1) Council Tax
The good news is that you don’t have to pay it, the bad news is that they’ll try to charge you for it anyway. Yes, that’s right – if you’re living with a private landlord you’ll probably get a council tax statement popped through your door. It is important that you let the council know immediately that the inhabitants are students, and provide documentation to validate this (which you can request from your Uni).
If you’re living with a housemate that is a non-student, the household in general will be expected to fork out for 75% of the usual council tax bill. However, whether or not you have to contribute towards this will depend upon the discretion of your room-mates.
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2) Library fines
It might not sound like much, but library fines can be pretty costly! It is all too easy to borrow 10 books during that last minute pre-exam rush and then forget about them as soon as your assessments are over. Most universities will charge fines of between 5p – 10p a day, so it can quickly add up!
3) Non-arranged overdraft limit
One of the dangerous things with your student account is the overdraft facilities. Trust us, although it sometimes feels like it, this isn’t free money! If you’ve maxed out your interest free or pre-arranged overdraft, you will be charged every day you are over the limit.
4) Bouncing bills
Although it would be an amusing sight, we aren’t actually referring to bills that literally bounce. It is vital that all bills (from water and gas to internet and phone bills) are paid on time and that you have enough money in your account to cover them. If there is no money on the day your bill is due, not only will it go unpaid, but you will be charged for the inconvenience.
5) Your housing deposit
Some landlords are amazing. They will be hands on without being interfering, helpful without being overbearing and – most importantly – they will be over like a shot to fix any problems you may have. Unfortunately, thought, they aren’t all like this. Some are a little more devious, and will be more than willing to take advantage of vulnerable students living away from home for the first time.
Before you enter the property make sure you take an inventory of any faults with your new home (backed up by dated photos) – otherwise you might be charged at the end of the year and you won’t see a penny of your deposit!