There are some key things you should do at the start of a new tenancy. Have a look at the subsections below for advice on what you should be doing and what you should be keeping an eye out for.
The inventory is a report documenting a property’s and its content’s condition to show if any material or detrimental changes have happened whilst you were a tenant there. It is likely you are supplied an inventory, however, do not assume everything that needs to be on there is indeed there. Avoid being unfairly charged by checking the document extremely carefully and highlighting any discrepancies between it and the actual reality to your lessor and have the inventory amended. For best practice, inspect and test the property and all of the appliances/contents. It is recommended you list the rooms, list each room's contents and then inspect each element, test each item and record the information. Don’t worry about being overly pedantic (scuff marks, nail holes, no hot water etc), the more evidence you have the better! However, it is essential you take photographic evidence which can be added to the inventory as this will protect you come the end of your tenancy. The lessor should sign the inventory to state both entities agree as to the condition of the property at the start of the lease. Do not sign an inventory if the lessor refuses to let you include any amendments. If you need to create your own inventory, Shelter have a great template.
Upon moving in, take meter readings of your gas and your electricity meters. You will need to send these off to your utility suppliers so that you are not charged for any energy or bills from before your tenancy. When you do this, you will also be able to ensure your energy suppliers have your details to enable you to make future payments.
Appliances & Fixtures
You should have done this before the start of your tenancy but it is good practice to do it again when you move in. List all of the appliances in your property and check they are in good working order. If they are not, include them in your inventory as defective and report them to your landlord or letting agency. Common items to consider are: refrigerator, freezer, microwave, oven, washing machine, tumble dryer, boiler, iron, TV, radio, shower, extractor fan. Ensure you email the problem so that you have a written record of the problem at the start of your tenancy so as to avoid a deduction being made from your deposit to fix or replace the item in question. Lastly, ensure any fire alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are in good working order (there is usually a button which can be pressed to test this).
Ensure your change your address with your bank and provide the correct address with appropriate services in order to register with a GP, receive post and to claim student exemption, where applicable, from payment of Council Tax. If you don’t change your address you could be affecting or limiting your access to: Healthcare; Dental-care; Banking; TV Licencing; Insurance; Employment; Receiving Benefits; Childcare; Student Finance. Outside of utilities you may want to discuss with your housemates the need to set up payment for Council Tax, a TV Licence, Internet and maybe a phone-line. For further information, read our advice on Fees and Bills.
If you are living with other people, you will need to sort out your responsibilities. Who is paying the bills? How will the bills be paid and by when do the other tenants need to provide their contribution? You will need to discuss the bills, the communal items and whether you want a house kitty. Also, you should make a plan for cleaning: do you need a cleaning rota? Who will clean what and when? When do you need to take the bins out? Lastly, ensure you decide what will happen should a tenant not be meeting their responsibilities.
Check to see if you need any additional items, furniture or tools and equipment for your property and check your tenancy agreement or with your landlord to see if something is missing. There will also be things you need and things the entire household will need. Make a list with housemates on communal items (pans, bottle opener, iron etc) you want to buy together. If you are on a budget, check out charity shops, GoGreen or contact graduating students as there could be an opportunity to get a hold of some bargains. One of the most important rules is to adhere to your budget. Don’t use your student loan to buy a state of the art TV, remember this has to go a long way and contributes towards books, study resources and food!
Whether you are staying in university or private accommodation, RGU:Union Advice & Support's biggest tip is to GET FOCUSED!
Familiarise yourself with the area by checking your local amenities and finding out what time they operate.
Organise your stuff, unpack your clothes and locate your property essentials (boiler, mop, iron etc).
Connect your devices to RGU:Union Facebook, Twitter & Instagram to find the latest events & parties!
Unite with fellow students and introduce yourself to your neighbours and organise a meet-up or a trip out.
Settle in and put up some posters and pictures, and get a few plants or some throws and cushions to feel extra homely!
Explore Aberdeen by seeing the sights, visiting monuments and museums, and of course by sampling the local food!
Decide on a monthly budget, whether you need to get job, and with which GP & a dental practice to register!
If you have moved in, check out GoGreen, part of RGU:Union, which runs a free shop from Kaim Cottage on campus, that’s full of handy household items and clothing donated by past students. Drop by to see what they have and save yourself some money, and help the environment too!
The Accommodation Services Team and ResLife are there to help after you've moved into RGU halls should you have any queries. If you are staying in private accommodation and you need advice, ResLife and RGU:Union Advice & Support might be able to help.
Contact RGU:Union Advice and Support via the below links or via the chat-widget on this page, and to provide feedback on the service, please complete the Advice & Support Survey.