Before you celebrate, which you should, there are a few things we need to check to avoid any issues.
If you haven't done so already, you'll need to contact us to to make your initial rent payment, along with any utility payments, if you have chosen to take out our inclusive bills package. This is due ten days before your tenancy begins, to make sure that is has cleared in our account and there are no issues. You can make this payment over the phone, by calling 0191 243 1000, or by bank transfer. If to wish to pay via bank transfer, you can contact us for the details, or find them in your tenant pack.
Your Property Supervisor will have made a provisional appointment for your lead tenants to collect all of your keys. If this appointment isn't convenient, then let us know and we can find a more appropriate appointment for you. Some of our properties have key safes, which means your keys will be waiting for you at the property. On the day your tenancy starts, your Property Supervisor will be in touch to provide you with the code to your key safe. The key safe will contain a front door key, and the rest of your keys will be waiting for you on the kitchen bench. Please replace the front door back in the key safe when you're done with it, and make sure it is secure. We may need to use the key safe in the future for emergencies.
By the time you collect your keys, you’ll already have received a copy of your inventory report. Your inventory should provide an accurate representation of the condition of the property, at the time you move in. The first thing we ask you to do, before your start unpacking, is to go round the property and check that everything is accounted for on your inventory.
If you feel that any mistakes have been made, than please make sure to leave a comment on the inventory and take a photo as proof. This will be very important come the end of your tenancy, as the inventory is the main document we use when checking to see who is responsible for any damage that has been left. You only have a few days in which to send any comments on your inventory, which is why it has to be a priority for you as soon as you move in. If you send it through any later than this, then we won't be able to accept it, as we cannot guarantee that any damage has not been caused during the first few days of the tenancy.
Now that you are in the property and you are checking everything, you may notice that there are some issues that need to be fixed. Noting these issues on your inventory will mean they are recorded, but in order for these to be resolved, you will also need to report them on PropertyFile, our online maintenance service.
Once you've done this, we'll be able to instruct a contractor to come and visit the property, and resolve your issue. Please only use this service for maintenance issues that need to be fixed. If you're reporting scuffs on the walls or small stains on your carpet, these would just need to be recorded on your inventory, not reported to us on PropertyFile.
For those of you who have taken out our inclusive bills package, the hard work has already been done for you. Your broadband router should be waiting in your property ready for you to set up. If you need an engineer to visit to set this up for you, we'll have already arranged for this to happen as soon as your tenancy starts. All we need from you is to send through regular meter readings, so that we can track your usage and let you know if you're coming close to your overuse limit. For everyone who hasn't taken our utility package, you'll need to contact all providers to make sure that the accounts are placed in your name.
Your bills will include:
Regardless of whether you've taken out our bills package, you'll still need to contact the council tax department to give the names of all the tenants living in the property. If you qualify for a council tax discount or exemption, you'll need to notify the council of this, to ensure you are not charged incorrectly.
We understand that it's exciting to move into your new property, however, our antisocial behaviour policy must be considered at all times. It's always worth knocking on your neighbours door and introducing yourself - you never know when you might need something. It's also worth remembering that if you are living in private rental accommodation, not student halls, not everyone around you is going to be a student. You should avoid making noise late at night or any behaviour which could cause distress or inconvenience to your neighbours.
When you decide which bedroom is going to be yours, make sure you familiarise yourself with the nearest exit, in case of any emergencies. If your fire alarm starts going off in the middle of the night, you want to make sure you know exactly how to leave the building safely.
Familiarising yourself with the locks, doors and windows of the property is a good way to ensure the property is kept secure.
Make sure that you've checked all of your appliances and that you know they all work, especially your boiler. If you're not sure how to turn your boiler on or off, or how to set the timer, you can search the make and model online and this will give you the instructions. The same goes for all of your other appliances, including your over, fridge freezer, washing machine, and dishwasher.
You've made your first rent payment, so now you need to make sure that the remainder of your rent payments are made on the correct date, for the correct amount. The easiest way to do this is to set up a Standing Order with your bank. You should have already received your Standing Order Mandate form from your Property Supervisor, or, you can just set this simply by using your online banking. This will save you lots of time and hassle during your tenancy, meaning you won't have to call up or transfer through the amount each month.
If you are not renewing your tenancy and are moving to a new property, then it's important to remember to get your mail forwarded to your new residence. Any post that you get regularly, including bills and bank statements, will need to be sent to your new address, so it's in your best interest to get in contact with your service providers or bank to notify them of any changes. This will ensure you don't miss any important documents, and that the tenants at your old property are not getting your mail.
Make sure you familiarise yourself with who will need to be contacted for any queries or questions. Your Property Supervisor will be your first point of contact throughout your tenancy, so make sure you have saved their details in your phone. Your Property Supervisor will only be available during office hours, so if you have any emergency issues that need to be dealt with straightaway, we do have an emergency out-of-hours team.
You can contact the emergency out-of-hours team on 0772 295 0734.
Make sure all tenants have this number saved in their phones in case of an emergency. Please note that this number is for emergencies only, which includes:
All other issues must be reported by PropertyFile, and they'll be dealt with as soon as our offices have reopened. You may be charged for any call outs where the emergency team has visited and it was deemed unnecessary, or, where you have been negligent - for example, locking yourself out of your property and needing access.
For any other concerns or queries, please contact your Property Supervisor, or give us a call on 0191 243 1000.