Moving out is a fun and endlessly exciting prospect with potential written all over it in permanent marker. For many, many people, moving out to study is their first experience of living away from home for a prolonged period of time. The independence promises the opportunity to become your own person, create your own routines, and boundaries, and really learn how much you sound like your mother. On a capital level, the entire thing is made easier by SAAS but something I quickly realised in setting up process was that there were no readily available how-to-guide of things that needed to be sorted once you got there – some by law.
The fear of the telephone is a real and crippling condition, I know. I stand by you on that. However, you quickly realise what is worse between an awkward ten minutes spent sorting out your bill payment schedule with a dodgy understand of the phonetic alphabet and being hit by a fine for breaking the law. You can find out directly from your landlord who provided the electricity in your property before you lived there and it then becomes a matter of registering as the new tenants and paying for what you use from there. Take meter readings every month at least and always make sure you have the most up-to-date ones before speaking to them on the phone.
Council Tax Exemption
As a student, you are exempt from council tax – hooray! However, this doesn’t happen automatically. You must register your student status with the council which you do by filling out a short form on gov.co.uk. You may receive a nasty letter in the post between submitting your form and the admin actually getting around to filing it accusing you of owing obscene amounts of money for Council Tax. Do not fear. Simply contact them using the reference number on the letter, explaining.
By law, you are expected to have contents insurance but to take the dictatorship perspective out of this: why would you not want to protect your possessions? From as little as £30 for the whole year, you can insure your belongings from theft and damage, which will be particularly useful for those among us sharing halls with several people.
It’s the law. You cannot use your television without a licence and not expect to receive a hefty charge. They have your property on a system with your details and anything you use after the termination of your license will be made accountable to you. They will find you.
Such a small and seemingly insignificant task but perhaps the one with the greatest impact. It is your landlord’s responsibility to ensure that your property is safe from the risk of fire. However, don’t wait for them to approach you to get someone out to test them. As students, we often have many things on our minds at once between deadlines, personal issues and social gatherings, often finding us in a day-dreamy state that makes us unable to fully focus on the menial tasks before us – like cooking. Smoke alarms save lives.
We all like to think we can live without Wifi and television, but a never-ending week without Virgin towards the end of my tenancy was enough to show me that this has more ideal implications than practical ones. Sort your broadband out as soon as possible, that way you can study and submit coursework from home with Naked Attraction companionably humming along in the background.