Sharing a house comes with its own rules to ensure that all tenants get along. Movingboom have put together a simple guide to make your time in a student shared house stress-free.
If you share a property with other renters then you are all responsible for keeping the place clean. All communal areas are everyone’s responsibility, so if you want to avoid any arguments, then maybe drawing up a rota will ensure everyone knows when it is there day to clean up.
Remember that if the property is not in a good condition when you hand it back then you will be liable for the cleaning costs, so if you want to see your bond again then keep the place in a good condition.
When you are moving out, ask the landlord to do a quick check in advance to give you a heads up on anything that he/she is expecting, this will give you a heads up so that you can get the place into shape before you move out helping you to get your bond back.
When you are living in a shared house then you are responsible for your share of the bills. Make sure that you keep all utilities up to date. You may risk being disconnected or taken to court if you fall into arrears and if you have outstanding debts at the end of your tenancy, your landlord may withhold your bond until these are paid.
A few weeks before you move out, speak to your utility providers to advise them that you are moving out and on the final day call them again with final meter readings. Ask them to close your account and provide a final bill for payment. Your landlord may ask to see proof of final payment before returning your bond.
Keeping up to date with your rent payments is essential. Make sure you are aware of the terms of payment. Is this weekly, monthly or are you required to pay by term? Be clear on this and setup a payment from your account to the landlord to the terms that they prefer. The best way to do this is by standing order where you are in control of the payments leaving your account which also helps you avoid any unwanted bank charges accrued by unexpected direct debts.
Protecting Your Bond
If you move into a property and you see damage that you think may be blamed on you, make sure you record this by photographing and sending to the landlord. Save this in your records also so that if there is any dispute when you move out, you can prove that this was raised with the landlord.
When you move in, do a check and mark items off against the inventory. Make a note of fixtures and fittings, damaged or broken items and photograph these and notify the landlord so that a note is made against the inventory. This may seem like a hassle but you will be thankful that you have done this if your landlord tries to blame you for any damage or missing items at the end of your tenancy.
Make sure that the property has an Electrical Safety Certificate and a Gas Safety certificate, and check for smoke alarms and clear fire escapes.
Check that the house is clean when you move in and if there is anything that causes concern, such as rodents, damage, leaks, make sire that you notify your landlord as they have a responsibility to ensure that the property you are renting is up to standard.
Crime and security can be an issue in student areas so ensure that you take the necessary steps to reduce risks and protect yourself and your belongings.
Is there a burglar alarm in your property? Do you know how to activate it and use it? If not ask the landlord or agent.
Keep doors and windows locked. Opportunist thieves will use open windows and doors to access your property and steal your belongings. Don’t put yourself at risk as thieves know that students will have laptops, phones, TVs and music players making you a target.
Lock your bike up always and don’t leave valuables on show in your car.
Protect your belongings by taking out insurance so if you do become a victim of crim, you can report it to the police and get a crime number to make a claim.
Getting on with the neighbours
It is essential when renting in a student house that you respect the neighbours both in the house and the local residents. Your neighbours on the street may be professionals or families with young children.
Make sure you are respectful and while you will have social gatherings at the property, tell your neighbours in advance if you are having a party, try to limit these events, do it at the weekend and try to reduce the noise after 11pm. If you are returning home after a night out, try to limit the noise, don’t play loud music when you get home and don’t shout or bang car doors on the street. Your neighbours will be more accepting if you show them respect.
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