Living in privately rented accommodation

You've found somewhere to live! Here, you can find our tops tips for moving in to and living in your private rented accommodation. Although property admin might feel like it's at the bottom of your to-do list, sorting these things now could save you a lot of time and effort later in your tenancy.

Inventory

Taking steps now to ensure you document exactly what's in your property and any existing damage or issues will make a huge difference when it comes to getting your deposit back at the end of your tenancy. If your landlord has not provided one, you can download a blank inventory template (PDF) and complete it yourself. Take dated photos of existing damage and report and problems to your landlord immediately, keeping copies of your correspondence.

Bills and council tax

Make a note of the meter readings for your electricity, gas and water supplies (if applicable) on the day the tenancy starts and contact the relevant companies to give them the readings and tell them you're the new tenants.

Full time students are usually exempt from paying council tax but you are required to complete a form to notify the council, which you can find on the Bristol City Council website. You should do this as soon as possible to confirm that you are exempt and prevent any bills being sent to you wrongly. Get full details from our council tax factsheet (PDF).

You will need a television licence if you watch live television on any device, or if you download or watch programmes on the BBC iPlayer. If you share a house with other students and have a joint tenancy agreement you will only need one licence. If you have individual tenancies, you will each need a licence.

Insurance

It's really important that you take out insurance to cover your possessions. Sadly, student accommodation is often targeted by burglars. You can also get policies that will cover accidental damage the landlords possessions. Find out more on our contents insurance factsheet (PDF) and security factsheet (PDF).

Repairs

It is essential that you report issues with your accommodation to your landlord as soon as you notice them.  Details of who is responsible for what are covered in our repairs factsheet (PDF). Take a look through and ensure you are aware of what is your responsibility, and what is the responsibility of your landlord, and make sure you report it fully. If you are having issues with your landlord, you can contact us for help and advice.  

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