Moving into new digs is all so exciting, especially as a uni student. Whether you have moved from halls to a house, or upgraded from the sh*t hole you resided in last year, its the prospect of a new space in time for the university start and parties to begin.
But I hate to be the fun sponge that dampens the mood, but there are a few things you really should do when you move into your new place, to make it as habitable as possible.
Clean the bathroom
Every letting agent and landlord says the place is deep cleaned, and we all like to think it is, but most of the time, it’s not and you’re left with how the previous tenants left it. Maybe you’re lucky and they did a good job, but chances are they didn’t. Just give it the once over, and you’ll be more than comfortable to bath and wee till your hearts content.
Wash the washing machine
Sounds bloody silly I know, but honest there is method behind my madness. Think of the previous tenants and what they may have washed in the washing machine including and not limited to clothes worn out after clubbing possibly covered in puke. Now not every washing will have this residue left, but why take the chance. Pop on a hot wash for 1hr to rinse, or but from the pound shop washing machine washing fluid that will completely clean the washing machine through.
Clean the cutlery
Whether they’re new, old or came with the property, wash in a hot bowl with antibac liquid. You can never be too careful and you will feel much more re-assured when you come to using them!
Take pictures of any damage already there
This is a really good one for when you come to move out. The deposit for a house can be costly and you obviously want to get most if not all of it back at the end of the year. To cover your back later down the line, take pictures of any damage you walk into. When it comes to you moving, it may come in handy to have those pictures, if you are being blamed for damaging the property, when in fact it was like that before you moved in. Most letting agents do a inventory as part of the check in process, but you can never be too careful!
Test the smoke alarms
Again, this should be something that is checked by your letting agent and / or landlord, but you can never be too careful. Give them a quick test, and if needed contact your agent / landlord if the batteries need changing or they don’t work.
Make sure you have all the keys
Sounds silly, but make sure you have all the keys for front and back doors, as well as windows. You don’t know when you will need and you don’t know who may have the spares!
This really isn’t one you want to be without, especially when you are sharing a house with other students, in a student area, where accidents are prone and burglaries should be expected. Cover yourself and your house mates as well as give yourself piece of mind, and take a policy out as a household. It’s super easy and can work out as a couple of quid each a month. The last thing you want to be worrying about is buying yourself a new laptop because pre-drinks got a little messy!
This only matters if you intend to watch TV in your student house. This does include catch-up TV including BBC iPlayer. Again it’s super easy to sort and again can work out as a couple of pound a month each. If you are caught watching TV without a licence, you can face a hefty fine, and that’s the last thing you want when trying to get your degree!
Notify the water and electricity provider
A little boring, and possibly long winded, but you need to notify your providers you have moved into the property and how you will be paying the bill.
Your landlord and / or letting agent should have told you who your providers are. You can set up a direct debit, or pay when the bill lands on your doorstep, it’s completely up to you. Please be aware, if you decide to set up a direct debit, you will be chased if you do not keep up with payments. This can effect your credit rating, so think wisely if you are considering.
All the same, when notifying you have moved into the property, hand over all the tenants names so you individually won’t be held accountable for the account. This will work wonders later down the line if you end up having a difficult house mate.
Establish how you’re paying bills
This is spurred on by the fact you will be notifying providers and establishing what you need as a house hold, if it’s not already covered in the rent. Figure out who we will hold the account that direct debits come out from, and how much everyone pays towards things. Make sure everyone is agreeable to what you are signing up for – you don’t want to be taking something out and shocked when some house mates are not financially supportive.
I would highly recommend the load is spread between everyone to ensure one person is not holding the burden of everything. Ensure everything has everyone’s names on as well, so you are not solely accountable.