After a year in halls, most students are expected to fly the university nest and find a place of their own. It’s nice to be able to choose where you live and who you live with. But private renting does come with potential pitfalls as well as perks. Here’s our list of top things to look forward to – and look out for – when you’re sharing a house with friends...
Cooking and eating together
If you’ve been living in halls, your diet until now has probably been one-third canteen food, one-third cheap takeaway and one-third toast. Having your own kitchen opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Homemade curries, risotto, stews, soups, vegetarian lasagne - hell, you could even try making your own bread (it’s surprisingly simple). And the best thing is, you don’t have to do it alone. Sharing the burden, by making meals together or taking turns, can help cut costs, reduce waste and lessen the workload – and it’s great fun too!
Your own washing machine
Thank the lord of dose balls and spin cycles! You’ll never have to trudge down to the laundry room ever again.
Chilling at home
With a houseful of close friends and (hopefully) a shared living room, not going out suddenly becomes much more appealing. So slip on your onesie, hunker down on the sofa, and prepare for some cheap, cosy evenings in.
Send out the invites. Fill up the fridge. Dust off the novelty glitter ball. Finally, you’ve got space for a proper grown-up party! Check out our top tips for throwing the perfect house party.
Warning: you are now entering the adult world of unavoidable responsibilities and deadly boring paperwork. Unless you’re lucky, renting privately will involve paying your own water, gas and electricity bills (but not council tax, assuming you’re all full-time students). To avoid falling out (see below), sit down with your housemates at the beginning of the year to agree how you’re going to split them and who’s in charge of paying what. Our friends at The Bunch can help you consolidate all your bills into one and then split it amongst your housemates evenly.
Remember when someone (your mum, dad or university cleaner) used to empty your bins for you? Those days are gone forever. From now on, you’re going to have to tidy up after yourself – and put in some shifts on the communal washing-up and hoovering rotas as well.
Arguments are inevitable when you’re living in close confinement. Three simple tips for avoiding conflict. 1) If you have an issue with another housemate, you’re better off talking to them about it rather than bottling up. 2) Do your share of the housework (see above). 3) Pay your bills (ditto).
Horror stories abound of students suffering at the hands of unscrupulous landlords. To avoid getting shafted, make sure your landlord registers your deposit with a deposit protection scheme such as MyDeposits, as they are legally required to do. We also recommend keeping a record of all your bill payments and reading up on your rights and responsibilities as a tenant.
Another option is to opt for Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA). These are student 'halls’ owned and run by private companies. The facilities and security are generally of a higher standard than private renting, and it offers the larger group dynamic you get with uni halls .
If you want to check out private halls as an option take a look at Student Roost they offer a range of different accommodation options in 20 cities across the UK. Many private accommodation providers allow you to book a self-contained residence or studio, so you still be with all your friends.
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Published by: Paperclip HQ in Digital Welcome Pack