Housing Support


Whether you live in halls or private accommodation, housing can be confusing. We are here to help. 

If you are struggling with housing issues, it is a good idea to reach out for guidance. You can see the information below on particular issues. For independent and impartial advice, email our Student Advice Centre on [email protected].

If you have received a council tax bill from Bath and North East Somerset Council, please do not ignore it. Council tax is collected by your local council to pay for services in your community such as bin collection and social care. You can read more about it here.

Full time students are exempt from paying council tax. However, you are responsible for proving your student status. It is vital to inform your local council when you move both in and out of the area. It is very important to include your tenancy dates and your student number, as this will help prevent any issues regarding council tax. You can inform the council of any changes in address by filling in this online form.

This is because your full-time student status ends on the last day of your final academic year which usually in June. At this point, Bath and North East Somerset Council may begin charging final year students council tax.

 

We understand that for many students, needing to pay council tax in your final months in Bath may come as a surprise. If you are having any issues paying your council tax, you should let Bath and North East Somerset Council know via this online form. 
However, we understand that sometimes it is more reassuring to receive advice from a real person. We are happy to make individual or group online meetings to provide you with the free space to ask any questions that you may have. You can schedule an appointment through emailing [email protected]Please include a brief summary of your situation and a list of any questions. Your Advice Centre also provides free bill-checking. All you need to do is email us with a picture of your bill. Please include a list of all housemates’ full names, year of study and let us know when your tenancy ends.

 
  • Stay calm! Try not to rush into finding a house just because people you know have already got one.
  • Give yourself a chance to get to know your future flatmates. It will help you realise whether you will be compatible living together.
  • Spend time looking around at accommodation. Do not just get the first house that you see.
  • Know your rights as tenants.
  • Get your contract checked by someone you trust. If there is something that you are not sure about, ask!
  • Keep track of all communication with your landlord and letting agency, including times and dates. This will help in the event that you need something fixed.
  • Make sure that you take an inventory and pictures when you move in. You will regret it when you move out and some of your deposit gets taken because of damage that was already in place when you arrived.

Keep your house burglar safe by taking some simple measures:

  • Keep doors and windows locked. NEVER leave keys in the door.
  • Keep expensive possessions like televisions and laptops out of view of windows.
  • Mark valuables with a UV pen.
  • Be cautious of keeping lists or calendars on show. Prospective burglars can use these to tell when you are going to be out.
  • Chain up your bike.

The Housing Team have put some really helpful information on the University website. NUS have provided free resources and guides to help students through the renting process. For some more information on looking for a house, NUS have provided a House-hunting checklist and a House-hunting videoFor some more information on signing a contract, NUS has provided a ‘Signing a contract—Things to consider document and some advice on tenancy agreements and contracts.’

All privately rented property comes with certain rights and responsibilities. NUS have provided free resources and guidance to help you understand these as a tenant living in rented housing. NUS Tenancy Troubleshooting guide (England) includes information on during your tenancy, including:

  • What your role as a tenant is
  • What your landlord’s role is
  • What to do if your landlord isn’t meeting their obligations
  • Where to get advice

NUS has also produced a video on Tenancy Tips.
There are also more resources including Tenancy Guides, Moving In and Moving Ouresources. 

In England and Wales, if you rent on an assured shorthold tenancy that began after 6th of April 2007, your landlord must place your deposit in one of the following tenancy deposit (TDP) schemes:

  • Deposit Protection Service
  • MyDeposits
  • Tenancy Deposit Scheme

These government-backed schemes ensure you’ll get your deposit back if you:

  • Meet the terms of your tenancy agreement
  • Cause no damage to the property
  • Pay your rent and bills

For more information about Tenancy Deposit Protection please see the Government website.

  • Fill out an inventory and make note of what conditions things are in. Make sure you keep track of any changes. Remember to keep a copy for yourself after you have sent it to your landlord.
  • Report any issues in writing (over text or email) to your landlord or letting agent. Having a paper trail is useful in case you need to settle any future disputes.

You can find out more information at NUS’ Ready to Rent website. 

When moving out make sure you:

  • Read all of the meters, and then contact the utility companies with the final reading. Give them a forwarding address for the final receipt.
  • Get contact details from all of your housemates. You may need to forward deposits etc.
  • Remove all of your items (including any rubbish) from the house.
  • Return ALL of the keys to your agent.

You can find out more information at NUS’ Ready to Rent website. 

Student Housing Services are your source of information and help on housing and accommodation. You can find useful information on their website: http://thehub.bathspa.ac.uk/services/housing. Current and prospective students can also email them at [email protected] or ring on 01225 876777.
Alternatively, for independent and impartial advice, email our Student Advice Centre, on 
[email protected].
There are a couple of external agencies that you may be able to find advice or information from including;

The Student Community Partnership (SCP) is made up of Bath and North East Somerset Council and Student and Staff representatives from the University of Bath and Bath Spa University. It provides a forum for liaison between the Universities, their Students’ Unions and the Council on matters related to students and the local community. This includes accommodation, transport, welcome, community relations, community safety and environmental issues. You can have a look at the Student Community Partnership website here.

You must be covered by a TV Licence to:

  • Watch or record programmes as they’re being shown on TV or live on an online TV service, such as All4, Sky Go and YouTube.
  • Download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer.

This could be on any device which has access to the internet, including a TV, desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, games console, digital box or DVD/VHS recorder.
If you do any of the above without a valid licence, you risk prosecution and a maximum penalty of up to £1,000 plus any legal costs and/or compensation you may be ordered to pay.
For more information on students and TV licensing, check
 here

This website has all you need to know about rubbish and recycling in Bath including what to do with your rubbish to how to apply for recycling bins.

NUS has published new research ‘Homes fit for study’ which revealed that over three-quarters of students have a problem with the condition of their home, including Vermin such as rats or bugs. Click here to read the report and with help on how to deal with pest problems in your home.