Private housing costs
Most student houses come at a discounted rent, with averages for the Nottingham area ranging from £50-£100 a week. If you are sharing a house, there may be different rates for room sizes, but generally all tenants pay the same. You will have to arrange the payment method with your landlord – whether by cheque, direct debit or standing order, per month or three months: choose something that is easy to remember. You can get your contract checked by the Student Advice and Representation Centre before you sign it if you go to their office on University Park.
You may also be asked to pay a deposit when you sign your contract, which is usually equal to one month’s rent, to hold your house for you until you move in. This should be returned to you when you move out. Many landlords use a deposit protection scheme which deals with the deposit as an independent third party.
Remember that as well as rent, you may be responsible for charges such as heating, electricity, water and other bills. You may be able to secure an all-inclusive deal with your landlord, but this is not common.
Your landlord should have details of the water, electricity and gas suppliers that previous tenants used, and you will have to contact these companies directly to set up payment methods for your bills throughout the year. Most bills come in once a month or every three months. Make sure you are not paying for any costs accrued from the previous tenants.
Some students opt to open a joint bank account for bills to be paid from that all tenants contribute to. This saves anyone having to bear the cost individually, and the account can easily be closed when you move out.
You will need to purchase a TV Licence if you want to watch or record any TV programmes, irrespective of the device you are using. TV Licensing’s officers visit unlicensed properties to check if a television is being used.
You need your own licence if you watch TV in your room and have a separate tenancy agreement from your housemates.
You can share a TV Licence with your housemates if:
• you live in a shared house and have a separate tenancy agreement but only use a TV in a communal area
• you have a TV in your room, but live in a shared house with one tenancy for all
If you’re not going to stay in your accommodation over the summer and you don’t need your TV Licence again before it expires, you’re entitled to a refund of any unused quarters (three months).
If you move out of your student accommodation, your TV Licence doesn’t move with you and you’ll need to update your details on the TV Licensing website.
For more information on TV licensing for students see our SU website.
To obtain a TV Licence, contact:
t: +44 (0)300 790 6090
If all tenants of a house are full-time students, you will not need to pay council tax. If one or more tenants are not full-time students, you will be required to pay a council tax fee every year for public services such as area maintenance and waste collection.
When you move into your house, you will probably get a notification from your local council about the payment due, and you need to let them know, with proof if necessary, that all occupants are full-time students.
See the Student Advice and Representation Centre’s Council Tax booklet for full details.
If you would like to purchase insurance for your personal belongings, there are many insurance providers you can contact.
The NUS recommends Endsleigh as they specialise in student insurance.
Internet and telephone packages will need to be decided and paid for as well. Most students get annual deals although there are options for shorter periods available.