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Before moving in

When are they planning to move in? It can be nice to move in at the same time as your housemates but consider whether there is space for everyone to be moving in at the same time!

It is also a good idea to find out what everyone else is bringing with them. You will want to bring some kitchen essentials, such as a toaster and kettle (if not provided by your landlord/agent) but you probably don’t need more than one

Once you've chatted to your housemates, let the landlord/agent know when you'd like to move in and confirm a time and the process for collecting your key. You do not necessarily need to move in on the first day of your tenancy but you will be liable to pay rent from this date.

Think about who will help you move. Do you have a friend or relative who can drive you to the property or do you need to make arrangements with a removal company?

If you are bringing a car with you, either permanently or just for your move in, check whether you will need a parking permit. Permits are issued by Norwich City Council and the permit cost varies depending on the size of your car. For more information and to apply for a permit, click here.

Pack your personal belongings. Don’t forget:

  • Clothes
  • Bed linen & towels
  • Toiletries
  • Electronics
  • Student essentials (books, stationery)
  • Items to personlise your room (photographs*/photo frames, plants, rug)

*Your tenancy agreement may contain a clause which prohibits the use of blu tac/sellotape or similar to display photographs and posters as these can mark and damage the walls. If you decide to use these then the landlord/agent may make a deduction from your damage deposit at the end of the tenancy to cover the costs for repairs and/or painting.

Research internet providers and discuss the options with your housemates. It can sometimes take a few weeks to arrange the new connection. Some providers will have deals specifically for students so look out for these.

Moving in day

Make sure you purchase a TV licence if you would like to:

  • watch or record programmes as they’re being shown on TV, on any channel
  • watch or stream programmes live on an online TV service (such as ITV Hub, All 4, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Now TV, Sky Go, etc.)
  • download or watch any BBC programmes on iPlayer.

If you have an individual tenancy agreement just for your room then you will need your own TV Licence. If you have signed the same agreement as your housemates then this is a joint tenancy and you will probably need one licence to cover the whole property.

If you are buying a new TV licence then this will start from the day you apply for it. Find out how to apply and the latest charges here.

Visit your neighbours to say hello and introduce yourselves. You never know, you might find your neighbours are students too!

Ask the landlord/agent for a copy of the inventory. This will detail the condition of the property and any items provided by the landlord/agent.

The inventory will be reviewed when you leave to determine if any deductions should be made from your damage deposit. For this reason, we advise spending some time to thoroughly review the inventory. If you think amendments are required then let the landlord/agent know. You should confirm these in writing and take photographs too.

Some tenancy agreements will specify a deadline for making the landlord/agent aware of any necessary amendments. Check your tenancy agreement and speak with the landlord/agent if you are unsure on this.

If the landlord/agent does not provide an inventory then it will be more difficult for them to evidence charges for deductions from your damage deposit at the end of your tenancy.

The landlord/agent should have insurance to cover the building and contents they provide but you will need to research and purchase contents insurance for your own personal possessions.

Make sure you know which day of the week your bins will be collected. Ask your landlord/agent or check online here. Norwich City Council operate a fortnightly rota collecting general household rubbish one week and recycling the next. Food waste bins are collected weekly.

It is also a good idea to label your bins with your house number/name. If your bin is lost during your tenancy then you may be liable to pay for a new one.

Meters

Ask your landlord/agent to show you where the meters, fuse box and stop cock are. The fuse box and stop cock are extremely important as you may need to access these if there is a plumbing issue or a loss of power.

 

Safety Certificates

Ask for a copy of the latest Gas Safety Certificate, Electrical Installation Condition Report and Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

 

Alarms

Ask your landlord/agent to show you where your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are located and how to test them

 

Contact Details

Make sure you have the landlord/agent's contact details and know who to call in an emergency. It is a good idea to save these details on your mobile phone.

Many students are exempt from paying Council Tax but exemption is not automatically applied by Norwich City Council. All eligible students will be able to download their Council Tax certificate from e:Vision (shown below).

If you are renting your property as a group then it is a good idea to ask your housemates to download their exemption certificates and attach them all to one email. This email should be sent to revenues@norwich.gov.uk and you should confirm the full property address and the start and end dates of your tenancy.

You can read more about Council Tax exemption here.

Not sure who your current suppliers are? You can ask your landlord/agent for this information or check using the details below:

Decide if you wish to remain with the current supplier or switch to a new one. You have the right to switch and take advantage of better energy deals. This is unless bills are included in your rent. If you decide to switch then make sure you share the names of your new suppliers with your landlord/agent.

Contact your chosen supplier. You will be asked to confirm:

  • the date on which your tenancy started
  • the date you moved in
  • the full property address (including postcode)
  • your contact details
  • how you wish to pay
  • the latest meter readings

During your tenancy

We hope you have a great time in your rented accommodation but if you've moved in and renting is not working out as you'd hoped, advice(su) are here to support you. Whether you are renting from a Home Run landlord or not, you're not on your own. Where possible, an advisor will provide you with the guidance and tools to resolve the issue yourself, or to avoid them happening in the first place. If that’s not possible, we might talk to the landlord/agent on your behalf or advise you about further steps you can take.

In the sections below we've covered some common topics which can arise during a tenancy. If you've read the information below and would still like to chat with advice(su) then please request an appointment here.

Take a look at advice(su)'s leaflet about rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants

Can I end my tenancy early?

Most student tenancy agreements are issued for a fixed term of 10, 11 or 12 months and do not contain a 'break clause' allowing you to give notice to end the tenancy early.

Your tenancy agreement is legally binding. If you are thinking about leaving before the end of your contract, whatever the reason, make sure you know what the legal implications are before you make any decisions. Start by reading advice(su)'s leaflet on leaving a housing contract early and checking if there is a break clause in your tenancy agreement. If you're not sure, contact advice(su) to get your agreement checked.

Some landlords and agents will allow you to leave early if you find a suitable replacement tenant. Note, if you and your housemates are all named on the same tenancy agreement then your housemates will also need to be happy to live with the replacement tenant.

 

How can I find a replacement tenant?

As long as you have permission from your landlord/agent, you can use the Home Run Message Board to advertise your room. The message board is split into different categories and we suggest posting within 'Accommodation Available' and 'Find a Flat Mate'. You can also check the posts within 'Accommodation Wanted' and reply to posts if you believe your room might be suitable.

Many students also use the uea(su) housing group on Facebook to advertise spare rooms. Request access to the group and you will be approved once your UEA affiliation has been confirmed.

If you are renting from a Home Run landlord or agent then they may be willing to advertise your room via the housing list. Please note, requests for advertising rooms via the housing list must come directly via the landlord or agent.

If a current or prospective UEA student contacts us to say they are searching for accommodation in the private sector then they will be referred to the Home Run housing list, message board and uea(su) housing group.

It is always a good idea to develop and maintain a good relationship with your landlord/agent. Read our good landlord and tenant guide for some useful tips.

Which repairs is my landlord/agent responsible for?

advice(su)'s leaflet on repairs to your home looks at the responsibilities of the landlord/agent (and tenant) when it comes to different types of repair.

You can also look at your tenancy agreement to check the repairs your landlord/agent is responsible for. If you are in any doubt, contact advice(su).

 

How should I let my landlord/agent know that a repair is required?

It’s fine to call to report a repair, but always follow it up with an email. It will help if you need to chase up the repair later. Landlords/agents should carry out repairs within a reasonable time. What is reasonable depends on factors such as how major the repair is, whether there are safety implications, and whether there are any temporary fixes which could be used while you are waiting.

It’s a good idea to request repairs as soon as you notice something. If you leave it and it gets worse (and more expensive to repair) it could affect your deposit.

During the colder months and in rooms where we create extra moisture (bathrooms and kitchens), it is quite common to see the signs of condensation. It is extremely important to control condensation around your home as if not, you may start to see signs of mould growth, and trust us when we say that no one wants that!

Mould can damage paintwork and personal belongings and if you have not taken measures to prevent condensation and mould growth, you may find that money is deducted from your deposit to complete the necessary repairs at the end of your tenancy.

Read advice(su)'s leaflet on preventing damp and condensation for some helpful tips to reduce condensation in your home

There are some simple things you can do to make yourself more secure in your home. They might seem obvious, but they are all important:

  • always make sure your front and back doors are locked when you leave the property, are home on your own and before going to bed at night. If you are living with others then it can be tempting to rely on housemates but a quick check before bed will take less than a minute! If you are burgled and it is determined that your house was left insecure, your contents insurance may not be valid.
  • check with the landlord that previous tenants returned all their keys
  • do not attach any identifiers on your keyring which could identify your property
  • draw the curtains when it gets dark
  • never leave cash or valuables on view in your room
  • it's best not to leave a spare key in a hiding place outside as an intruder could find it
  • keep a key inside the house where you can find it easily in the dark, so if there is an emergency (e.g a fire) during the night, you can leave the building quickly
  • shred bank statements and other documents with personal details on when disposing of them

Call into our office in Union House

Normally advice(su) is based in the Advice Centre, opposite Grab & Go within the main Union House building. At the moment the physical Advice Centre is closed and all advice(su) staff are working remotely.

Email

advicecentre@uea.ac.uk

Telephone

01603 593463
Please note, due to the closure of the Advice Centre, this number is not currently staffed. You are welcome to leave a message. The best way to get in contact is to complete one of our contact forms via the links above

Our opening hours are Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm.