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Shared accommodation survival guide

Maintenance and bills

maintenance

While it is your job to keep the house clean and tidy, it is the landlord's responsibility to keep the house in a good state of repair. You may have to be assertive in your requests for repairs but it will be stated in your tenancy agreement that your landlord has to maintain the property so make sure he/she does!

 

You cannot withhold rent while you wait for repairs to take place - this is illegal. If you are really having problems with your landlord, contact your student welfare officer, your university accommodation office or the Citizen's Advice Bureau for help.

bills

If you are all full-time students, you should not have to pay council tax. You will need to get a certificate confirming your student status from your university and send this to the council tax office.

You obviously have to pay rent to either you landlord or your letting agent. You will need to contact them to find out how and when this should be paid. Many letting agents will charge you if your rent payments are late, so make sure you pay these on time.

Unless your bills are included in your rent, you will have to pay gas and electricity bills on top of your rent. I would recommend setting up a direct debit to pay money off these bills each month. This will prevent you from getting hit with a massive bill every three months. For tips on how to reduce your gas and electricity consumption (and therefore reduce your bills) see the Trees full of money website.

You will have to pay for water bills, there is not much you can do about that I'm afraid! Unless you've got a water meter, in which case, use less water!


TV/Phone/Internet

The cheapest option for this is to get the cheapest unlimited broadband deal you can and use normal digital TV. If you really want more TV channels invest in a freeview box. Sky TV packages are hideously expensive.

For an updated comparison of the cheapest broadband providers, see the Money Saving Expert website.


TV License

You will need to buy a TV license for your house. These cost around £130 for a year.

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