September is the big month for heading off to University and for many this means moving out of halls and into a new house with friends. If it’s the first time you’ve lived in a place of your own, here are some top tips to make sure you’re prepared.
Insurance is something that many students don’t even think about until it’s too late. Unfortunately accidents do happen, especially when you’re living with lot of people and student areas are sometimes more susceptible to break ins. A cup of tea or a pint of beer spilt over a laptop, your trusty bike stolen from the stairwell or damage to your TV during your house warming, these are all things which your insurance can cover. Student contents insurance should cover your belongings against loss or damage caused by theft, fire, vandalism, storm, flood and burst pipes. Some policies allow you to select the items you want to insure. Cover for valuables such as computer equipment is essential, but don’t forget that the value of smaller items can quickly add up. Most policies set limits on the size of any claims, so make sure the limits are adequate.
Check with your letting agent whether your rent includes bills and if not, whether there are already utilities companies in place or whether you and your flatmates need to source new contracts. Remember, if you’re the named person on the contract you’ll be responsible for full payment so if one of your flatmates doesn’t pay, it’ll be up to you to chase the money.
Make sure you have a good wifi package with sufficient data for your needs. Movie and music streaming can eat into data so see if you can get unlimited to avoid any nasty suprises!
Students must be covered by a TV Licence if you watch or record programmes as they’re being shown on TV or live on an online TV service. A recent change is that you now need a TV license to download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer – live, catch up or on demand. Don’t be caught out! This applies no matter what device they use, whether it’s a TV, desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, games console, digital box or Blu-ray/DVD/VHS recorder.
It might be tempting to try to take all your worldly possessions with you when you move but remember you can always get stuff when you return in holidays. Do you have adequate storage for all your clothes, books, music? When it comes to shared spaces, such as the living room and kitchen, be respectful of your other flatmates by not relying on this space for your extra belongings.
Here’s a packing list as a guide on what you should try to take:
- Passport and/or driver’s license (ID)
- University admission acceptance letter
- Course acceptance letter
- Accommodation terms, information and contract
- Passport photos for societies and other admin. A set of 4 should do it
- Bank account details
- Bank debit card
- Insurance documents
- Student loan documents (and any other bursaries or scholarship funding)
- Student discount cards (eg. 16-25 railcard)
- Others worth considering: National Insurance card (or at least the number if you don’t have a card), exam certificates, NHS number.
- Laptop or computer
- Headphones – to listen to music in peace (find a set here)
- USB TV Stick – to stream apps like iPlayer, Netflix & Amazon on your TV.
- Power extension cable
- Printer with ink
- Small TV
- Student recipe book
- Sauce pan
- Small cutlery set
- 1 sharp knife
- Kitchen tongs
- 1 glass & 1 mug
- 1 plate & 1 bowl
- Flat baking tray
- Bed sheets – including a bed cover, duvet cover and pillow covers
- Duvet & pillows
- Mattress protector
- Coat hangers
- Door stop
- Ear plugs