Orchard Heights Guide

Welcome to your new home. This guide will help make your stay in our accommodation as happy and successful as possible. This information should be used with the Local Rules, which contains general rules and regulations of living in a University-allocated residence.

Service or resourceSummary
Reporting absence It is very important that we know when you are away in case there is a fire or other emergency. To report your absence from hall please complete the absence form for Orchard Heights.
Room access UNITE staff and contractors will normally try to give 24 hours notice that access is required to a flat or bedroom, however in the case of an emergency immediate access may be necessary. Where a repair has been requested notice that access is required will be deemed to have been given. All UNITE staff and contractors will carry identification and residents should always ask to see it.
Rent and tenancy dates

You can see the accommodation fees, or rent, for your residence by downloading the Undergraduate accommodation fees (PDF) or Postgraduate accommodation fees (PDF) which also has details of your tenancy dates. Full information on how to pay your accommodation fees can be found on the Accommodation Office website.

Arrivals and moving in

You should download and print your arrivals leaflet (PDF), which has full instructions on where to go on moving in day. A friendly team, including Senior Residents and Junior Common Room officers, will meet you, give you your keys, and show you how to get to your room.

Please note that you will be told your room number on arrival at your accommodation only; we're unable to give you this information any earlier.

Welcome week activities will be taking place across your residence and the University to welcome you and give you the best introduction to University life. You'll find out more about the events at your residence on arrival, and through our Facebook Page and Junior Common Room.

Bedrooms

Your bedroom will be supplied with a bed, mattress, desk, task lighting, chair, curtains/blind, drawers/shelving, wardrobe and waste receptacle. We do not supply bed linen, duvets or pillows. You can order these to be delivered to your residence before your arrival. 

For reasons of safety residents are not permitted to have their own heaters or cooking equipment such as toasters or kettles in their bedrooms. Any such items may be taken into storage by residence staff.

Bike storage

Bike store location: Down the corridor to the left of reception. You are required to register your bike at the UNITE Reception before being granted access to the bike stores. Bicycles are left in the bike store at the owner's risk and UNITE do not accept liability for any accidents, damage or loss incurred. 

Please note that your contents insurance (PDF) does not cover your bike and you should consider either extending your insurance policy or finding another suitable policy. Appropriate locks should always be used.

Cleaning

Residents are expected to maintain their accommodation including communal areas in a clean and habitable condition. In particular they must wash up after themselves and participate in the recycling scheme that will be explained on arrival. Failure to observe adequate standards of cleanliness and hygiene may lead to the suspension of normal cleaning services, removal of goods or material and/or the imposition of charges for additional cleaning in addition to action under the Disciplinary Procedures.

Cleaning of flats will take place every two weeks providing residents:

  • do the washing up to enable cleaners to use the sink
  • tidy the work surfaces and floor for the cleaner to clean and mop
  • keep the vacuum and mop handy
  • take out any rubbish.
Communication

The University will usually communicate with you by email so please make sure you check your University email account regularly. We also update the Facebook group regularly so please check that as well. 

Complaints

Very occasionally students are unhappy with their accommodation or the services they are receiving. UNITE has a complaints procedure which details how you can submit a complaint to them. You can also contact the University to ask us to follow up on a complaint.   

Unresolved complaints may be directed to the National Code for Assured Accommodation

Damage

You will be charged for any cleaning, repairs or replacements needed to UNITE property that go beyond normal wear and tear and which arise out of damage or negligence by yourself or your guests. This includes damage caused by affixing anything to the walls. Where damage occurs in a communal area such as a kitchen it may be charged to all the occupants of a flat, corridor or block. You have the right to appeal against any charge to the Partnerships Manager.

An example of charges is given below, please note that these may vary according to labour or costs involved (all charges are subject to depreciation). Charges are subject to an administrative fee of 15% up to a maximum of £50.

  • Clean one wall - £25
  • Repaint one wall - £100
  • Replace one mattress - £100
  • Clean one carpet - £50
  • Replace one carpet - £200
  • Clean one fridge, freezer, oven or hob - £30
  • Clean one kitchen, bedroom or bathroom - £55
Electrical equipment and portable appliance testing

All electrical equipment is subject to regular testing. It is not policy to accept liability for or to test any electrical equipment you may bring. We do ask that you adhere to the following:

  • Any electrical appliances you bring must be British Standard approved and correctly wired.
  • Electrical appliances must not be used in bathrooms and showers unless designed for that purpose.
  • Mains extension leads can be used provided that the load on the extension is no more than 13 amps and use is limited to one lead per socket. Cables should be positioned carefully and not present a trip hazard or other risk.
  • All equipment must be suitable for use in the UK. The electricity supply in the UK is 220 – 240v.
  • You must not modify or interfere with the University’s electrical equipment. Any faults, possible hazards or safety concerns should be notified to a member of staff as soon as possible
  • Heaters and cooking equipment are not permitted in bedrooms and may be removed into storage.

The risk assessments for residential accommodation, in particular those which relate to fire, cover all electrical equipment which we anticipate a residential student will use. The University reserves the right to inspect residents’ electrical equipment and if in their view such equipment poses a risk then staff reserve the right to have the equipment PAT tested, take the equipment into safe keeping or request that you remove the equipment from the premises.

Energy

The University is committed to reducing our carbon impact and encourages residents to reduce energy and water use and participate in the various carbon reduction initiatives. All residents are asked to use energy responsibly. In particular to ensure that:

  • All gas or electrical items are turned off when rooms are empty unless required for security.
  • All laptops or PCs are set to hibernate or standby. To set your computer go to the start menu, select control panel, select power options (often found in Performance and Maintenance) then select standby or hibernate.
Fire

Students must familiarise themselves with the fire and safety regulations and procedures.

Fire alarm testing and drill: Fire alarms will be tested every Tuesday at 3pm. You do not need to evacuate during a fire alarm test. If you hear a fire alarm at any other time or if the fire alarm sounds continuously for more than 10 seconds you must evacuate the building immediately.

Emergency Assembly Point: The assembly point for all students is opposite the O2. No one should leave the assembly area until a roll call has been made and the building checked for safety. You must not return to evacuated buildings until told to do so by a member of staff.

Fire Evacuation procedure:

  1. Residents must evacuate promptly if the alarm activates by the nearest fire exit, leave all belongings behind.
  2. Shut doors behind you as you leave.
  3. Shout 'FIRE and knock on any bedroom doors in your flat on your escape route out of the building.
  4. Go to the Assembly point and wait for Unite Students staff / Fire Brigade.
  5. Advise Unite Students staff / Fire Brigade what you know, for example, if it's a real fire/where/what, is anyone still in building?
  6. Do not re-enter the building until told to do so by an official Unite Students staff  member / Fire Brigade.

Please read the Action in Case of Fire notice in your flat or on your corridor and make sure you have familiarised yourself with fire exit routes from your room and from communal parts of the residence.

In the event of the fire alarm sounding you must evacuate the building immediately and assemble at the assembly point shown above. Do not wait to pick up personal belongings. You are not expected to fight fires, only use extinguishers to aid your escape in an emergency.

The Residence is equipped with fire and smoke alarms, and with fire fighting equipment. This equipment must not be tampered with. All study bedrooms are equipped with smoke detectors and some are linked to the automatic fire alarm. These are very sensitive and are easily set off. False alarms cause disruption and annoyance to all other residents. False alarms also put lives at risk. If the fire and rescue service is dealing with a false alarm, they can’t go to help those in need at a real emergency, such as a fire or road traffic collision. Please do all you can to limit false alarms. The most common cause of false fire alarms is cooking setting off corridor alarms because the kitchen door has been propped open. The highest fire risks arise from cooking being left unattended or students using dirty pans especially grill pans.

Fire exit doors/routes must be kept free from obstruction at all times. Do not obstruct corridors and stairs. These must be clear so that in the event of a fire rapid exit from buildings is possible. This is one reason why bikes are not to be brought into buildings. Anything found to be obstructing a fire exit may be removed into storage without notice. The covering of fire safety signs is also prohibited.

First aid

First Aid Boxes are located at reception and in each senior resident flat. 

Gardens and grounds

The gardens and grounds are maintained by UNITE. 

Guests

We regret that we cannot have visitors aged under 16 staying in any of our residences. All overnight guests over the age of 16 must be registered by completing the Orchard Heights guest form at least 48 hours in advance of their stay.

Please make sure the people sharing your accommodation are happy for you to have a guest staying. Guests should generally stay no more than 3 nights except in exceptional circumstances which you should discuss with your Student Support Adviser.

Insurance

The University and UNITE do not accept responsibility for residents’ personal possessions. Your first payment includes a fee for block contents insurance, it is essential that you check the cover provided (PDF) is adequate to your needs.

Kitchens and pantries

Each kitchen /pantry is supplied with a minimum requirement of a microwave, kettle and toaster and refrigerator for food storage, plus a freezer in self-catered residences, depending on the number of users for each area. All equipment supplied by the University of Bristol will be maintained in good order and repair.

Remember that any electrical equipment you bring into your kitchen must be safe. Electrical appliances may be inspected by staff and removed to storage at their absolute discretion if in their view they may present a risk.

Laundry

The laundry facilities are located off the Unite Common Room (above reception). Wash: £2.80 Dry: £1.20

A payment card can be purchased from UNITE reception. The machines can also be operated by an app that you can download when you arrive and you will then be able to top up and do your washing from the app. 

Litter

Residents are responsible for ensuring that the grounds are kept free of litter.

Lost keys and lock outs

When you check-in you will be provided with a key card for your room. Most bedroom doors lock automatically when they close (to provide extra security for your belongings), so it is important to keep your key on you at all times. Students are expected to look after their keys, attending lockouts is a waste of time and resources.

If you do lock yourself out a member of the UNITE reception team will be able to let you back in. If you lose your keys and your on-site team are unavailable, call the 24 hour Emergency Contact Centre through the call point (located by the main reception) or by phone on 0300 303 1611.

If you lose your key the Unite team will be able to arrange a replacement for you, there will be a charge for each key, unless your keys were stolen and you have a crime reference number from the police. UNITE charge £8 for a lost key card and £14 for a lost post box key.

Lost property

Any lost property is handed in to the UNITE reception and will be held until the end of the tenancy. Thereafter and unclaimed lost property will be given to charity.

Mail

The postal address for all students is: Orchard Heights, 31 Frogmore Street, Bristol, BS1 5NA.

All mail will be distributed to your flat postbox in reception. Larger, signed for, parcels will be held by reception and they will contact you to let you know it is awaiting collection. ID will be needed. Mail cannot be forward to students please ensure, on departure, that you have updated all your address details.

Whilst students are welcome to arrange delivery of groceries to hall, it is the responsibility of the student to be available to receive them, the hall is not able to do this on a student's behalf. The hall takes no responsibility for the spoilage of any perishable items such as birthday cakes delivered to hall without prior arrangement.

We cannot forward mail to students, it is your responsibility to ensure that your address is updated with e.g. your bank. All mail received for students who are no longer resident will be shredded.

Management

All UNITE residences are managed in compliance with the National Code for Assured Accommodation

Medical care

You are advised to register with the University Students’ Health Service, registration events will take place throughout Arrivals’ Week.

Students with disabilities or special needs

If you have a disability or if you are ill or sustain an injury that could prevent you from leaving your accommodation in an emergency please ensure that you make your Student Support Adviser aware so that suitable measures can be put in place to enable you to live comfortably and safely in your residence.

PEEPs (Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan) are intended to be used to plan in advance for those who may need assistance or special arrangements during an emergency evacuation of the building.  The PEEP will be completed by UNITE and the individual and be signed-off by the Fire Safety Adviser.

Parking

There is no parking available at Orchard Heights. 

Repairs

You should report all repairs and maintenance issues directly to UNITE using their Maintenance Request Form (MRF) which you can access from the My Account section of the UNITE student website. You can also download the MyUnite App for apple and android to report repairs. 

Once logged, the MRF goes directly to their maintenance team so it helps ensure that they get to your problem as quickly as possible and we will not give you further notice that we are coming to do the repair. Issues are rated on severity, so at busy times, if your problem is more minor then it may take a bit longer.

Rubbish and recycling

Recycling facilities are located just off the courtyard. We provide recycling and composting facilities for all students at their halls of residence and also at every University building. You can recycle the following items:

  • Papers
  • Cardboard
  • Glass
  • Tins and cans
  • Plastics
  • Food waste
  • Clothes, shoes, bric-a-brac etc

For more information, see our green university pages. 

Security

Unite Students Security (24 hour): 0300 303 1611

Social spaces

The Space - a large communal area off reception, open 7am-11pm (open later during revision/exam periods, Unite-Students reserve the right to remove this facility if the longer hours policy is abused). Has a music room containing piano (bookable via room schedule on door). Students studying Music are expected to use their departmental resources should they need specifically scheduled practice times, meeting/group study rooms (bookable via room schedules on doors), group study tables in main area (no booking required), a communal kitchen, pool table & table tennis, TV and projector. The large space can be booked by contacting the Student Support Adviser.

Common Room - smaller area at the top of stairs/lift (above reception), open 24/7, with sofas, study desks, TV, table tennis, pool table, vending machines.

Courtyard - To avoid causing disruption to other residents, please observe the signposted quiet times in this area.

Television licenses

If you watch or record programmes as they’re being shown on TV – on any device – you need to be covered by a TV Licence. That includes a TV, laptop, tablet, mobile phone, games console, digital box, DVD/VHS recorder or anything else. Our residence licence doesn’t cover a student in their room, and your parents’ licence also won’t cover you.

You also need to be covered by a TV Licence to download or watch BBC programmes on demand, including catch up TV, on BBC iPlayer. This applies to any device and provider you use. For more information and to buy a license, visit the TV Licensing website.

Transfers

Students wishing to transfer between residences should complete and return the transfer form which they will find on the accommodation office transfers page. No transfers will take place during the first two weeks of term. The accommodation office will contact students if a suitable room becomes available, priority for transfers will be given to anyone who needs to transfer because of a health problem or a disability. Students are expected to leave their rooms clean and ready for the new tenant.  A re-letting fee of up to £100 may be charged.

Students wishing to transfer rooms within their own residence should contact their student support adviser. No transfers will take place during the first two weeks of term. The Student Support Adviser will contact the student if a suitable room becomes available. Priority for transfers will be given to anyone who needs to move because of a health problem or a disability. A re-letting fee of up to £20 may be charged to cover the costs of administration, room cleaning etc.

Travel and transport

Students should not bring a car to Bristol unless it is essential, for example because of a disability. Bristol is a highly congested city and there are many restrictions on parking in place. The main University campus is contained within the Kingsdown Residents’ Parking Scheme area (KRPS) and the majority of on-street parking in and around the campus is subject to residential permits, meters and time limits. Sustainable travel is embedded within University culture and the University actively encourages the use of alternative methods of travel. Sustainable travel benefits your environment, your health and well-being as well as your finances. Information about your transport options can be found on our student travelwebpages.

You can apply for a residence parking permit if having a car is essential.

All undergraduate students in this residence receive a bus pass for the U1 Bristol UniBus service.

Advice and support

If you are experiencing any difficulties with any aspect of your living situation or life at University, you are encouraged to contact your residence pastoral team, which is made up of your Student Support Adviser, Warden, Deputy Warden and Senior Resident team. You can get details of who is who and how to get in touch on our contacts page.

Other support is available from the Accommodation Office for help with all housing related problems, the Student Fees and Funding Office for help with all money problems, and Student Services, which provides access to a wide range of help and support. The Bristol Students’ Union also provides support and advice to all students on a range of issues.

Active residences

Active residences is a programme of free healthy physical activity opportunities for all students living in University-allocated accommodation, with hubs in Stoke Bishop, City Centre and Clifton. Visit the Active residences pages for full details and timetables.

Find us on Facebook

Meet your fellow residents over on our official Facebook Page.

In case of emergency

Call 999
Call UNITE Security on 0300 303 1611
Notify a member of UNITE staff and your SSA (during the day) or the Senior Resident on Duty (after office hours).

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