Moving from first to second year at university often comes with a lot of change. Instead of living in halls with strangers, most students will be moving into a house with friends and taking on the responsibility of paying bills for the first time!
To help explain the main things you need to consider when moving into student accommodation, we’ve put together our 5 top tips.
Your student tenancy agreement should include an inventory report covering everything provided in your new student house. Make sure you read this before you start buying appliances – there’s no point in buying a new microwave if your new house already has one! What’s included will vary, so read the inventory and don’t just assume your house will come equipped with everything you need.
The inventory will also include the property’s condition, appliances and furniture. Take note of this and make sure it lines up with reality. If there’s damage to the house or missing appliances, you must tell your landlord to ensure the inventory gets amended. It’s always a good idea to take photos of the house just before you move in so you’ve got evidence of any discrepancies.
Unlike your first year when you were living with strangers, you may already know your housemates, which means you can coordinate with them about what to bring. If one of your housemates has a tonne of crockery and cutlery, you can probably leave yours at home. Similarly, if you know you’ll need new appliances, like a kettle and microwave, you can club together to purchase one for the group rather than buying one separately.
Your halls of residence likely included cleaning communal areas and even cleaning your room if you were lucky. However, living in a privately rented student house means you’ll have to handle all the cleaning yourselves. Having an agreed-upon cleaning rota is essential if you don’t want your house to look like an utter mess and avoid arguments over whose turn it is to clean.
It’s also worth agreeing on some house rules – not eating other people’s food in the fridge and doing your own washing up might seem obvious, but having rules like this written down somewhere can clear up any confusion later down the road.
Utility bills are the basic costs for the services that keep your student home running. You usually pay them in monthly instalments. The main services include:
Don’t wait until move-in day to get your household bills set up – try and get them sorted as soon as possible. We’ve written an ultimate guide on when to set up student bills to make things simpler.
When it comes to paying shared bills, you’ve got a couple of options: set up direct debits, open a joint bank account, or pay for a bill-splitting service. If you’d like more information on paying shared bills, we’ve got an in-depth guide, ‘How to split student bills’.
This option involves each housemate taking responsibility for setting up and paying one bill (for example, water, gas, electricity, and broadband). Each person will need to set up an account with the relevant supplier and then set up a monthly direct debit from their bank account.
You’ll then need to calculate how much everyone needs to pay each other to make sure everyone is paying an equal amount for bills each month. This can be tricky (although there are apps that can help), and you run the risk of your housemates not paying you on time, meaning you have to cover their portion.
Setting up a joint account means everyone has full knowledge of all charges. Beware if another account holder has a poor credit history; it could affect yours in the future. If you’re unsure, contact your bank and speak with a financial advisor.
Bill-splitting companies divide all payments into one monthly cost per tenant. This would ensure everybody is paying the correct amount and nobody has to deal with the stress of chasing their friends for money each month.
If you’re anxious about paying bills for the first time, opting for a stress-free bill-splitting service is possibly a good way to go.
Moving into a new house can be exciting! But if you’re feeling nervous about tackling utility bills, a bill-splitting service can help make the experience much more relaxed and enjoyable.
Split the Bills is a bill-splitting service that’s trusted by thousands of students across the country. Our team will set up utility accounts for your student house so you don’t have to deal with the hassle of ringing suppliers, setting up direct debits or calculating how much everyone owes.
Our bill package includes uncapped energy and water, your choice of broadband and an optional TV licence (if you plan on watching live TV). All you need to do is pay one neat monthly bill each month, which covers all your household bills automatically.
Get a monthly price for your household bills today and make moving into your new student house as hassle-free as possible!
The move from first to second year at university often comes with a lot of change as most students will have to start paying bills for the first time. In this feature we discuss how you can keep your finances organised and pay bills responsibly.