Hello from the student side

Friday 14-09-2018 - 14:04

There are ups and downs of living in student halls of residence, which is also the case when living in private rented accommodation. Therefore, many of you will have mixed feelings about moving into houses this September. This video, created by Sussex UniTV, highlights some of the challenges students face when living in costly, yet poor quality housing, which you may be able to relate to. Generally, you now have to pay your own bills, chase your Estate Agent or homeowner when any issues arise and hoover your floors every once in a while. These extra costs and challenges can have a significant impact on student mental and physical health, with international students often face more challenges (NUS, 2014).

SSO+ provides advice and tips for students in the private rented sector so that they feel more in control of what energy they are using, the cost of this and how to reduce their exposure to fuel poverty. To get on our mailing list get in touch with jade.monroe@nus.org.uk  

On your first day of moving in, your estate agent or the owner should share with you an inventory which is a record of the condition of the house and its content. To ensure that you are not charged at the end of your tenancy for damages and marks that were not caused by you, before you sign your inventory:

  • Double-check it
  • Make sure they add or alter anything you think they may have missed
  • Take your own photos
  • Look out for marks and stains on walls and floors
  • Check smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working
  • Add meter readings if you are paying your own bills

Whilst it is good to save energy to reduce our carbon footprint and money spent on bills, we want students to be warm and healthy. Therefore, follow our suggestions so that your home insulation is improved and you are not paying too much for your energy:

  • Switch supplier or tariff – it can save your household £200 a year
  • Don’t leave your heating/lights/appliances on unnecessarily
  • Get a smart meter at no additional cost – find out more here
  • Make sure you have a full load before washing your clothes
  • Shut doors to keep heat in/out, add draught excluders and try to get a brush trim for letter boxes
  • Close curtains after dark
  • Try to avoid placing furniture in front of radiators
  • Place a large rug down if you have floorboards


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