Moving into a shared university house can be super daunting, and there are so many things that I wish I was told before moving into my shared house. So, here are my top tips to help you get prepared for your big move!
Make sure you know who you’re living with! Having a good relationship with your future housemates is definitely a good start, but sometimes someone you don’t know may have to be brought in to the mix. If that’s the case, ask to meet with your new potential housemate to see if you all get along, this could avoid any future personality clashes.
Doing a bit of research on the estate agents you’re thinking of going with is so important! Look online and even ask any friends you know that are already living in a student house, there’s definitely a fair share of dodgy estate agents around.
There’s a few major financial questions you should ask when you’re showing interest in a property:
- How much is the rent monthly, and per person?
- Are bill costs included in the monthly payment?
- If bills aren’t included – what companies is the house already linked with? (This is for bills such as water, gas and electric)
- How much is the deposit?
Make sure the property you want to move in to is safe and secure! This should be one of the highest priorities when looking at different houses, especially in a densely populated student area. You could even ask your landlord to check the locks, doors and windows to see if they are up to the correct health and safety standard.
Check the appliances you are entitled to! Will your house come with kitchen essentials such as a microwave or toaster? Or even other essentials such as a tumble dryer for the winter? This one really stitched up myself and my housemates; we had to buy all of this out of our own money! So, it is definitely worth checking with your estate agents, landlord, and on the contract to see if you’re entitled to these being supplied for you.
This is arguably one of the most important tips I want to get across – it gets super messy, super quickly! A lot of you are probably used to having cleaners tidy up after you in halls, and it takes a while to adjust to not having this privilege in your own home. Just make sure to keep on top of a cleaning regime, maybe even make a cleaning router to evenly share out the responsibilities with you and your housemates.
Make sure you know when bin day is in your area… and don’t miss it! Missing bin day is a massive pain. Recycling and general waste bins do not get taken together, they alternate every week. So, if you miss a bin day, that particular bin won’t be taken for another 2 weeks!
Landlords and estate agents are there to help you and make sure you are comfortable, so don’t be shy when it comes to contacting them about any queries you have!
Communication between you and your housemates is key! A lot of households decide to keep themselves to themselves, while others decide to be more of a communal house. By this I mean things like sharing food, toilet roll and overall just being open and sharing everything with each other. Now, if this doesn’t sound like something you’d like to do, make sure your housemates know about it! This could save having any disputes over who’s used what.
It’s important you know all the details of your tenancy agreement and your rights as a tenant. For example, under The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, your landlord needs to give you at least 24 hour notice before they come around and visit for any reason.
Being 100% certain that you want a particular house before you sign or pay anything towards it is crucial! If you don’t think your decision through properly, you could potentially sign on to a house you won’t be happy with a few months down the line. A lot of the time it’s hard to get out of a contract without losing a lot of money (including deposits, holding fees and early termination fees).
Written and Illustrated by Missy Bennett