Student Life | Living Under a Rented Roof

By Issy Goode - 19:22

For many of you your home is soon to, or may already, be a rented student house. After experiencing halls you probably think things can get much worse in terms of your accommodation - especially if you were a student in Keele's truly wonderful Hawthorns halls - and in most cases you're probably right, but just to give you a little knowledge of what to expect I thought I'd pass on my experience, as well as that of my friends and family, of being a student tenant.


So first off, be aware that your neighbours may already hate you. As a group of students, they expect nothing less than parties, noise, sex and alcohol - and they're probably readying themselves to complain about you a lot during the coming year. For us, we were reported to the council on our first night at our new house, due to noise. After a visit from a man from the council giving us a stern telling off whilst we all sat around our dingy kitchen table still drunk and in our pj's we made the decision to go round and apologise. A few days later when we popped next door, the lady informed us that she didn't want to come round and ask us to be quiet because she thought we might be 'dangerous' and 'unfriendly'. In most cases, your neighbours won't live in fear that you are knife wielding youths who are a danger to society. One group of my friends experienced a next door neighbour who went no less than bat shit crazy every time they had people over for pre drinks - even if it wasn't noisy. Though to calm her down, all you had to do was send the lads from the house round to make an apology, because she fancied the pants off of them. My advice is to simply try your best to be considerate of your neighbours, try to keep the noise levels a little lower than if you were in halls, give them some warning if you're planning a party or a gathering so they know what to expect, and try to refrain from swearing whilst sitting outside in the garden - the thing that our neighbour complains about most. 

Don't expect that everyone will understand recycling - or be bothered to do it. In most halls your bins have just disappeared by the time you crawl out of your hungover pit, but when you live in a student house they never go away. Often rubbish can be found to be piled up over the bin bag itself, the large dust bin can be seen to be spilling over with take away boxes and bottles, whilst any smashed crockery will remain on the side until someone decides it's time to go. The recycling is a whole other story, and in many student houses a bit of a battle. Some choose not to recycle what can clearly be recycled, others choose to attempt to recycle everything - and quite often in the wrong place. You have a bag for cardboard, a box for tins and glass, bags for plastic, green boxes for food waste in which you're supposed to place another council provided bag - to stop you from trying in future I can tell you now it doesn't even fit in the food waste bin. Whilst it seems somewhat easier to give up on recycling and throw everything in your bin, you'll discover that once your outside bin is already full, the bin man won't take any extra bin bags away. Apparently 7 extra bin bags was too many for them...Fortunately for us our landlord made them disappear - had he not, we would have had to load them in a car and - the horror - take them to the dump ourselves. So try to get on top of recycling, if not for the environment, for the back seat of your car that could have to carry a mountain of stinking black bags of waste. 

If your landlord says that your house comes with a cleaner, don't believe them. Many groups of students are told this to give them piece of mind that they still won't have to clean up their own mess, and it's usually a lie. We're still waiting for ours to pop round and clean the oven - because seriously guys, I'm not tackling that. It's a simple fib that entices many. It took a few months before my boyfriend's cleaner actually popped round, by which point he was too disgusted by the mess him, his 7 housemates and various nights of pre drinks had caused, and had tidied the place mostly by himself. You will find that you'll get sick and tired of living in filth, and also discover that some of your housemates don't really mind filth. 

On that note, if your landlord also says that your house comes with a hoover, don't trust them. Yes, okay it does comes with a hoover, but one that actually hoovers up things? Nope. This shit's 40 year's old and barely sucks up a speck of dust, let alone pizza crusts and smashed glass (don't worry I don't really try to hoover either of those up). But you get my point, it's rarely going to do a good job of getting the muddy foot prints and thousands of crumbs off of the carpets - so give it your best effort, but usually it won't have improved too much by the time you're done. In my case, my hoover actually exploded a mountain of dust over my bedroom floor and my mum - her fault for standing in the way. Lucky for me it was my last night there (until September anyway)...

Expect there to be one person who never buys cleaning products. In my house, everyone was pretty good with this and we all took it in turns to buy things like washing up liquid, bin bags and sponges, but in other houses it may not be so easy. If you've all moved in as a group of friends it's much easier to agree upon one person buying something one week, and another the next, but if you've moved in as strangers you may feel a bit rude asking someone you don't know but now live with to buy the next bottle of Fairy. Try to keep the costs equally spread out, because if you're never contributing towards the communal products or the main one buying all of them, either people are going to get fed up with you, or you're going to get fed up with people. 

And my last warning is, don't expect your landlord to fix things that are broken the week, or even the month, or even the year, that things break. In my student house, we've had issues with a leaking shower, a broken shower door, a leaking sink, electric switches tripping (not like we were trippin' when all these problems kept happening) that all took a lot of time to be sorted...actually our sink was still leaking when we left and I'd gone so long without a shower door I sort of forgot that I ever had one. During our first week my friend's bed broke in our house, and whilst it only took a few days for the new one to arrive, the remnants of his original bed are still sat in our back garden - which our landlord said would be taken away (yeah we could take it away ourselves but our landlord has a van...not sure why that's an excuse). Putting things off is a common trait among landlords, because understandably broken things + fixing things = money. And most of the time they know that the student population can't really be bothered to argue and will still get by using a shower that leaks into the kitchen and trips the entirety of our electric supply that forces us to get ready for 9am lectures in winter beside candle light, continue to use a door less shower because it prepares you for the cold when you step out of the shower anyway, and find use for a broken bed - smashing it up just a little bit more when we're all drunk. 

So there you have it. Aside from all those lengthy warnings expect to face the cold due to heating bills, be shocked at the expense of a light bulb and one day, have to face the horror of cleaning out the fridge or even worse...the toilet. Oh and it really goes without saying, but expect more mouldy discoveries at the back of the fridge for another year running! 

Enjoy your student house guys! Really though, living with friends is a hoot. And in all seriousness, in the case that this post has terrified you rather than made you laugh, these are all just possibilities. There's plenty of positives that come with living in a student house, and fun and freedom are included and help you to overlook these 'horrors'. Make sure you get someone to look over your contract before signing it, that you understand the bills and rent properly, and that the area you're moving to is safe.
MissIsGoode

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15 comments

  1. Can't lie, that time all the lights went off me and Whelan we just sat there in hysterics watching you all trying to sort it out!
    Megan x
    MeganRoisinn

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    1. Aha well we pretty much just sat there not knowing what to do too, sat beside the many candles I've collected...knew they'd come in handy. Thank God it stopped happening though haha!

      x

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  2. I laughed so much reading that! In my second year we had a problem with our smoke alarms - one had a leaking battery so went off for about two hours pretty much continuously. Us being girls we couldn't get it off the ceiling, eventually got a guy neighbour to come round and help - but it still carried on going until we pretty much smashed it. We also moved in to no shower/bath, our boiler broke twice (including on the coldest weekend of the year), and I went through three floorboards on separate occasions in my room... x

    http://ninegrandstudent.co.uk/

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    1. Oh gosh, smoke alarms are the worst, I get that they're there to save your life and all, but most of the time they're just whiny little bitches haha. We never had a problem with ours, but one night it just went off at 3am and we all got up like 'LORD THERE'S A FIRE' but we couldn't for the life of us figure out what set it off - we couldn't even turn it off. Five of us were out on the landing pushing the button with our fingers in our ears, then our sixth house mate joined us, punched it without saying a word, it stopped and he went straight back to bed aha. We were still all on the landing like, 'so is there a fire?'. What?! That's so bad to move in with! We moved in to a brand new shower...that leaked within the first month and caused loads of damage to the ceiling too! You went through the floorboards?! Sounds like your landlord should have been paying you to stay there! x

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  3. This is making me so excited for uni weirdly enough.... not even started my first year yet and I'm already thinking about student houses! I guess it goes quite fast though. It's fun hearing about other peoples experiences, especially since when my sister went she ended up just living with her boyfriend which is pretty boring to me haha.
    xxx

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    1. Haha that is weird! Though I'm glad it is, I was hoping it wouldn't scare people away - I do promise honesty when I talk about student life on here and that's what I've given :) Most tales of student housing are pretty hilarious - it's something for the memories, no matter how bad it goes tbh! Yeah we all talked about whether or not we'd move in with a partner during uni and it was a unanimous no - I think that really does require you to grow up quickly, whilst living with quite a few students allows you to still act like immature idiots ;) xxx

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  4. Ugh me and most of my mates never got halls - what a cushty little life! Our student house for our first year was particularly shit cos we only had two weeks to find one before moving in. Great start! The house has been falling to bits and looks like the old landlord is tryna make us pay for what was already broken. We've learnt our lesson. Never trust a landlord.

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    1. Halls is definitely cushty - with cleaners and only rent to pay! Ah yeah at which point most are full :/ it's a shame you had to settle for a crap place to live! Landlord's definitely try to do that, I've heard about so many people that are struggling to get their deposit back, it's a shame you have no choice but to trust them when you're a student with renting being, in most cases, your only option!

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  5. Brilliant tips! I have been pretty lucky for the most part but cleaning was a big issue (it's tricky when all four of us had 20+ contact hours - no one ever wants to do it!) It's much better than halls but it definitely has it's cons too!

    Rachael at broomfie.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you! Definitely, it's always the main issue in our house, and we never want it to cause arguments either so usually we just wait until someone decides it's time to do their bit! Oh definitely, in halls I never really felt like it was a home - because of the layout and such, and the mess was ridiculous living with 30 people, and the noise, even from other blocks, was just too much to tolerate!

      xx

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  6. Student accommodation and I would never mix well. I last for about 2 hours in an untidy place before I start cleaning and would probably lose my mind if others made the mess but never cleaned up. It's probably a good thing that I chose to not got to uni as, if I had, I'd probably be curled up in a ball crying in my room right about now.

    Raise The Waves

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    1. Haha it certainly can get frustrating! There are plenty of benefits to living in a student house though, but I couldn't do it for more than 3 or 4 years I'd say, the mess does grate on you and tidying up after everyone else gets tiring when no one thanks you! After a big night out I feel a little like that haha!

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  7. so we have just signed up to this site called easybills. Last year the main thing that caused arguments was bills. As much as I love my girlies, one or two had to be chased and I was the one who had to sort everything out. So a friend sent me a link to this site and I have to say it's really good.
    They do everything, they combine the bills into one, obvs still monthly, and split it between everyone so everything equal. Last year to just save arguments I found myself paying some bills. But because everyone has an account, easybills does the chasing...amazing, Im not mom anymore!

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    1. Ahh that sounds so handy! Luckily for us all our bills were included except for electric, which did cause a few little rows but we just stuck up a sheet of paper to write down when we topped up and by how much, having a meter made it pretty easy! This site sounds like it could save loads of hassle!

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  8. agree with you, i think 80% landlords want to increase their apartment rent whatever any one can afford or not. if anyone's landlord will be says that your house comes with a hoover, don't trust them.



    The Castings Huddersfield | The Sawmill Huddersfield

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