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Common mistakes student tenants make – and the consequences

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last updated: 13 Jun 2016 report a problem

common mistakes student tenants make and the consequences

Studying and living away from home for the first time can be incredibly exciting and it’s easy to get caught up in new friends and new adventures. However, when you’re renting, there are no allowances for having your head in the clouds/books so make sure you know about the potential consequences that can come with a lack of awareness for student renters.

No TV licence

There are no special allowances for students when it comes to TV licences. If you want to watch or record programmes as they’re being shown on TV or live on an online TV service then you will need a TV licence. It doesn’t matter whether you’re watching on a TV, laptop, tablet, mobile phone, games console or digital box.

Consequence: no TV licence means you could be prosecuted, which will require you to appear in court. You could be fined up to £1,000 as a result and have to pay legal costs.

Ignoring inventories

Check out and check in inventories can seem like a complete waste of time when there is studying (and partying) to be done. However, these are really important documents and are actually for your benefit. Your check in inventory will record the state of the property when you move in including any existing damage. The check out inventory will record the state of the property when you leave. The difference between the two means that you can avoid paying for damage that you haven’t cause or giving a rogue landlord the chance to make your life difficult and start demanding money for all sorts of random things.

Consequence: fighting over deductions from your deposit that no one can prove and having to go through the process of disputing them.

Antisocial behaviour

If you’ve spent some time in halls of residence then you’re probably used to everyone being a bit more tolerant and having a bit more fun. However, this will all change if you’re living next door to people who have to work 9-6, five days a week. Be considerate of your neighbours, respect their working hours, keep the music down, save parties for the weekend or have drinks at yours and then go out somewhere else for the late night noise. Don’t smoke in the house if it’s not allowed in your tenancy and keep your student house in a decent state of repair, on the inside and the outside.

Consequence: neighbours can report you to the local authority and to your landlord and may even call the police. You could be evicted as a result and you could face fines if you break noise abatement orders issued by the local authority.

Unpaid bills

Getting used to paying rent and bills is all part of being a student for the first time. You might be studying for exams but you still need to make sure the gas bill is paid and remember that your rent payments don’t stop just because you’re going away for a month. You need to close bill accounts when you leave a property and make sure you’re paid up right until the last day.

Consequence: unpaid bills, especially utilities bills, will make their way onto your credit record and that could affect everything when you want to get a mortgage or a business loan in the future.

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