Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to take out insurance, or am I covered?
If you live in Joseph Stones House, or any of the other private halls, you will generally get basic insurance cover as part of the deal – but we strongly advise that you insure your personal belongings, particularly if you will be bringing musical instruments, equipment, a computer etc. with you.
Endsleigh have policies designed for students at a reasonable cost, or you may get cover through your parent/guardian's house insurance.
Will I have to pay council tax?
If your house or flat is solely occupied by students, no. You will require a Council Tax Exemption Form, which can be obtained from the Student Enquiries Counter at the conservatoire once you have enrolled.
Do I need to get a TV licence?
If you watch or record television programmes as they're being shown on TV or use BBC iPlayer - online, on a TV, or on any device (even a laptop), you will need a TV licence. If you are living in halls and you intend to have your own TV in your room, you must buy your own TV licence. If you are living in a shared house, you will need a TV licence to cover the house. Find out more at the TV Licencing website.
I need to make my first accommodation payment to be able to move in, but I haven't received my student loan yet. How do I make this payment?
In order for you to receive your room keys, the first accommodation payment is normally required over the summer before enrolment (around the end of August/beginning of September). This is standard procedure by all private accommodation companies.
As you will not receive your student loan until you have been enrolled by the conservatoire (enrolment triggers the payment system), ensure that you have enough money to cover your first accommodation payment and that you are not relying solely on your loan to pay it.
Will I have to pay a deposit? How much will it be and will I get it back?
When arranging rented accommodation you will be expected to sign a contract, in most cases for 12 months, and to pay a deposit of between £75 and £250. This is refunded at the end of the rental period unless you have caused any damage or loss to fixtures or furnishings.
As part of the Housing Act, deposits paid on Assured Shorthold Tenancies signed after April 2007 are protected. This scheme ensures good practice in deposit handling so that when a tenant pays a deposit and is entitled to receive it back, they can be assured this will happen. You can find more details on the Deposit Protection Scheme website.
I am planning to rent a room in a shared house. What should I check before I sign a tenancy agreement?
Most rooms in shared houses are let on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement, which will state that tenants are 'jointly and severally liable'. This expression means that all tenants are liable for the payment of all rents and all liabilities of each other that may fall on them during the tenancy, as well as for any breach of the agreement. So for example, if a tenant were to leave and not be replaced, you would still have to cover their share of the rent.
Whether you go through Unipol or look by yourself, be careful not to sign a contract unless you are sure you want to share with the other occupants, or you have checked that there actually are other people moving in to the house with you. It is extremely difficult to be released from a contract, whether in halls or shared houses, unless you can find someone to take over your room.
I am an international student and not sure what to do about finding my own accommodation. Where do you recommend I look?
For international students who do not get a place in Joseph Stones House or The Plaza, or prefer not to live there, it is advisable to use the services of Unipol.