Got your new pad sorted..? Don’t forget to take care of these tasks:
Check your house
- Read your contract again to check that the landlord has done all they committed to.
- Check the inventory and take pictures/make a note of any damage, or any missing/additional items. Only sign the inventory once this has been agreed.
- If you live in a property with 5 or more tenants, over three stories with shared facilities then you must have a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) licence. Check your property has this by asking the landlord or getting in touch with the Community Wardens.
Secure your deposit
Ensure your deposit has been paid in to a Tenancy Deposit Scheme within 30 days of payment. Contact Guild Advice if you have any questions or concerns regarding your deposit.
Check your fire safety
Make sure fire alarms have been fitted throughout the property and are working. You should also have fire doors fitted between certain areas, including the kitchen and bedrooms. If you have any questions about fire safety contact the Community Wardens who can arrange for a ‘home safety check’ by West Midlands Fire Service to be carried out.
Change your address
Get in touch with these organisations and give them your new address:
- Your bank
- Your doctor
- Your dentist
Take meter readings
- Find your gas and electricity meters and write down the numbers:
The energy supplier to your house will usually send you a letter as a new tenant. Ring the number on the letter and give them your readings.
- Think about setting up a Direct Debit to pay your bills—it is usually cheaper and prevents you getting behind in your payments.
- It’s worth visiting uSwitch.com once you have moved in to compare suppliers and see if you can get your gas/electric any cheaper.
Check whether your property has an up to date gas safety certificate at gassaferegister.co.uk.
Contact your Water Supplier
Arrange to pay your water rates:
You may have a flat-rate (a set amount to pay over the year) or be on a water meter. You can pay by Direct Debit.
See (priority payments video blog link) for what bills you may need to consider.
Be proactive - find out your suppliers and an average bill for you and your property so you are prepared. Initially you can agree to pay once billed until you get to know how much it is likely to be each month/year, then in time you can get organised by setting up Standing Orders or Direct Debits as appropriate.
If you are in a shared property you will need to agree a primary bill payer and ensure housemates set up Standing Orders to the primary each month.
For students moving out of home for the first time or University Accommodation, paying bills can be a shock, make sure you take the time to budget (link budget planner tool) and save money around the home where ever possible (link to energy saving around the home under ‘money’).
Get in touch with your Council
As a student you are exempt, so do not forget to let your Council know your Student ID number so they can stop any bills.
Birmingham City Council’s Contact Centre - 0121 303 1113
The Council may ask you to complete a ‘Status Letter’; these can be collected from the Student Information Team based at Student Hub. (link to council Tax AD)
Set up a TV licence
It is illegal to watch any live TV (even on a laptop/tablet) without a TV licence. Set one up either to pay monthly or yearly by visiting tvlicensing.co.uk.
Register to vote
Register to vote in any local elections at gov.uk/register-to-vote.
Find out your bin day
You should have bins for these items:
- General household waste (Grey bin)
- Recycling (Paper, Plastic, Glass, Metal etc) (Grey bin with a blue or red lid)
Find out when your collection day is on your Community Warden wall planner which will be delivered in September.
If you do not have either of these bins then you can request new ones from www.birmingham.gov.uk/replacementbin and www.birmingham.gov.uk/recycling
Find the important bits...
Take a good look around your house, and make sure you know where these items are:
- The fuse box. If your electric suddenly cuts out, it may be a tripped switch. Learn how to reset them.
- The stopcock. This little tap cuts off the water supply to the pipes in your house. If you have a leak or a burst pipe, you will need to find this quickly.