With the Easter break in sight and the excitement of heading home building, it’s easy to forget to look after your student accommodation.
A lot of student accommodation will be empty over the break, so our accredited accommodation partners, Manchester Student Homes, have provided a handy checklist of things to consider before you head home.
Make sure you follow these tips to prevent any nasty surprises when you return:
Imagine returning to some milk that’s so far past its sell-by-date that it is almost solid. Or finding that the vegetables you bought with such good intentions have turned to mush.
Nobody wants to return to a smelly fridge, so it is important that you get rid of anything that will go off while you are away – and tell your housemates to do the same!
Better still, try not to waste food and use up your ingredients before you leave. Or, you can donate any spare food products to your local food bank.
Just a reminder, you should also remove any perishable goods from the cupboards.
Don’t forget to also wash and put away crockery, cutlery, etc. and wipe down all work surfaces before you leave.
You might be tempted to turn off your heating altogether while you are away to save money – BUT this can cause much bigger problems than an inflated bill if Manchester gets a cold snap.
Instead, change the settings so that the property does not drop below a certain temperature, e.g. 12 degrees. Check with your landlord if you’re not sure.
One way that you can save money over the break is to make sure you are not using electricity unnecessarily. By turning off your electrics at the wall and unplugging them, you can be sure that you have not left anything on that could cost money, or worse, be a safety risk. You will be doing your bit for the environment too!
Don’t forget though – don’t unplug your fridge and freezer!
We don’t want to sound negative, but student burglaries are not uncommon. This is usually due to properties not being left properly secured or expensive electrical equipment being left on display.
If you are leaving anything valuable in your student home, make sure it is out-of-sight, or better still, locked away. If you are the last person to leave your property, double or triple-check that you have locked all doors and windows securely. Turn on the house alarm if there is one installed!
Think before posting on social media that you are heading home for the break – do you really want everyone to know that your student house is going to be empty? You never know who might see your post and take a chance.
You might also want to think about investing in a lamp that you can put on a timer to make your property look lived-in over the Easter break.
Tell your neighbours you are away for the break, they are the best people to keep an eye on your house. Letting your landlord know is also an advantage – they can keep their eye open when passing by.
Sort your rubbish and put items into the correct bins. Put your bins out for collection the night before and remember to bring them in after they have been emptied. Don’t leave them on the pavement while you’re away, this tells people that you’re not home.
It may be tempting to leave bins against your house, but this gives opportunists easy access to upper floor windows.
If you’re expecting a delivery, try to cancel or rearrange it for another time so your parcel won’t be sent back or left on your doorstep.
You can always reschedule deliveries, especially if you are expecting larger items or items you need to sign for. They will be sent back if no one is here to receive!
If you are leaving your term address for longer than normal, remember to take your valuables with you when you leave.
Don’t forget your green friends while you’re away. It’s always nice to keep them fresh and happy! Little things like watering them on the day you set off and moving them away from direct sunlight might be enough.
If necessary, you may also get a little help from your friends by asking them to help water your plants or simply taking them to their place for a short ‘homestay’!
For more information, read this Student Safety information from Manchester Student Homes:
Don’t forget to share this with your housemates. You might not be the last to leave your property, so it’s good to keep everyone informed so your home will be as safe as possible over the Easter break.
Remember, the last person should inform the landlord that the house will be empty.