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Moving into student accommodation: What needs arranging?

Martha Stewart magnetic to do list

The arrival of September in Cardiff heralds one thing, the return of students to Wales' capital to study in one of the universities situated across the city. If you're returning to Cardiff this September, you'll most likely have your student accommodation sorted, if not, don't fret you can find our available properties here.

Either way, once you’ve got your property arranged, there are still a number of important things you’ll need to organise with your housemates.

Before the move:

Arrange a TV licence

If you’re planning on watching any TV that is screened live then you’ll need a TV licence. It is important to remember that even if you’re watching live TV on a laptop or tablet, you’ll still need a TV license. If you’re just using your TV/laptop or any other device to play video games or DVDs then you won’t need a license. Unlike halls of residence, most student properties only require one licence, a current colour TV licence costs £145.50 which you can pay by Direct Debit or by a cash payment card. If you’re still not sure if you need a licence, you can find out on the dedicated student section of the TV Licencing website.

Arrange your broadband

Internet is extremely important as it’ll make your life so much easier when it comes to arranging everything once you’ve moved in. Most providers such as BT, Virgin and SKY have a range of packages that include broadband with TV so look into it and pick the best package for the household. Remember, if you want it installed on the day you move in you’ll need to arrange it at least a week before the move, if not you could be left for a week or so without internet.

Organise your insurance

Contents insurance is important for every student and isn’t particularly expensive, Endsleigh are particularly popular because of their student offers (they are even recommended by the National Union of Students), just remember that some items such as laptops, mobile phones and tables may not be included in the basic cover, so be sure to check.

Parking permit

Cardiff is notorious for parking, so the earlier you do this the better. If you’re planning on bringing your car with you, you’ll need to see if you can park outside your student accommodation and if so how much it costs. Cardiff Council has a dedicated parking permit page with details of pricing. You’ll also need ID and proof of address. Bringing a car to university also means you’ll need to keep it safe, we recently blogged about how to keep your car safe during the academic year. So make sure you read this for all the essential safety tips.

After the move:

So you’ve moved in, unpacked what seemed like an endless number of boxes and arranged your bedroom just the way you like it. However, there are still a few things to sort out.

Gas, electricity and water bills

Once you move out of your family home you’ll need to arrange these. Some students will continue with the same provider that was already at the property, but many choose to shop around for better deals. Once you have organised with your house mates which provider to use, you’ll need to organise a payment schedule – who will set up the Direct Debit and how are the housemates going to pay each other?

Council Tax

Council Tax is free for students, but it’s worth noting as you need to inform the council that you’re a student. You can pick up Council Tax exemption certificates from your university. It is also worth noting that if you’re living with anyone who isn’t a student, they will still need to pay Council Tax but can get the amount reduced.

Organise your rent

After arranging your other essentials it is important to make sure your standing order or Direct Debit to your landlord or letting agent is arranged. Should you miss payments you could suffer from additional charges and no one wants that! So make sure your payments are organised. This also goes for your other bills, make sure you’re on track with payments and dates.

Make a budget

We don’t want to sound like parents, but budgeting is essential, you’ll have to make your student loan last a few months before the next instalment. There have been stories of students spending all their loan in freshers’ week and having to live in debit for the rest of the term. Many student bank accounts have overdrafts, but if you can stay out of these, you’ll be on a better financial footing.

We at Capital Properties hope these tips have proved useful and we look forward to welcoming all students both old and new to Cardiff, it’s a lovely place to live. If you’re interested in property for the next academic year, why not check out the properties we have available, we are particularly popular with students looking to rent in Cathays or Roath. We also welcome any and all comments so please get in touch and let us know how your move went!

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