Living by yourself or in a shared house without your trusted ones near, can be a big step. It may be your first time living independently, which can leave you feeling stressed that you will forget to do some things that you perhaps didn’t have to think about whilst living at home. To help ease you into independent living we have put together a list of useful tips.
Make sure you keep your keys safe and have the emergency number for if you have lost your keys on your phone. If you are looking at making copies of your keys, ask the landlord or letting agent first.
Check your contract if there is a no noise period. You will usually have one if you are living in a block of flats. Always be mindful of neighbours if you are planning to have a party. If you have a problem with a neighbour making noise, it is always good to try to speak to them first before issuing a noise complaint formally.
If you do encounter any problems, contact the University's Accommodation Office for further support:
BRIGHTON: at firstname.lastname@example.org
EASTBOURNE: at email@example.com
It is always good to regularly clean your place so that dirt does not build up. Make sure you use the right cleaning product for the right surface by reading the instructions before use. Products intended for metal shouldn’t be used on other surfaces. When checking cleaning products, always check the warning labels. If you are using a vacuum, make sure you change the bag (if uses a bag) and check the filter regularly.
When getting home insurance, check how much the insurance covers. If your belongings that are stolen or destroyed exceed the value of your insurance plan, you will only get the maximum of the plan. Keep an inventory of all your belongings so that you have a list for the insurance company if needed.
Check when and where your rubbish is collected. This will be in the documents that you received when you moved in. If your rubbish collection includes a bin store or a wheelie bin, check the instructions on the move in documents.
If you have a washing machine, make sure you fill it fully to save energy. Check with the manufactures documents how it should be used including tablets and fabric softener. Make sure you look for the washing instructions on your clothes as it could need a special setting or need to be hand washed. If you are using the local laundrette, check that you have change, washing powder, and an easy way to carry washing to and from the laundrette.
Look at your move in documents about any information on how recycling is done in your area. For recycling most materials that are recyclable, there are recycle banks available and they can be found online. Most supermarkets will have areas to recycle plastic bags and batteries.
If you have monthly bills, send regular meter reading so that your bills can be more accurate and you are less likely to overpay or underpay when you leave. Some utility companies offer discount if you pay by direct debit and/or have online billing. If you are using direct debit, make sure that you have the money in your account on the date that the bill goes out so you do not get a “bounce back” and get charged extra for late billing.
If you are on a gas card or electricity key, regularly check how much is left on your meters. If you need to, you can activate the emergency setting that makes your meter go into debt up to a certain amount. If you do this, make sure you pay this off and top up as soon as you can.
When using a dishwasher, check that it is filled with rinse aid and dishwasher salt. Make sure you do not overload the dishwasher and that everything going in can be washed in a dishwasher. Only use dishwasher tablets and check the salt and rinse aid regularly.
Your contract will show how often your landlord/letting agent does an inspection. They have to inform you before they enter your property via email or phone. Make sure the property is tidy for inspection. If you clean regularly, you do not need to worry about having a deep clean before your inspection.
Make sure that you test your fire alarm and carbon monoxide alarm (houses with gas) at least once a month. Most alarms have a test button for this. Do not remove the battery from alarms. This can invalidate your insurance and is unsafe. If you alarm sounds regularly when you are cooking, it can be turned off by holding the button on the alarm.