UK Easy Rental Advice
Rent a Room
|LIVING IN A BEDSIT|
Lifestyle, Advice, Problems & Solutions
If you are living in a bedsit you will probably not be paying your rent by bank standing order. Instead you will most likely be paying weekly or monthly in advance by cash or cheque. If you are paying weekly, but would rather pay monthly or every four weeks, ask the landlord if this would be possible. He will probably welcome the idea. If you are sharing a bedsit, especially if your roommate is not a close friend, you should clarify the following point. Are you separately responsible just for your own share of the bedsit rent? Or are you jointly responsible for the total bedsit rent. If the latter is true and your roommate fails to pay his, or her, share of the rent, you will be in an awkward position. If possible, come to a sensible agreement with your roommate. Perhaps one of you could collect the rent share from the other, and then present the total bedsit rent to landlord, at the pre-arranged time. If the landlord is not resident he will probably collect the rent by visiting you regularly on a pre-arranged day, at a pre-arranged time. Make sure you keep the appointment. If the landlord is resident the situation is easier. He may come and knock on your door on a pre-arranged day, at a pre-arranged time. You also have the option to go and find the landlord and offer payment. He may appear to be fairly casual about rent payment times, but even so, it is better to be safe that sorry.
So, always pay punctually, and always ask for a written receipt. Keep all receipts somewhere safe. In this way you can avoid disputes at a later date. If you cannot find the landlord or you know you are not going to be available at the pre-arranged payment time, pay early. Never pay late.
If you are living in a bedsit you will almost certainly have to pay for your any electricity and/or gas that you consume. Remember to always keep a small stock of coins or tokens ready to insert into the gas and/or electricity meter. In this way you can avoid the supply being suddenly cut off at an awkward time.
If you are uncertain about this subject, go back to the section, Moving in to a Bedsit.
Paying by inserting coins or tokens into a meter is usually considerably more expensive than paying directly to the supplier. Unfortunately this latter method of payment is unlikely to be available to you if you are living in a bedsit. If you feel that you are paying too much, you really have only one option and that is to move out.
Sharing a bedsit has one major advantage.
The rent paid, per person, is usually cheaper when you share a bedsit than when you live alone in a bedsit.
But sharing a bedsit has three major disadvantages.
You will lose most of your privacy, there may be an increased risk of theft, especially if your roommate is not a close friend, and you and your roommate will have to be tolerant of each other's lifestyles and everyday habits.
If the relationship deteriorates to the point where you feel that you cannot continue living together, either you will have to move out, or your roommate will have to move out.
Live alone in the bedsit and pay an increased rent.
Find a friend to take the place of your previous roommate. Before doing this it might be advisable to get the approval of the landlord.
Advertise for a new roommate.
Before doing this it might be advisable to get the approval of the landlord.
This process can be very tricky and risky, so, if this is your plan, be careful -
If the situation is looking problematic, you may be left with only one option.
Move out yourself.
Remember, you are responsible for the behaviour of your visitors, guests and friends. If your visitors are noisy, especially at night, or if they make a mess, or cause damage, you are the one who is responsible for the problem. If you disobey any house rules, the landlord is likely to give you a warning. Don't assume that because the landlord does not live in the building he will be unaware of any broken rules or bad behaviour. Other occupants of the building may well report problems, such as excessive noise at night, without your knowledge. If it happens repeatedly, he will probably ask you to leave. You may well deny his accusation but at the end of the day he needs no proof. If he wants you to leave, he will give you notice to leave. Remember also, if your visitors have caused any damage, it is you who will have to pay the price in the form of a deduction from your, deposit, when you move out.
When living in a bedsit there is always a risk of damage and theft. These problems tend to be worse when the landlord is non resident. When you leave the house, remember to lock your bedsit. If you feel that you cannot trust the other occupants of the building you may feel that you should lock your bedroom door even when you leave your room go to the toilet or bathroom. If the atmosphere is that bad, it may be time to consider moving out.
If your bedsit is on the ground floor, remember to close all windows, and perhaps shut the curtains when you leave the building. If your laptop, for example, is visible to a stranger passing outside your window, the risk of a break-in and theft is obvious. Take care of all your valuable possessions - cash, debit and credit cards, personal documents, mobile phones, digital cameras, etc. The risk of theft from your bedsit is obviously greater if you share the bedsit, especially with a person whom you don't know very well. Better to be safe than sorry.
Since you will almost certainly be paying for your own gas and/or electricity, you will be keen to save energy. Switch off lights and heating when you go out. Don't use excessive amounts of hot water for washing up. Don't fill the kettle to the top when you only intend to make one cup of coffee. Don't overheat the room and then, when you find you are feeling too hot, open the windows. In winter keep the windows shut when you are not at home, and perhaps keep the curtains closed. Both these measures will prevent unnecessary heat loss.
The above advice is really just common sense but you will be surprised how much it can affect your gas and/or electricity bills.
If you rent a bedsit, repairs and maintenance are entirely the reponsiblity of the landlord. If the shower breaks down or the sink starts leaking, contact the landlord to arrange a repair. It is always the landlord's liability to pay for a repair unless he can prove that the problem has been brought about by misuse. Unfortunately, if the landlord fails to carry out essential repairs promptly, you cannot use this as an excuse for non-payment or late payment of rent. In this kind of situation, if you argue with the landlord, he may well give you notice to leave. There is very little that you can do about this, so try to be patient and diplomatic.
If for any reason you want to move out at any time, you should give the landlord the required amount of notice to leave.
For more information on the process of moving out, check out the section - Moving Out.
PAYING THE RENT
PAYING THE BILLS