Living in Private Rented Accommodation

Here, you can find our tops tips for moving in to and living in your private rented accommodation. Although property admin might feel like it's at the bottom of your to-do list, sorting these things now could save you a lot of time and effort later in your tenancy.


Taking steps now to ensure you document exactly what's in your property and any existing damage or issues will make a huge difference when it comes to getting your deposit back at the end of your tenancy. If your landlord has not provided one, you can download a blank inventory template and complete it yourself. Take dated photos of existing damage and report and problems to your landlord immediately, keeping copies of your correspondence.

Bills and council tax

Make a note of the meter readings for your electricity, gas and water supplies (if applicable) on the day the tenancy starts and contact the relevant companies to give them the readings and tell them you're the new tenants.

Some "all inclusive” contracts with utility bills in the price may include a fair usage clause that you're not aware of which limits the amount of energy your Landlord will pay for. This means that for anything over this amount, you could be expected to cover the cost. Manchester Student Homes offer a free contract checking service either in-person or online that can help you avoid any unexpected bills.

Full time students are usually exempt from paying council tax but you are required to complete a form to notify the council, which you can find on the Salford Council website. You should do this as soon as possible to confirm that you are exempt and prevent any bills being sent to you wrongly. You can request a Council Tax Exemption Certificate from the University.

You will need a television licence if you watch live television on any device, or if you download or watch programmes on the BBC iPlayer. If you share a house with other students and have a joint tenancy agreement you will only need one licence. If you have individual tenancies, you will each need a licence.


It's really important that you take out insurance to cover your possessions. Sadly, student accommodation is often targeted by burglars. You can also get policies that will cover accidental damage the landlord’s possessions. Find out more on our contents insurance factsheet and security factsheet.


It is essential that you report issues with your accommodation to your landlord as soon as you notice them. Details of who is responsible for what are covered in our repairs factsheet. Take a look through and ensure you are aware of what your responsibility is, what the responsibility of your landlord is and make sure you report it fully. If you are having issues with your landlord, you can contact us on or by telephone on +44 (0)161 295 0023 (option 4, option 2).