With Easter vacation in sight and some well deserved down-time, it’s easy to forget to look after your student house. We know that a lot of student accommodation will be empty over the break, so we’ve put together some tips to make sure that you don’t return to any nasty surprises:
1. Clean out the fridge
Imagine returning to some milk that’s so far past its sell-by-date that it’s 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’s important that you get rid of anything that will go off while you’re 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.
remember to check the cupboards as well as the fridge!
2. Clean around the house
Don’t forget to also wash and put away crockery, cutlery, etc. and wipe down all work surfaces before you leave.
3. Check your heating
You might be tempted to turn off your heating altogether while you’re 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.
4. Get unplugging
One way that you can save money over the break is to make sure you’re not using electricity unnecessarily. By turning off your electrics at the wall and unplugging them, you can be sure that you haven’t left anything on that could cost money, or worse, be a safety risk. You’ll be doing your bit for the environment too!
Don’t forget though – do not unplug your fridge and freezer.
5. Lock up your doors and windows
We don’t want to sound negative, but student burglaries are not uncommon.
If you’re leaving anything valuable in your student home, make sure it’s out-of-sight, or better still, locked away. If you’re 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!
6. Don’t advertise that your property is empty
Think before posting on social media that you’re 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 . Free light timers are available from the Manchester Student Homes Pod in the Students’ Union.
Tell your neighbours you’re away for Easter vacation, 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.
7. Rubbish Bins
Sort your rubbish and put items into the correct bins. If your bins are full when you leave and you have a neighbour who is sticking around maybe ask if they’d put them out for collection – and bring them in after they have been emptied. Don’t leave them on the pavement and return home, this tells people that you’re not home.
Also think about where you leave your bins – make sure they’re not giving opportunists easy access to upper floor windows.
8. Delivery arrangements
If you are 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!
9. Your Valuables
If you are leaving your term address for longer than normal, remember to take your valuables with you when you leave.
10. Take care of your plants
Don’t forget your green friends while you are away. It is 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’!
11. For more information
Read our Student Safety information here:
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 Easter vacation Remember, the last person should inform the landlord that the house will be empty.