NSMW18 theme - 'Where I live'
All the information below will be displayed on a notice board on Level 2 of DUSA from Monday to Friday.
NEWS JUST IN! - Tenants and landlords benefit from new regulations.
Monday 12th February
DUSA will be again putting on their Speed Renting - find your flatmate for next year!
What do you ask your potential flatmate?
We've got a few a few questions you can ask to start things off.
Affordability and Budgeting
Two of the words most ignored by students!!! Emily provides some useful tips, and you can have a look at our tips and guidance below on how to be financially savvy with your next accommodation.
- Add up all the funds you have access to make up a monthly income.
- Work out what you can afford on rent and try not to over-commit on an expense flat.
- Now that you know your rental costs, add up what you need to spend and take this away from your income. What you have left can be saved or used for going out.
- Watch out for additional costs such as a deposit plus 1 month's advance, insurance, utility, food, books and socialising.
Tuesday 13th February
Tenancy Deposit Schemes
What is a deposit?
If you pay for renting your home from a private landlord, you will undoubtedly be asked to pay a deposit.
Why do I have to pay it?
This is a guarantee against:
- damage you may do to the property;
- cleaning bills if you have left the property in a poor condition,
- bills that have been left unpaid;
- unpaid rent.
How much will I be asked for?
Usually, a deposit is the equivalent of 1 month’s rent, but sometimes, landlords can ask for up to 2 x month’s rent.
Can I get it back?
Yes. There are 3 companies in Scotland that have approved tenancy deposit schemes, and their webpages are listed below for you to access information on how to go about getting your deposit back at the end of your tenancy.
Safedeposit Scotland have a good video for you to view which gives clear and concise guidance, and if you are already in private accommodation and are not sure which scheme your deposit has been registered with, click here.
Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)
As a student, it is more than likely that you are living in a HMO property.
What does that mean?
Essentially it means:
- That an HMO is a property shared by three or more tenants who are not members of the same family;
- That HMO landlords must have a licence from the local council;
- That the local council must check that the owner and anyone who manages the property (eg. Letting agent) don’t have any criminal convictions;
- That in order to keep their HMO licence, your landlord must maintain the property properly.
For a more in-depth knowledge of an HMO and what it means to be a tenant, please see Shelter Scotland’s informative webpage.
Landlords and Letting Agents
If you are moving into private accommodation, you will have to deal with a landlord, either on a 1-2-1 basis or via a letting agent. Find out via the DUSA Housing Advice webpage their landlord accreditation scheme and information on guarantors. Here's a topical blog about The Truth About Letting Agent Fees.
See NEWS JUST IN above for information on new letting agent code of practice.
Breaches in Tenancy
What are Breaches of Tenancy?
Wednesday 14th February
Valentine's Day!! What better way to express your lurv by taking part in our 'Love 'n' the House' activity
Come along to Level 2 of DUSA between 11 am and 2 pm and give us your tips and guidance on all things related to private accommodation, how to get on with your flatmates etc. Freebies on offer for taking part!
Thank you to all who took part! Look at all the 'Love 'n' the House'!!
Here's a representation of all your tips and advice to your fellow students:
- Choose your flatmates carefully
- Split the bills equally
- Make decisions together
- Don't leave notes
- Be sociable
- Give people space
- Have some house rules
Renting-a good student experience?
University isn't just about academic work, we gain important life skills when we with people: How renting can set you up for life
ShelterScotland's 'Sharing your accommodation' video will give you some pointers on how best to live with people who aren't your family!
Thursday 15th February
Staying Safe and Healthy in Student Accommodation
Some tips on how to make yourself safe and secure in your new accommodation: Staying Safe and Healthy in Student Accommodation
Common Problems with Landlords
Some landlords don’t have a particularly fantastic reputation and, let’s face it, a few student landlords even less so. Although you can’t always avoid the ‘bad’ landlords, it’s a good idea to go in with your eyes open so here are three of the most common issues with student landlords and how you can deal with them.
Check out DUSA's Landlord Accreditation Scheme on their Housing Advice webpage where you'll find out more information and guidance on local landlords and letting agencies.
Common mistakes made by students
Take our quiz to find out if you would make the right decision!
Friday 16th February
What are the first things you need to do when you move into your new property? Have a look at our Moving in checklist to make sure you are sorted from the offset.
What is it and why is it so important? Shelter Scotland give good advice on what an inventory is and why it is so important to carry one out.
Here's their Inventory for you to use if you haven't been provided one by your landlord.
Such an important room! A place for fun and flat bonding, but also can be a place on contention if boundaries are not set. Here are some tips on how to make this space work for all.
- Keep your kitchen tidy
- Cook and shop for food together
- Invest in accessories such as a toaster, chopping board, knives and drying board
- Set boundaries on personal items and have clear boundaries when dishes are to be cleaned
- Get creative. Soup and pasta is often cheaper if you make it yourself
Food Standards Scotland have an interesting website which you may want to have a look at, and Love Food Hate Waste Scotland is an invaluable resource for all things food related - also can help with budgeting your food shops!
Take a meter reading as soon as you move in, and contact the supplier as soon as possible. You may want to change supplier, using comparative website. Ask about student discounts. Have a look at our poster on Utility savings.
Student Funding Newsletter
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