Notts students urged to complete checks before moving into rental accommodation

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These simple steps could help prevent students from being among the 66% who, according to the 2021 National Student Housing Survey, experience problems with lack of water or heating, damp rooms or unsafe living conditions. .

The study also found that half of the students struggle to pay their rent, leading to concerns that some will sign deals for cheaper accommodation in an attempt to save money without carefully checking the property and prior agreement.

This could result in students living in substandard conditions and, of particular concern, poorly maintained heating systems that could be life threatening if they emit harmful carbon monoxide fumes.

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Students are asked to check whether smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are working.

To help students understand what to consider when choosing accommodation, OFTEC, the trade association for liquid fuel heating, has developed a safety checklist outlining the legal requirements that homeowners should follow and the main red flags to watch out for:

Check that every floor of the property has a working smoke detector. Carbon monoxide alarms are also mandatory in rooms that use solid fuels (such as an open fireplace). Make sure that there is always free access to an escape route in the event of a fire. Upholstered furniture such as beds and sofas should have appropriate fire safety labels. Check that all electrical appliances (kettles, televisions, light fixtures, etc.) are working properly as it is the owner’s responsibility to ensure they are in good condition. Electrical Safety First also recommends that home-supplied portable electrical devices be tested at regular intervals. When viewing the property, also ask to test the heater and verify that the radiators are warming up. For a town gas heating system, the boiler must have been serviced by an approved Gas Safe engineer. If you are moving into one of the 1.5 million oil-heated homes in the UK, it is recommended that an OFTEC licensed technician, who meets strict industry safety standards, service the system.

The latest government guidance and advice for homeowners and tenants during the Covid-19 pandemic is available on the Gov.uk website.

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