Term 1 is close to being finished and here at IPM Lancaster we hope you’ve had a great first term at university and living in your off-campus student accommodation. We know that the Michaelmas Term can be challenging, so we’re sure everyone will be looking forward to the holidays and spending time with family and friends. 

Most tenants return home during the festive season, so with that in mind please see below for everything you need to know about leaving your student home over the winter break:

Heating  

With temperatures having dropped this past week and winter seeming to have arrived the weather will likely remain colder over the next few months. IPM want to ensure all our managed households are keeping warm as winter arrives.  

Whilst the vast majority of IPM households with gas central heating have an easy-to-use Eco thermostat that can be boosted at any time, some households may not be boosting their heating as regularly as they need to in order to keep their home comfortably warm during the day/when housemates are in. It’s understandable given the current cost of energy that some tenants will be feeling cautious about using their energy allocation, but please be reassured to know that very few households spent over their allowance last year. We want to reassure everyone that household energy allocations included in your rent payments are significantly above OFGEMS government’s energy cap, and if you wish so, the IPM can provide households with an estimated usage update upon request.  

It’s so important that your student homes are adequately heated throughout the winter months and particularly during any cold snaps, so your household remains warm and healthy. It’s a necessity each property is appropriately warmed if a healthy atmosphere is to be maintained and any potential condensation issues kept to a minimum – particularly when housemates are in the property cooking, washing and drying cloths i.e. any day-to-day chores that may create moisture. 

Should your household be in anyway unsure about how to operate your heating controls or feel the thermostat settings need to be adjusted please send a message via your Arthur app. Equally, should you require IPM to adjust the set-back temperature to make your home warmer when not using the Eco thermostat boost facility, please send us a message on Arthur so we may adjust the settings accordingly.  

PLEASE NOTE: When leaving for the holidays you should NOT turn the heating off etc. 

The Eco thermostat has an automatic frost setting to prevent burst pipes.

                                                                                                             

Security 

Please ensure your household lock all doors and windows when leaving to ensure your home is secure over the holidays. You can leave personal belongings in your Lancaster student home as household content remains insured as long as the property is not left vacant for more than 30 days. 

However, if you have any specialist items or valuable belongings that may not be insured or difficult for you to replace, then we’d advise you remove those items. 

On a related matter with viewings having now been completed for 2023-24, if your household would like to remove your IPM Lancaster window sticker, then please do so. 

TV License 

We understand some households have still to apply for a TV License. If your household are one of those, please be advised that any requests to be refunded for a TV license after 31st December 2023 won’t be processed. We would therefore advise all households without a TV License to apply and forward their receipt to us via Arthur before the end of the year.   

Maintenance  

During the vacation it is likely that most if not all IPM Lancaster’s managed property’s will be visited by a member of the IPM team, an IPM contractor and/or your landlord. 

With most property’s being vacant for 4 weeks the holidays provide an excellent opportunity for landlords and their contractors to visit houses and attend to any outstanding repair and maintenance issues. Some landlords will have works already scheduled, whilst others will ask IPM if we have any reported jobs in need of attention. So, if your household have ANY outstanding repairs or maintenance issues, please let us know via Arthur so we can work to have them attended too by the beginning of Term 2. 

We know a limited number of our Lancaster student properties have experienced issues with condensation during Term 1 and whilst IPM and our tradesmen have worked with households to resolve the vast majority of related problems, it’s inevitable some properties will remain affected. Should your home have any condensation related issues please report these via Arthur, so we can ensure they are attended too over the holidays. 

Cleaning 

Most households have done a great job of keeping their homes clean and tidy this term. However, if your group have been struggling with your household chores, the vacation is an opportunity to tidy individual bedrooms and establish a cleaning rota for the communal rooms – kitchen, lounge and bathroom(s) etc. 

Households typically prefer to return in January to a clean and tidy house, and it also really helps IPM, our tradesmen and your landlords when undertaking jobs. 

Bins and recycling  

Before housemates vacate for the holidays it’s important to empty all your bins and put your recycling out for collection. If you have a good relationship with your neighbours, you could ask them to put your bins and recycling out over the holidays. Neighbours will also generally be more than happy to help and keep an eye on your property, whilst you are away. 

January rent payments 

All January rent payments are due Friday 12th January 2024. This is officially the first day of term 2. Should you have any questions with regards to making your January rent payment please email mary@ipmlancaster.com and Mary will be only too happy to help. 

Out Of Hours Call Outs  

Should you or any of your housemates be staying in their Lancaster student home throughout the holidays, please be aware that whilst the team will be checking and responding to our email accounts, Mick will continue to provide an emergency out of hours repairs service.  

Mick works extremely hard to assist IPM tenants during the academic year, but most particularly throughout the festive period as emergency repairs can occur at any time. But please bear in mind that this holiday repair service is for emergencies only as Mick is officially on holiday too😊 

If any of you are staying in your Lancaster student home throughout the winter break, if you could please send us an email in and let us know it would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks for everyone’s consideration this past term.  

We hope you enjoy the holidays, relax, have fun and the IPM team look forward to seeing you all again in 2024. 

Matthew, Mary, Dawn, Caroline, Asher, Ann Marie and Mick (The IPM Lancaster team)