Living Off Campus

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Meet People Near You

Have you joined your official halls Facebook group? Whether you’re living in Ormskirk or commuting in from further afield, you can meet people and find out what’s happening both on and off campus.

Living Off Campus – in Ormskirk

Living Off Campus – Commuting

Staying Safe in The Community

While living in the local community, it is important that you take all steps to keep yourself safe. Students can be targeted by thieves, especially during the first few weeks of a new academic year. Here is some important guidance to help keep you safe.

You can minimise the risk of becoming a victim of crime by:

  • Ensuring that you lock doors and windows whenever you go out, even if it is only for a few minutes.
  • Keeping valuables such as laptops, mobile phones and music equipment locked up and out of sight.
  • Marking your property with an ultra violet pen.
  • Making the property look lived in, even when you are out, e.g. by using timer switches for lights.
  • Ensuring windows and doors are secured before going to sleep.
  • Not leaving valuable portable items within easy reach of the window.

When Out and About

  • Whenever possible, avoid walking or cycling after dark in poorly lit areas, especially if alone.
  • Try to avoid walking alone at night. Take a friend with you if you have to go out. Always let someone know where you are going and what time you may be back.
  • After a night out, try to get a lift from a friend who hasn’t been drinking or use public transport. Wait with a friend; do not accept lifts from strangers. Do not get into an unknown vehicle.
  • If you suspect you are being followed or feel your safety is endangered, head for a public place and seek assistance.
  • Take particular care when withdrawing money from cash points. Be aware that you are vulnerable when handling your cash and card. Do not use cash points at night, think ahead and withdraw any cash during the day.
  • Keep a £1 coin and 20p in your pocket – useful if your purse/wallet or mobile telephone is stolen.
  • Carry a personal attack alarm.

Why join ‘In The Know’?    

Find out what’s really happening in your area – receive regular crime updates, information on road closures, information about fires and other emergencies and learn about what your local neighbourhood policing team is doing.

In The Know is the free messaging service brought to you by Lancashire Police supported by Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and Lancashire County Council where you decide when and how you are kept informed about the issues that matter to you.

Please note: This service is not monitored out of office hours and is not for reporting crimes or incidents. To report these please contact Lancashire Police on 101.

To register for regular updates, please visit stayintheknow.co.uk.

Being a Good Neighbour

While you are living in the community, it is important to introduce yourself to your neighbours. This will help to create a positive relationship and they will appreciate the effort.

Here are some useful tips to help you:

  • Noise levels – When you are living in a house of multiple occupation, more people can lead to higher noise levels. Remember to be considerate of your neighbours while living off campus, especially if you are playing music. Under the Student Disciplinary Regulations, the University does act if there are any noise complaints about your property and disciplinary sanctions may be issued once an investigation has been completed. Extreme cases can result in a fine of up to £5000 from West Lancashire Borough Council and any belongings such as stereos can be confiscated.
  • Parking – Parking can be a problem in the local area, so don’t bring your car unless you have to and have adequate parking at your property. Alternatively, you can use public transport links from Ormskirk linking to nearby cities such as Liverpool or Preston. Visit Traveline for help with planning your journey. You can also use the Edgelink Bus Service free of charge with your unicard.

 Local tenant and residents groups

    • New Ormskirk Residents Group (NORG) – local residents group who meet monthly to discuss a large range of topics affecting the local community. They are contactable by emailing chair@newormskirkresidentsgroup.co.uk.
    • Ormskirk Community Partnership (OCP) – an organisation established by local residents to promote Ormskirk and to discuss local issues relevant to Ormskirk and the immediate area. For more information, please visit ormskirkcp.org.uk.

Refuse and Recycling

West Lancashire Borough Council has alternative collections:

  • One week it is for Green Wheelie Bins for garden rubbish and Blue Wheelie Bins for glass bottles and jars, tins and cans and plastic bottles only.
  • The next week is for Grey Wheelie Bins filled with other household rubbish.
  • Paper and cardboard is to be presented separately in the blue bags provided.

Put your wheelie bin out before 7.00am for collection and make sure you bring it back in at night. Don’t forget, the collectors will only take rubbish in your bin. They will not take rubbish in bags left on the top of, or beside your bin. You should also check with neighbours to see where your bin should be left.

Failure to comply with these instructions could result in a £60 fixed penalty fine being issued by West Lancashire Borough Council.

For more information and to check local arrangements for rubbish collection, you can visit the West Lancashire Borough Council website (westlancs.gov.uk), or telephone 01695 577177.

If there are 6 or more people living in your household, you are entitled to an extra grey bin. You can apply for this by telephoning West Lancs Council on 01695 577177.

Don’t forget that you can recycle your waste when you’re on campus as well. For more information about recycling go to edgehill.ac.uk/sustainability.

Sharing the Cost

Check if the weekly rent includes or excludes bills. If you’ve not signed up for a property yet and you’re going for a viewing, ask the current residents how much they pay for bills to give you a rough idea.

The crucial part is deciding how best to organise the payment of bills.

  • Ask for the name of all residents in the house to appear on the bill if possible.
  • Always provide a meter reading to avoid paying an estimated bill (which may mean you’re paying way over the odds).
  • Try to take regular meter readings, keeping a check on your usage.

When you move in:

  • Call your fuel providers, telling them you’ve moved in and give them the meter readings
  • Discuss with your housemates and fuel providers how you’ll pay the bills (monthly or every quarter).

There are plenty of apps available to help you organise bills between a group. Some useful apps include:

Also, check with your Letting Agent/Landlord how the hot water and heating system work to avoid large unexpected bills!

Council Tax

A property occupied only by full-time students is exempt from Council Tax. However, you will need to provide a copy of your Council Tax Exemption certificate to the local council to qualify for this exemption. Click to find more information about requesting a Council Tax Exemption certificate.

If there is another adult (apart from yourself) living in the household, who is not a full-time student, Council Tax will be charged on the property. Don’t get stung by this catch.

TV Licensing

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The rules around TV Licensing have changed recently which means that you will need a TV Licence even if you only watch BBC iPlayer. Visit tvlicensing.co.uk/studentinfo for more information.

Insurance

Students in rented accommodation often think their contents are covered by their landlord, or possibly by their parents’ home insurance. Some insurers will add students to their parents’ contents policy, but it is not automatic and it might be restricted. It could also work out cheaper for you to take out your own cover.

Remember that if you share accommodation with other students, you should each take out your own contents insurance cover. Check out endsleigh.co.uk

Renting Privately

To find out more about the process of moving off campus (such as looking for a place, information on contracts and deposits, and fire safety) visit our Renting Privately webpage.

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