please contact either: –– The Students’ Union Advice Centre 0117 32 82676 firstname.lastname@example.org thestudentsunion.co.uk/advice –– The Students’ Union at UWE 0117 32 82577 email@example.com thestudentstunion.co.uk –– UWE’s Community Liaison Manager 0117 32 81366 firstname.lastname@example.org uwe.ac.uk/about/departmentsandservices/professionalservices/ communityliaison.aspx We hope you find this guide useful. Enjoy your year. The Students’ Union and UWE Bristol.
Tenant to do list
Rent Smart: Did You Know?
Volunteering at UWE Bristol
Getting Involved in your Local Community
Introduction to Energy Bills
Crime and Security
Health and Wellbeing
Late Night Do It Right
Off The Wall
Tenant to do list - moving out
TENANT TO DO LIST –– Check through the inventory (a list of the entire house contents and their conditions and take photos of every room). List any faults and inform the landlord/agency in writing. The Students’ Union Advice Centre can provide a blank inventory for you to use if your landlord/agency haven’t supplied one –– Take gas, electric and water meter readings and take photos inform companies of new occupant details –– Download your Council Tax exemption certificate from myUWE and send to Bristol or South Gloucestershire Council –– Redirect mail to your new address – postoffice.co.uk/redirection –– Organise contents insurance
–– Register your valuables at immobilise.com –– Ensure you have a valid TV licence – tvlicensing.co.uk –– Ask your landlord to check that previous tenants have returned all keys to the property –– Ensure that you know which Tenancy Deposit Scheme your landlord is using –– Say hello to the neighbours. You never know when you might need their help –– Check that you have all your correct bins for waste and recycling and find the dates of bin collections at bristol.go.uk or southglos.gov.uk –– Make sure you know your rights and responsibilities as a tenant and who to contact in an emergency –– Register your term time address on myUWE
Any problems? Contact The Students’ Union Advice Centre, who will be happy to help thestudentsunion.co.uk/advice email@example.com 0117 32 82676
DID YOU KNOW? You have the right to: –– Your landlord’s contact details You should be able to contact your landlord directly or the managing agents about any problems. –– Live in a house which is habitable Your landlord is legally obliged to keep in good repair the drains and gutters, walls, boiler, toilets, sinks, and shower or bath. You would be expected to replace light bulbs, washers, alarm batteries and unblock drains if clogged by a tenant or guest. –– 24 hours notice if your landlord needs to come round (unless it is an emergency) This also applies to your letting agents, workmen and any potential tenants viewing the property. –– See a copy of the annual Gas Safety certificate –– See a copy of the Energy Performance certificate
–– Have your deposit protected, and information about who is protecting it It is your money and you have the right to have it returned, so long as you have not caused damage to the property or owe any money. Your landlord can only take money out to cover any financial loss caused by the tenants. –– Live in the house for the length of your contract Your landlord can only tell you to move out early if there is a valid break clause, through mutual agreement to ‘surrender’ the tenancy or by going to court to get a posession order. This will only be granted automatically if you are in at least two months rent arrears.
You have a responsibility to: –– Let your landlord/agent know of any repairs that need doing Do it in writing so that you have evidence of when you let them know. –– Follow the terms of your contract This could include things like not smoking in the house, maintaining the garden or ensuring waste and recycling is correctly disposed of. –– If you intend to have a party inform your neighbours and give them a contact number in case they need to contact you Keep noise levels to a reasonable level. –– Keep the house in reasonable condition and ensure that the landlord’s property does not deteriorate beyond normal use The cost to repair any damage caused by you or your guests can be deducted from your deposit.
–– Not cause nuisance to surrounding neighbours Excessive noise at any time of the day or night can be deemed anti social and can be investigated by Environmental Health. Also the University may be contacted and may discipline students who are in contravention of the student conduct policy. –– Pay your rent on time, and pay the bills until the end of your contract If you are on a joint contract then all of you are liable.
TRAVEL Buses First provide the majority of bus services in Bristol. firstgroup.com/bristol
Wessex also provide services to some UWE Bristol Campuses wessexbus.com
Check out our website for more info on bus routes in your area thestudentsunion.co.uk/buses Claim student discount when you show your university student ID on any Wessex or First bus!
Cycling to campus There’s no need to worry about busy roads when cycling in Bristol – UWE Bristol campuses all have excellent off-road paths that are often much quicker than the surrounding roads. There is ample cycle parking on each campus. Check out: –– All cycling routes to your campus and bike lanes –– Safe bike parking –– The student cycle loan scheme. You can loan a bike for the academic year for just £50 visit uwe.ac.uk/cycling –– Free weekly Dr Bike Repairs There are public bike pumps and tool stations at all campuses, and cycle repair kits at Frenchay Community Hub, Glenside reception and Bower Ashton porters’ lodge.
YoBike Bike rental from just ÂŁ1 per hour with Bristolâ€™s new bike share scheme, YoBike. Look for the yellow bikes around campus. yobike.co.uk
Love To Ride Get happier, healthier and wealthier - and make Bristol cleaner, greener and more livable - by joining UniCycle, a Department for Transport-funded pilot project with NUS to get more students on bikes. We'll compete against six other universities and there will be great prizes up for grabs, including Interrail passes, bikes, gear, vouchers and more! It only takes a minute to register at lovetoride.net/unicycle
For Bristol cycle maps showing trafficfree routes, quiet roads, busy roads, contours, the national cycle network, plus the main destinations and attractions in the local area, visit betterbybike.info
VOLUNTEERING AT UWE Love Bristol? Want to get involved and meet new people? Volunteering is one of the most rewarding things you can do while youâ€™re at university. Itâ€™s great to put your free time to good use. You might want to make a difference in your local community, get some work experience related to your degree, improve your employability and CV, learn new skills, do some training, meet new people or just have fun. Volunteering can go towards the UWE Bristol Futures Award: uwe.ac.uk/futures
11 The Students’ Union – One-off action days are a great way to try something out if you’re not sure about making a regular commitment. We organise regular action days throughout the year, such as the Big Beach Clean at Sand Bay near WestonSuper-Mare, or community gardening at the local city farm. Join UWE RAG, the official fundraising body of The Students’ Union. RAG stands for ‘Raising and Giving’ and that’s exactly what we do! Join us to organise bundles of fundraising events over the academic year. We aim to raise as much money as possible for charity, and have a lot of fun in the process! Volunteering projects – Join one of the student-led projects such as Nightline (an out of hours listening service), or Silver Surfers (tutoring older people in basic IT skills). If you have your own idea, get support, training and funding to set up your own campaign, event or community activity. Volunteer in a local school as a reading buddy, number partner, or classroom assistant. or support a subject teacher in a local school. Our top picks by sector are carefully selected projects that will help you to develop the skills and experience you need with a range of charities and not-for-profits across Bristol.
For more information: –– The Students’ Union Volunteering thestudentsunion.co.uk/volunteering firstname.lastname@example.org –– UWE RAG thestudentsunion.co.uk/rag email@example.com
GETTING INVOLVED IN YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY Community Reps Community Reps are students who act as ambassadors and community organisers to empower local residents and students to work together more coherently, breaking down a mentality of “us and them”. This will mean organising get togethers, volunteering opportunities and engaging in local campaigns to shout loud and proud about the great work that UWE Bristol students do.
Voter Registration Whenever you move into a new place, you’ll need to re-register to vote. Registering to vote is important – if you’re on the electoral register then policy makers will try to appeal to your vote by pledging change on issues that affect you. And quite simply – you’ll only be able to vote if you register!
Love Where You Live The Love Where You Live campaign offers help, guidance and support for students in private rented accommodation and is a partnership project between UWE Bristol, UoB, both Students’ Unions, Councils and Bristol Waste Company. lovewhereyoulive.co.uk
Community Together Fund Got an idea for a community project that will bring the community together? Action Day? Street party? Art project? Community Fun Day? Environmental project? Then apply for the Community Together Fund! The Community Together fund offers grants of up to £250 for projects linking students, local residents, community organisations and local agencies. Check out uwe.ac.uk/communityliaison for further details.
GREEN STUFF Waste not want not.
Collection largely depends on where you live. Visit thestudentsunion.co.uk /bincollectiondates to find out when your local collection is, or just ask a neighbour in the know. You can even recycle with no bins; just segregate your recycling into clear plastic bags and leave them on the kerb on collection day. Never fear if your recycling box isn’t near. It takes seconds to order a new one thestudentsunion.co.uk /newbins
What you can put in your food waste bin
All cooked and uncooked food including: –– –– –– –– –– –– –– ––
bread, pasta, rice and cereals cheese and dairy products coffee grounds, tea leaves/bags egg shells fruit waste meat, fish and bones plate scrapings vegetable peelings
What you can recycle in your green box
Cartons (Tetra Paks) All food and drink cartons. Please rinse and flatten. Cardboard All cardboard. Please flatten, fold and remove tape. Plastic bottles All types of bottles. Please rinse and squash. Plastic packaging Tubs, trays and pots. Please rinse and squash. Cans All food and drink cans. Please rinse. Foil Foil and take-away trays. Please rinse and squash. Aerosols Empty aerosols only please. Remove lids. Lids Metal and plastic.
What you can recycle in your black box
Directories Including Yellow Pages. Batteries Keep them together in a small bag. Car batteries Please put next to your box. Engine oil In a sealed container. Glass Bottles and jars, all colours. Please rinse. Paper All types except tissue. Please make sure shredded paper is contained (e.g.in a bag or envelope). Shoes Please tie in pairs. Glasses All types. Textiles Please put in an untied bag to keep materials dry.
17 For any big bulk items that need collecting have a look at these resources; some pick up for free and may even pay you for your goods. Looks like itâ€™s time to get rid of that discarded back yard sofa in way of a new summer BBQ.
Ou our r r planet, espo nsibi lity
recycleanddonate. co.uk freecycle.org
The Green Team are a group of students keen to make positive change here on campus and in Bristolâ€™s community thestudentsunion.co.uk/thegreenteam firstname.lastname@example.org
INTRODUCTION TO ENERGY BILLS Chances are, university is the first time you’ll be dealing with energy bills. When you move into private accommodation you’ll start receiving bills through your letter box. Most people just pay it and keep paying it when the letters come through every few months. However, this probably means you’re paying way more than you need to, spending money on energy that you could be spending on yourself. Moving In You’re liable for paying your energy bills as soon as your contract starts. It’s your right as a tenant to switch energy suppliers. People assume they can’t switch providers because they’re renting but that’s not the case. But, if your bills are included in your rent, then the landlord gets to choose who you’re with. Make sure you take a meter reading and get it sent into your current supplier as soon as possible. This means they know you’ve moved in and you won’t be paying for the old tenant’s energy.
How to switch Switching really is as easy as suppliers claim it to be. It’s worth taking the time to do your research and shop around to make sure you find the best deal for you. Just make sure you have a statement or bill to hand with your EAC and AQ. Whether you use the company’s website directly or a comparison site, you’ll need give your postcode, how you pay and whether you have just electricity or electricity and gas. The energy provider will give you an estimate of your monthly cost, but this might not be an accurate reflection. It’s better to compare the unit rates and standing charges. Once you’ve found a plan that works for you, whether that’s a fixed plan with a Direct Debit, or a plan where you pay every 3 months when you get your bill through, all you need to do is fill in your personal details and the energy supplier will do the rest. It’s really that simple, you don’t even need to tell your current supplier you’re switching, your new one will do it all for you. Now you can sit back and relax in The Students’ Union with a cuppa.
19 Green energy Green energy is when 100% of the energy produced has to come from renewable sources. This can include: wind farms, hydropower, solar power, and geothermal energy. Non-renewable sources, such as coal and crude oil, have a detrimental effect on the environment. We are using fossil fuels quicker than they can be produced and burning fossil fuels produces greenhouse gases. Glossary
It’s easier than you think to do your bit to help the environment; you can choose paperless tariffs. You can do even more for the planet by choosing a green energy tariff, there’s not even a big difference in price. On average, 24.3% of the energy used in the UK is renewable, but there are energy companies out there who specialise in renewable energy such as OVO, Ecotricity and Good Energy. More locally, Bristol Energy also offer a 100% green tariff.
AQ – Annual Quantity Your AQ is how much gas you use in kWh per year. You can find this on your statements. DD – Direct Debit Your annual cost for energy split into 12 monthly payments that come out automatically. EAC – Estimated Annual Consumption Your EAC is how much, on average, electricity your house uses in kWh per year. You can find this on your statements. kWh – Kilowatt Hour A kilowatt hour (or kWh) the unit that energy is measured in. Every time your electricity meter clocks 1, that’s a kWh. UR – Unit Rate The unit rate is how much you pay for every unit of electricity or gas you use (measured in kWh). SC – Standing Charge A standing charge is a fixed amount that’s applied to your gas and electricity bill daily. MPAN – Meter Point Administration Number A unique number for your electricity supply. MPRN – Meter Point Reference Number A unique number for your gas supply.
CRIME AND SECURITY Did you know? 40% of burglaries are crimes of opportunity where doors or windows have been left open or unlocked.
Top Tips –– Keep doors and windows locked when you go out –– Keep valuables out of sight, away from windows and don’t leave them on show in your car –– Make a note of serial numbers of valuables so they can be traced back to you –– Register valuables with immobilise.com and download laptop/smartphone tracking software to use –– Arrange home insurance and take photos of your valuables
Don’t lose your laptop with your dissertation, course work or revision notes! Top items most wanted by burglars: Laptops Smartphones Cash Jewellery Bikes
The University has its own Police officer, PC Mark Brain email@example.com 0117 32 82669 If you have a Police emergency dial 999. For a non emergency dial 101. You will need a crime reference number for any insurance claims.
HEALTH AND WELLBEING Your health and wellbeing is essential, because you are important. UWE Bristol and The Students’ Union provide lots of support for you. University can be a challenge, but help is out there. Whether you need a doctor, counselling, or disability advice and support. We have you covered. For advice on health, faith and spirituality, wellbeing and counselling provision, University Health Centre and Disability Support, please visit: uwe.ac.uk/students/healthandwellbeing Useful links and places to visit: –– Nightline - thestudentsunion.co.uk/nightline firstname.lastname@example.org –– wellaware.org.uk –– UWE Health Centre - 0117 328 6666 –– Off the Record - 0808 808 9120 –– brook.org.uk –– thecareforum.org –– Samaritans - 116 123
LATE NIGHT DO IT RIGHT
There are times when University might feel overwhelming. As well as information over-load surrounding university life; there can be a lot of pressure to go and party hard with all your friends. Whilst 72% of UWE Bristol students told us that they have sometimes felt that they needed to drink to fit in, we want you to know that this is totally not the case – you don’t need to drink to have a good time.
of UWE Bristol students eat before they go out.
of UWE Bristol students
of UWE Bristol students said
of UWE Bristol students
of UWE Bristol students
have fun with people who don’t drink.
that drinking too quickly can cut short a great night out.
don’t have to get drunk to have a good time.
don’t like socialising with people who get too drunk.
“I always eat before I go out, it means the night lasts longer, but also I get to eat!” – Sian, VP Community and Welfare
“Whether people drink or not makes no difference to me, we can still hang out and have a good time – alcohol doesn’t even matter, everyone knows that.” – Jamie, VP Education
“A night I can’t remember is a complete waste of time. Take care of yourself! Life is about making memories, not deleting them.” – Bahkai, VP Societies and Communication
“Having a good time doesn’t always need to involve alcohol, try a different event like gokarting, paintballing or Airhop!” – Erin, VP Sport and Health
“Most people like a drink, nobody likes a drunk” – Erin, VP Sports and Health
* Results from NUS Alcohol Impact Survey
OFF THE WALL Taking part in physical activity of any kind is great for your health and wellbeing. Off The Wall offers all UWE Bristol students the opportunity to take part in physical activity and meet new friends in a fun, social and friendly environment. Activities range from Yoga and Pilates, through to Snowboarding and Archery. No experience is necessary, and all equipment is provided. Take some time to try something new during your time at UWE Bristol. thestudentsunion.co.uk/offthewall
ACORN Tenants Union and Anti-Poverty Organising Group ACORN is a tenants union, a community organisation, a support network, an anti-poverty organising group. Too many of us – renters, workers, families – are being treated as second class citizens. ACORN want equality. Their fight for housing justice was started by 100 people in 1 neighbourhood. Today they’re 20,000 strong and have representation in towns and cities across the UK.They have tackled rogue landlords, prevented evictions and made politicians sit up and pay attention. If you’d like to join their campaign or volunteer to start something, visit: acorntheunion.org.uk/ Help them to support and defend those who can’t by themselves, build a powerful local organisation and develop the leadership needed in our local communities.
TENANT TO DO LIST – MOVING OUT There are many legitimate reasons why deductions may be made from your deposit. Below are a number of things you should do when vacating your property to help avoid problems with your deposit.
–– The cooker is clean, including the oven –– The fridge/freezer is empty from food; the freezer has been defrosted, all shelves are clean and it has been switched off with the door left open –– All cupboards are empty of food and wiped clean –– All communal areas and individual rooms have been vacuumed –– Vacuum cleaner is empty –– All rubbish has been removed from the property, and cleared from the back garden
–– All posters and blue tack/pins/sellotape have been removed –– All furniture that was in the room at the start of the tenancy has been returned to its correct place –– Paint work and window sills have been wiped –– The toilet, sink and bath have been cleaned –– All surfaces, including floor, have been cleaned –– All toiletries have been removed and bins emptied –– Keys have been returned
A deposit paid for a new Assured Shorthold Tenancy will be kept in one of the three Government-backed Tenancy Deposit Protection Schemes. This means that your deposit should be returned to you within 10 working days of you vacating the property. Any disputes which arise will be dealt with by a dispute resolution scheme and the landlord can only withhold the amount that they believe you owe whilst negotiations are taking place, not the full amount.
All information correct at time of publication. Photography by: Ambient Vista, SUP Bristol, Fine Time Photography and The Students’ Union.
USEFUL CONTACTS The Students’ Union thestudentsunion.co.uk (general enquiries): email@example.com +44 (0)117 32 82577 The Students’ Union Advice Centre thestudentsunion.co.uk/advice firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0)117 32 82676 UWE Info Point email@example.com +44 (0)117 96 56261 UWE Community Liason Manager firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0)117 32 81366 +44 (0)7789651408 Bristol City Council bristol.gov.uk South Gloucestershire Council southglos.co.uk Love Where You Live lovewhereyoulivebristol.co.uk
Love your time in Bristol, it’s a great city with plenty to do within its diverse communities. We’ve put together this guide to community l...