Making the most of moving-in day
Finding the perfect university for you is rarely easy. Finding your perfect student home can also be a difficult task. (And, of course, passing the exams you need to qualify for your course in the first place isn’t necessarily the simplest thing you’ll ever have to do!) When the day comes to finally move in to your student home, you deserve to enjoy the experience. After all, a new home is an exciting landmark in anyone’s life. But don’t relax entirely quite yet. There are still important matters to address and potential problems to avoid. Here are eight tips to help you plan and execute moving-in day:
- Confirm your date of arrival with your landlord. This vital point seems obvious but you might be surprised. Not all landlords will let you move into the property in July, for example. You might be told you have to wait until closer to the start of the academic year. Why? If the summer is being spent improving the house, that argument might be justified. But are you still being asked to pay rent for that empty accommodation in July and August?
- Make a checklist of what you need to take with you (and what you don’t) when you move in. If you are living with six housemates, you won’t all need to bring a kettle! But if you buy any items together, make sure everyone is clear on their financial commitments. Student friendships can easily be damaged when people avoid paying for communal purchases. Everyone should agree, in writing, to share the cost of that new TV!
- To help you get started on your checklist, consider: formal identification, such as your driving licence or passport; coat hangers; cleaning, washing-up and laundry products; bedding; and towels. (You might also want to bring some academic books and stationery so you can study, or is that being too optimistic?)
- When you arrive on moving-in day, take the time to inspect your future home thoroughly, accompanied by your landlord. Don’t be afraid to be difficult. Run taps. Flush toilets. Look inside the fridge and the kitchen cupboards. Turn on the oven. A meticulous inventory check across the property should ideally include dated photographs to show the condition of items. Don’t be blamed later for damage you did not cause, which might lead to the landlord refusing to return your deposit. Ensure the landlord agrees, in writing, to fix broken appliances or furniture, or carry out any necessary redecorating. Similarly, if the landlord promises to buy furniture or other items for the house, ensure you have that commitment in writing too.
- Don’t forget to collect the keys!
- Park respectfully. Yes, you need to unload your possessions from your car and so you don’t want to park three streets away but don’t make an awful first impression on the neighbours by blocking someone’s drive.
- Don’t encourage opportunist theft when you move your belongings into your new home. As you shuttle between your car and your room, leaving one or the other unattended, don’t leave the car boot or the front door open.
- Make a good first impression on your new housemates. Remember, very possibly like you, your fellow housemates might arrive with a mix of emotions, from excitement to nervousness. If you all want to go out for a drink on your first night together, that’s great. But if one of your housemates is perhaps too shy to mix at first, respect their feelings. There will be plenty of time to get to know each other. Sharing a student house can be one of the best experiences you will ever have, forging genuinely lifelong friendships.