Whether you are living in halls or in a private residence, one of the challenges of student life is learning how to successfully integrate into a neighbourhood. Here at the University we encourage our students to be active and responsible members of their communities, respect their neighbours and the neighbourhood and help us to promote long-term community relations.
This page is accurate for students on courses accredited by the University of South Wales (formerly Glamorgan). It has not yet been updated to include advice for students whose courses are accredited by the University of Wales (i.e. courses based in Newport).
|Information on this webpage forms part of our commitment in our Student Charter|
The University has worked hard to create an excellent relationship with the local community. Problems can sometimes occur with neighbours and the local community if students cause noise disturbances, dispose of rubbish incorrectly, park inconsiderately or engage in other antisocial behaviour.
The majority of our students cause no problems. However, a minority cause serious complaints, undermining community relationships to the detriment of everyone.
This section of our site is designed to give you information on a variety of subjects that will help you to be good neighbours and take on board the responsibilities of living in the community.
If you would like more information about any related topic, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Register of electors
Students live near University for the majority of the year. That’s just one of the reasons why students are encouraged to register to vote at their term address. Another major benefit is that the electoral register is used by credit reference agencies, so being on the register at the term address can make it easier to obtain credit cards or even mobile phone contracts.
Registration is open to
- all UK and Irish citizens
- European Union citizens
- citizens of Commonwealth countries.
For information about how to register, please see:
- Rhondda Cynon Taf Council: Democracy and Elections
- Cardiff Council: Electoral Services
- About My Vote
- Who can register to vote?
If you want to raise an issue about safety or security, you can attend a Partnerships and Communities Together meeting. You can find details on the Community Policing page.
If you want to contact an elected representative about any issue, you can find their details below:
National / international level
- Welsh Assembly Members – has a “Find your AM” tool
- UK Parliament – has a “Find your MP” tool.
- European Parliament – MEPs for Wales
Many homes around our campuses are occupied by students. Our students live amongst local residents who could be people with young families, elderly people, people doing 9-5 jobs – in short, people who may have different lifestyles. Of course, they are entitled to respect and to live a peaceful and quiet life.
If you are living in rented accommodation, you should also consider your fellow housemates who may have different assessment schedules than yours. If you have finished all your assessments but one (or more) of your housemates are trying to revise, then distracting them from studying could have a serious impact on their academic success. Please be considerate about the impact of noise on your neighbours and your housemates.
Loud music and late night noise are the most common causes for complaints. Parties, socialising with friends and going out are a part of University life for many students. However, people have different levels of noise tolerance. There are some steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of conflicts and complaints.
One of the most important things you can do when moving into new accommodation is to introduce yourself to your neighbours. If you are able to establish a friendly relationship, they are more likely to be more understanding of your lifestyle. In turn, you should be able to appreciate their concerns more. If they know you, it also means that they are more likely to approach you directly about any problems, rather than contacting the police, University, or Environmental Health Department. They may well have had a negative experience in the past with students. If you make an effort to be friendly, they will see that you are keen to be a good neighbour.
Noise outside the house
Please be mindful of this when travelling to and from campus. No one wants to hear shouting, screaming or swearing outside their house at any time of the day or night.
Noise inside the house
People do not expect to be able to hear noise from adjoining or surrounding houses – this works both ways. However, if the house you live in was not originally intended for multiple occupation, noise may travel farther than in purpose built accommodation. If you can frequently hear your neighbours, they can hear you, too.
Shouting from room to room, running up and down stairs, using noisy appliances such as washing machines and banging doors can probably be heard next door. This can create more of a disturbance to some than music does. Some noises, such as the washing machine, are unavoidable, but you can show your consideration of others by limiting these to daylight hours.
Additionally, students who use their gardens in the evenings can sometimes forget that voices can carry a long way. This can especially become a problem if your neighbours are trying to get children to bed or if they themselves are trying to sleep.
Stereos and TVs
It goes without saying that volumes should be set at a reasonable level. Keep in mind that bass notes carry through walls easily, even at relatively low volume settings. If you have a subwoofer, you can avoid a lot of annoyance to your neighbours by setting the bass control to a low level.
Another option (where possible) is to move TVs and/or speakers away from your walls and raise them off the floor, as this reduces noise and vibration. You may also want to consider using headphones late at night.
If you are planning a party, your neighbours are more likely to be understanding if you warn them in advance and advise them of a proposed end time which you should then stick to. However, even the most relaxed of neighbours won’t expect you to host parties on a weekly basis! Think about the day of the week you’re holding your party on. It can be more acceptable to celebrate on a Friday or Saturday evening, when most people don’t have to get up for work or school the next day.
Unwanted sound will have greater impact later at night when other background noise is reduced. If someone should complain about the noise, it is always better to simply turn the music down and apologise to stop the situation from escalating further. Please remember that whilst you may be a good neighbour, some of your guests may not be. If necessary, ask your guests to be considerate to your neighbours. In particular, when the party is over, try to encourage them to be quiet when leaving and returning to their homes.
When summer approaches many students take the opportunity to study and socialise in their gardens. Be aware that noise travels far and that neighbours are also likely to be in their own gardens, or have windows open. They are unlikely to be keen on hearing music blasting from a barbecue taking place two streets away.
Noise at night
If you are returning home late at night, please keep noise to a minimum. It is very easy to unintentionally disturb the sleep of residents and cause problems. If you are returning late you should avoid raised voices, slamming doors and keep the volume of music, TVs or computer games low. If you decide to invite friends back to your home, it is your responsibility to make sure that they also make allowances and don’t disturb your neighbours. They won’t be the ones facing the consequences if your neighbours make a complaint.
Halls of residence
If you are living with other students, you still cannot assume they have the same tolerance for noise as you do, or that they are following the same study / free time pattern. Excessive noise levels in halls of residence are taken seriously by the University and Accommodation Services, and Resident Tutors will intervene if noise levels lead to complaints.
What to do if you want to complain
Students can have problems with noise from neighbours too. The best way to address a problem is to address the people directly in a polite manner. Hopefully, they will be sympathetic to concerns and take all reasonable steps to resolve the issue. The same would be expected of you, should a neighbour contact you regarding an issue.
Hopefully, resolving the matter in this way will stop the situation escalating further. However, if this does not solve the problem and you live in halls of residence, you can contact the Resident Tutors for your halls.
Before driving any vehicle you should check that you meet all of the legal requirements which apply to both the driver and the vehicle, including vehicle tax, car insurance and MOT. If you are an international or EU student, you are not necessarily covered by arrangements in your home country – read the International Student Support Service’s Driving in the UK page for more information.
Vehicle tax is a mandatory requirement for all motorised road vehicles. You must ensure that the vehicle tax for your car is paid before you drive a vehicle, or alternatively you have completed and returned a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) to the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency). You can re-licence your vehicle up to 14 days in advanc. The DVLA do not grant you a period of grace to renew the licence following its expiry. You can obtain a tax disc by completing an application form (V10) that is available from any Post Office or you can apply online at the DVLA website.
Please note that whilst you can obtain forms from any Post Office, only certain Post Offices actually issue tax discs. If you are applying for a tax disc from the Post Office you will need to complete the form and provide the following documentation:
- registration document/certificate
- certificate of insurance
- a current MOT test certificate (this is only applicable if the vehicle is over 3 years old).
The cost of a tax disc varies dependant on the type of car you drive. The latest rates are available from the Direct.gov website.
The DVLA carry out computer checks to identify those vehicles without a valid tax disc. This means it is no longer necessary for the vehicle to be seen on a public road before a penalty is issued. Failure to tax your vehicle or declare SORN will incur an automatic penalty. You could also get a County Court Judgement against you, and be fined a minimum of £1000. Remember: the tax disc must be displayed and be visible in your car at all times. Further information on vehicle tax including costs, where to apply and documentation needed can be obtained from the motoring section of the Direct.gov website.
The law requires all motorists to have valid insurance that provides cover for them or anyone they permit to use the vehicle with insurance cover for the vehicle that they are driving. There are three main types of motor insurance:
- comprehensive (which provides the fullest cover)
- third party, fire and theft
- third party only (this is the minimum cover).
It is up to you to decide which level of cover you require. Motor insurance normally only provides cover for the vehicle owner or certain named drivers. However, some policies do provide cover for anyone with a valid driving licence to use the vehicle. If you are using a friend’s or relative’s car, unless you have your own insurance that will cover you driving another person’s vehicle, you must ensure that they have adequate insurance in place to allow you to drive it. It is the driver’s responsibility to make sure that they are insured to drive. It is no defence to say that you believed (wrongly) that you were insured. Always check before driving.
The cost of motor insurance cover will vary according to a number of factors such as your age, how long you have been driving, where you are living, the age and value of your car and the type of car you have. Costs can vary widely between insurance companies. It is worth the effort to shop around to ensure you are getting the best deal.
An MOT is a test to ensure that all vehicles are safe to be on the road. Once a vehicle is over three years old, it must be tested every year by an approved MOT garage. The MOT Certificate is not a guarantee of the general mechanical condition or of the roadworthiness of a car; it simply means that on the day of the test the car met the legal requirements needed to pass.
MOTs can be obtained from most garages; however prices can vary so you are advised to shop around. MOTs can be obtained at any time within the calendar month prior to the due date and the test certificate will run from the date of the test to one year after the expiry date of the current certificate.
Further information on MOTs, including what checks are undertaken as well as the base prices for an MOT, can be obtained from the motoring section of the Direct.gov website.
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