As promised in my last blog, here is my guide of the main things that I would advise anyone moving into a student house:
- Take loads of photos of your new house. If you take photos of the good, and more importantly the bad and the ugly of your house you can’t be ripped off by your landlord keeping your deposit. Our lettings agency actually gave us a booklet with photos they had taken for us to sign. Make sure you get a copy of that and annotate it if there are problems, partly so they can’t say it was you who did it at the end of your tenancy but also partly so you can get something done about it.
- Consider cutting a spare key. They are £3.95 per key at the Oadby ASDA which is pretty good price if you think of it as insurance if anyone loses theirs. Also, our keys came with a keyring with the house number on which we took off in case they were nicked which would have make a burglar’s life very easy! Someone’s student house had already been burgled on Wednesday night when they were out. They left the key on the inside of the back door and the thieves smashed the small door window and reached in to take the key. They took everyone’s laptops, a wallet and a watch. It’s a bit of an eye opener for me in terms of security which at home on the farm is very lax! At the new house there are no bedroom locks so it would only take one person to leave their window or door open and the whole house would be exposed.
- Sort Wifi out early. Order it ASAP because it takes a couple of weeks for the box to be delivered and activated and it’s hard to sort things like the other bills without internet. Ours was ordered for last week but didn’t work so they sent out an engineer yesterday before it finally got sorted. The other main bills; Electricity, gas, water and the TV licence can be paid once you’re settled at your leisure. If you are a bit late with these, you won’t be cut off, they will just send you reminders.
- Think about how you’re going to choose rooms. Will you draw straws? or let the person who found the house or organise the bills decide? The person considered to have worse rooms could pay a bit less rent at the expense of someone with a better room or maybe even do something a bit more wacky like have a house Olympics, where the winner gets first choice of room! Just don’t fall out about it, make sure everyone is happy and if someone’s not, maybe they could swap rooms halfway through the tenancy.
- Save money by not buying too much new stuff! If you were catered last year like me, you won’t have many cooking utensils. Before buying brand new things, see if you can share things with your house mates. Also let your family and friends know you’re going in case they have any old kitchen gadgets they don’t need. One of my house mates has acquired several such things including a bread maker and a fondue kit! Look out especially for friends who have just finished uni. My cousin Jess who I mentioned in my last blog, gave me loads of her uni pots and pans so I hardly needed anything else. For things like toasters and microwaves, consider going to car boot sales or have a look at websites like gumtree where they have those sorts of things, often looking as good as new but at a fraction of the cost.
Hope some of that helped! I’m hoping to do a blog on what life is like in a student house in Leicester once everyone has settled in to our house.
In other news..
One of my house mates has been saying for a while how he would like a pet for the house (which our contract says we aren’t aloud) and on Tuesday we found this chap!
While it’s in our garden we’ve called him/her Pixel. Please comment if you know how to tell the sex of a cat!
Thanks for reading!