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All you need to know about living in a Unilet property

Moving away from home and sharing a house with people you don't know can be a bit daunting, but it's also really exciting and a fantastic part of the university experience. We know that it’s important to be prepared for coming to university, and especially for you to feel comfortable in your new home. The following information is designed to help you get ready for living in a Unilet property.

Do all the Unilet houses have internet access?

All of the Unilet houses have wireless internet access and you will be told how to connect to the network when you move into your property.

What do you need to bring?

You don't need to bring loads with you, but there are a few important things that you should remember:

  • Bedding (sheets, duvet, duvet covers, pillows)
  • Towels and tea towels
  • Cups, plates and cutlery
  • Cooking utensils and saucepans – you may want to buy some of these things jointly with your new flatmates, to avoid duplication
  • Clothes, toiletries and personal items.

If you aren't able to bring all of these items with you or just don't want the hassle of transporting them, then don't worry, you can buy all you need and more from UniKitOut, a dedicated website where you can buy the essentials for the start of term and have everything delivered directly to your hall of residence. If you choose this convenient option then remember to claim your discount by quoting your unique code: BU16

What about contents insurance for my stuff?

Your contents. Covered.

Bournemouth University is working in partnership with Endsleigh, the No. 1 student insurance provider, to provide some cover for the contents inside your room. You don’t need to do anything to activate this cover, but it is important for you to check and ensure that you fully understand the protection provided and whether it is sufficient for your needs.

Visit Check Your Cover to:

  • Check your level of cover
  • Review key exclusions and limitations
  • Check your policy excess
  • Learn how to make a claim
  • See if you need to extend and personalise your cover to protect laptops, phones and other valuables

Endsleigh knows that life can grind to a halt without your possessions, so it is worth spending a few minutes to establish whether the things that matter to you most are protected both inside and outside your room. They are the only insurance provider recommended by NUS and have been shaping their products and services around their customers’ needs for over 50 years.

Developing products built for students, Endsleigh understands that protecting and replacing gadgets quickly is hugely important to students; that’s why they will replace any lost, stolen or unrepairable gadgets within 24 hours of your claim being approved. Their cover can protect gadgets, watches, bikes and musical instruments under one policy—giving you the flexibility to build your cover to protect the things that matter to you most.

To find out more, visit Check Your Cover

Is a TV licence required in Unilet properties?

Getting a TV Licence

You need to be covered by a TV Licence to watch or record live TV programmes on any channel, or download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer. This could be on any device, 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. You will also still have to buy a TV Licence if you need one. To find out more, go to tvlicensing.co.uk/studentinfo

How can I buy a TV Licence?

There are lots of different ways to buy a TV Licence. Whether that's through weekly cash payments, using your nearest PayPoint outlet, spreading the cost with monthly, quarterly or yearly direct debit, credit/debit card or by post – just choose the one that suits you best. For more information on the ways to pay, go to tvlicensing.co.uk/payinfo

If I live in halls, won't I already be covered by a TV Licence?

Your room needs to be covered by its own licence if you're plugged in to watch or record programmes as they're being shown on TV or live on an online TV service, or if you download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer. If there are TVs in communal areas, check with your halls' manager to see if they're covered by a halls' licence.

What if I live in a shared house?

You'll probably only need one licence between you if you have a joint tenancy agreement for the whole house – this is the most common type of shared house arrangement. You might need your own licence if your accommodation is self-contained. That means you have exclusive access to washing facilities, or your own entrance to the property. You will also need your own licence if you have a separate tenancy agreement for your own room. If you're not sure, check our advice for tenants and lodgers.

Won't my parents' licence cover me?

Your parents' licence will not cover you while you're away at uni unless you only use a device that's powered solely by its own internal batteries and not connected to the mains.

What if I'm not at uni for the summer?

If you're leaving your halls or rented accommodation and moving back home for the summer, there's a good chance you won't need your TV Licence if there's one at home. You can see our policy and apply for a refund online.

What if I don't need a licence?

If you don't need a TV Licence, you still need to let TV Licensing know. 

Is car parking available at Unilet properties?

The amount of parking will depend on the property, but in general there is on-street parking around Unilet houses.

Is there a cleaning service?

No, you and your housemates will be responsible for keeping the property clean and tidy. We will make sure you have a vacuum cleaner and other cleaning equipment within the house to ensure you can stay on top of the cleaning.

Housing officers will aim to visit your property twice per term, giving a minimum of 48 hours notice, and the property should be clean and in good order for these visits. 

What are the differences between the room types?

There are four different room types within our Unilet properties, although you won't find examples of each in every house. The room types are:

  • Standard room - These rooms are of a good specification and have all the furniture you'll need to be comfortable. The bed size may vary between building, although beds will normally be either a standard single or four-foot wide. 
  • Value room - These rooms are of a very similar specification to standard rooms, but may be a little smaller or an irregular shape and the beds will always be singles.
  • Premium room - These rooms may have a higher specification than standard rooms (such as improved light fittings, additional or better-quality furniture, different decor or a heated towel rail), they may be larger than most of the other rooms in the same property or may have a four-foot bed.
  • Studios - These are self-contained units, with their own ensuite bathroom and kitchenette, as well as a living area and bedroom. They are typically between 18 and 22 square metres, although some units are larger than this. Beds vary in size from single to full double.

What do we do about rubbish?

There will be regular rubbish collections, organised by the local council. You will have one wheelie bin for general household rubbish, which will be collected weekly, and a second wheelie bin for recyclables, which will be collected bi-weekly. In Bournemouth, your large black bin will be for recycling and your small black bin for general waste. In Poole, you'll have a blue bin for recycling and a black one for general rubbish.

You will find information about the days that your bins are emptied in the property when you move in.

Are you allowed to stick posters on the walls?

We do not recommend putting posters up on the walls in your property. However, if you would like to put some pictures up, we suggest using small pins instead of Blu-Tack, as these usually cause less damage.

Remember that you may be charged for repainting if there are marks on walls when you move out.

Do bills have to be paid separately?

Bills, such as gas, water and electricity, are included in the rent for all of our Unilet properties, giving you one easy payment. There are a few shared houses that have prepayment cards or keys for gas and electricity, in which case a Housing Officer will ensure the card is kept topped up until such a time as the meter can be changed to a normal payment type.

What happens if there is a problem with the heating, water or one of the appliances?

Information about how to operate all of the appliances in your house, as well as the central heating system, will be provided when you move in. If you cannot resolve the issue you are having by following the instructions, you should contact the Residential Services team.

If you smell gas, do not turn any electrical appliances on or off and do not smoke or use naked flames. You should open all the doors and windows in the property to help get rid of the gas and you should turn the supply off at the meter. You should also phone the Gas Emergency Service free on 0800 111 999. This line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Are there single sex properties?

A certain number of our Unilet houses are for single sex occupancy. When you log into the online accommodation system, you will be able to see the ratio of male to female residents. You should choose a room in a property that specifies all male or all female. 

Is smoking allowed in Unilet properties?

Smoking is not permitted in Unilet properties - or any university-managed building - you are asked to smoke outside.

What do you do about condensation?

Condensation is a common problem in houses where several people are cooking, showering and generally living, as a lot of moisture is generated. One of the best ways to avoid condensation - and the issues of damp and mould that are often associated with it - is to open windows in rooms that are prone to condensation (the kitchen and bathroom), as well as to use extractor fans when you are cooking or showering.

You should also keep the kitchen and bathroom doors closed when these rooms are in use to prevent the moisture circulating around the house.

If you do notice mould, you should clean it with a fungicidal wash. If you deal with the issue of condensation in your property, this should not reappear.

Do Unilet houses have fire and gas safety equipment?

Yes. All of our properties are fitted with smoke detectors, a carbon monoxide alarm, fire extinguisher and fire blanket.

If your carbon monoxide alarm goes off, you need to evacuate the building. Make sure you turn off any appliances and open the windows before you leave. You should then call the Gas Emergency Service free on 0800 111 999.

You should also contact the Residential Services Office, or your duty callout officer, to tell them what has happened, and avoid using any appliances until they have been checked by an expert.

How is excessive noise dealt with?

Please remember that Unilet houses are part of the local community and that you are ambassadors for BU. Be considerate to your neighbours when organising gatherings or playing music late at night.

If you are asked to keep the noise down, either by a housemate or a neighbour, please respond positively. We will treat any reports of noise nuisance seriously.

Any serious noise issues will be dealt with by the police and the Council Environmental Health complaints team. 

What about other anti-social behaviour?

Anti-social behaviour, including bullying, is totally unacceptable and you should speak to someone about any issues you have before things go too far. If you feel another student is bullying you, speak to them in the first instance, but do not hesitate to ask for support or advice from a member of the Residential Services team, or anyone else you feel comfortable talking to.

Are guests allowed at Unilet houses?

You can have overnight guests in your room, but not for more than five nights in a single month. Please also remember that any guest is your responsibility while they are staying with you, which includes if they cause damage or any other problems.

What is the drugs policy?

The university and all of our Unilet properties take a zero-tolerance approach to the use, sharing or selling of illegal substances. If you are found with drugs, you will not only be dealt with under the Residential Services' disciplinary procedure, but also that of the university as a whole (which may affect your course) and will be reported to the police.

If you suspect any illegal activity, you should tell someone you feel comfortable talking to, whether that is one of the team at the Residential Services Office or one of your tutors at the university. Any reports will be kept in the strictest of confidence.

Can you bring pets?

No. You cannot have any pets in a Unilet property.

Will there be laundry facilities in each house?

There will be a washing machine in each Unilet property for you and your housemates to use. 

Can you move to a different house after the start of term?

There is a transfer policy available to students in Unilet houses where you must fill out a request form and contact the Residential Services team for more information.