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Help with issues when renting private accommodation

We can help you if you encounter issues when renting private accommodation. Here’s some tips and advice to help you with common problems.

Bills and utilities

Most privately rented options do not include bills and utilities. You’ll need to budget for internet, gas and electricity, water, TV license and contents insurance.

It’s important to be prepared for this, as bills can be a point of contention among housemates.

The average student spends around £40 a month on household bills, but it can be higher depending on factors like location, demand and age of the property.

Student Switch Off has some useful energy advice to make sure you’re not paying too much for your energy and have a warm, efficient home.

Together with your housemates, think about how payments can be shared fairly in a way that ensures bills are paid on time. Student bill-splitting companies do exist but this will make your bills more expensive.

If you are a full time student you do not have to pay council tax. Read what to do if you receive a demand.

Repairs

Your landlord is responsible for providing a property that is a safe and healthy environment for you to live in.

They must do anything your tenancy agreement says they have to do and are generally responsible for:

  • the structure and exterior (walls, roof, foundations, drains, guttering and external pipes, windows and external doors)
  • basins, baths, toilets and their pipework
  • water and gas pipes, electrical wiring, water tanks, boilers, radiators, gas fires, fitted electric fires or fitted heaters

Read Shelter’s advice on what your landlord is responsible for and how long do they have to do the repairs.

You should report anything that needs repairing as soon as you notice it. If you report it over the phone, follow it up in writing on an email.

You must let the landlord or their contractor in to do the work and you should get 24 hours notice (except in an emergency).

Contact Bath and North East Somerset council if your landlord refuses to complete repairs or fix conditions within a reasonable time period.

Be a good neighbour

Your neighbours could be working adults, families with young children or elderly residents, so we encourage all students to respect the local neighbourhood and wider community here in Bath.

This includes:

  • Keeping noise to a minimum (particularly late at night, after 11pm)
  • Putting your bins and recycling out appropriately
  • Being a responsible citizen

The Student Community Partnership (SCP), is a bridge between Bath’s student residents and permanent residents. The SCP campaigns for neighbourly relations, safety, sustainability and other aspects of community awareness.

Staying safe

Lock windows and doors when leaving your home empty, clean regularly, keep the property well heated and regularly check your smoke/heat detectors.

While the property should be insured by the landlord, this will not cover your belongings.

Contents insurance is generally not included in the rent, so compare prices and services to ensure your belongings are covered.

Getting your deposit back

Deposits are capped at five weeks’ rent and should be returned at the end of the tenancy, minus reasonable deductions for damages or unpaid rent.

To avoid charges, follow the general rule that you’ll need to return the property/room in the same state you got it, fair wear and tear considered.

The most common charge is for cleaning, so be sure to leave the property in a clean state, the same standard you received it.

Landlords renting a property must secure your deposit in a protection scheme. If you cannot come to an agreement on the amount to be deducted, you can use the scheme's dispute service. The protection scheme looks at evidence provided by both sides and gives an impartial decision.

Resident landlords (living in the property and renting a room out) are not required to use a deposit protection scheme.

Contact us

Contact us if you have any questions or to arrange an appointment in person.