Home for the Holidays 2022
We are near to the end of term, and you may be planning to return to a permanent address if you have chosen to live in alternative term-time accommodation. If you are going home for the winter recess, make sure you have a think about the following things before you go…
Private Rented Accommodation
- Let your landlord know – sometimes, a private tenancy contract may require the contract-holder to make their landlord aware that the property is likely to be empty for a prolonged period of time. If this is the case, you should contact your landlord, or letting agent, and let them know when you intend to leave the property, and when you will be back.
- Lock up – Make sure all your doors and windows are closed and locked. It is important to keep your property and your possessions safe in your absence.
- Valuables – it’s not practical or necessary to take home big valuable items with you, but you may wish to move some of your electronics out of plain sight. Particularly if your room has a ground-floor window view of the street.
- Curtains and blinds – keep ‘em closed (or partly closed). This is to prevent passersby peeping at your stuff, but also might help to insulate your room (even just a little bit).
- Lock up – Make sure your window(s) are closed and wipe down any residue on the window caused by the changes in temperature. This is to avoid issues of damp and to keep your possessions safe. If you don’t have an automatically locking door, make sure you’ve locked up properly.
- Remember your key – and keep it safe! This will mean that you can return to your student accommodation when you are ready, and won’t be fined for a call out to unlock your room.
- Keeping the cost down – If you’ve been treating yourself to heating in the property, you may want to reduce the number of hours the heating is left on while you are away.
- The Big Switch off - Make sure that plug switches and lights are turned off. This will save energy and also stop unnecessary costs for the household.
- Looking after your property - Keep the heating on low for a few hours each day; as the weather gets colder it is important to protect the pipes from freezing. If this were to happen, it may cause water damage in the property. Furthermore, it is usually a clause in the tenancy that contract-holders ensure that the property is heated to protect against frost damage and mould.
- Double check your taps – make sure there is no running water coming from the fossettes in your property. If you are on a water meter, this could incur additional but avoidable costs while you are away (plus it would be waste of Welsh Water).
- Think ahead – Where are you travelling to and how are you going to get there. With the weather being unpredictable at this time of year, you may want to ensure the roads are clear and safe. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination and drive sensibly.
- Strikes – There are train strikes happening in the UK at the moment. If you are relying on the railway to get you home, make sure that you are planning your journey ahead so that you can avoid any obvious delays.
- Are you leaving a car on campus? Make sure the car is parked where it is meant to be, and if appropriate, with your permit on display.
- Travelling abroad? With unpredictable weather conditions, you may benefit from purchasing travel insurance to avoid any unexpected costs. Remember your passport and think about what possessions you can take in the hold and/or in your hand luggage. Keep valuables safe.
- Have you emptied all your bins? University accommodation has designated areas in which you can dispose of your rubbish before you leave. If you are in private rented accommodation, try and put as much rubbish out as you can on the last bin-day before you leave (within restrictions). If you have additional waste, you may be able to take waste to a recycling center, or if you are on good terms, you may be able to ask a neighbour to put the bins out for you for the next collection day. Try to avoid leaving rubbish around the property that could attract wildlife.
- Expecting any parcels? You may want to arrange a mail redirection service while you are away, especially if your postman is guilty of leaving your parcels in plain sight when you are not home. Mail redirection can sometimes be expensive, so if you can inform your friends and relatives of when you are going home, and when you expect to return, this may help to prevent your mail piling up.
- Devices – Although the winter recess is a good time to switch off and relax, the assessment period is looming. If you intend to stay away from your student accommodation for as long as possible, remember your devices so that you can prepare for your assessments when the time comes!
- Chargers – Remember your chargers. They’re easy to forget but pricey to replace! Make sure that you can keep your devices running by taking your chargers with you.
- House keys! If you’ve been living in a different address for three months, it can be easy to forget your old house key. Make sure you dig out your old key, or notify someone that you’re coming home, so that you’re not waiting on the doorstep when you get back – nightmare.
Finally, relax and have a good time.
If you need support over the Christmas recess, see what is available on this webpage.
Student Advice is closed from 22nd December to 3rd January, but you can drop us an email, or a voicemail and we will get back to you as soon as we can upon our return.
If you are worried about your studies, please do get in touch. In the meantime, we have a lot of information on our website on how to safeguard your academic interests which may help you understand the options available to you while you await our response:
+44 (0) 29 2078 1410