It can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of moving out of halls; the new housemates, the new space to make your own, and, alas, the new responsibilities. Unfortunately, you will soon find out that it’s not all fun and games - it’s also new stuff for you to clean, new kinds of bills for you to pay, and new estate agents (dun dun duuun). So listen up and listen well, because these tips could save you a world of hurt!
Think About a Chores Rota
Not everyone likes a rota, and that's absolutely fine, but if you and your housemates are up for it, it’s a great way to make sure the housework is fairly shared out (and it makes the final clean up before you move out A LOT easier if the house has been cleaned regularly throughout the year).
Make Contact with ARC
Living in a house with friends is a great experience, but things can still go wrong. The Advice and Representation Centre (ARC) are great at giving advice about general issues, and can help you understand your rights if you ever get into a dispute with your landlord or estate agent.
Take Pictures of EVERYTHING
When you move in, there will likely be some damage from previous tenants. Even though these will probably have been recorded by the estate agent, safeguarding is always a good idea. Take pictures of any marks or damage you can see and email them to yourself so you have a reference date too. Cross-check any problems you find with the inventory, which should be provided to you. If it’s in the inventory, you can’t get blamed for it. Think About Your
Most student houses allow you to pick your own internet, water, gas and electric supplier. Really think about this because choosing wisely can save you a lot of money. Also think about how often you will need to pay your bills (monthly, quarterly or bi-annually) and make sure you budget for this. There's nothing worse than an unexpected bill.
Think About HOW You're Going to Pay Your Rent and Bills
The bills you pay will have to come from one account, so think about how you want to do this. You can open a joint account, or transfer the money to one person, who will then pay on behalf of everyone. Sometimes you will have to do this for rent as well, so think about setting up a standing order to whichever account you decide to pay from since it’s easy to forget about!
Be Courteous of your Neighbours
In halls, all your neighbours are students, but that's not always the case when you move into student housing. Remember to keep the noise to a minimum when leaving/coming back during unsociable hours, especially if they have children.
Think About Who You Invite Over
Obviously house parties are great but anyone who’s ever hosted one will know that they can easily turn into a nightmare. Any damage made to the house is ultimately yours and your housemates’ responsibility, so make sure you're all agreed if you are going to host. Don’t invite people who you know have been a problem in the past.
Respect Your Housemates
Seems like an obvious one but simple things like washing up your dishes when you're finished with them and not using all the hot water can help make a massive difference to the atmosphere in your house. And no one will be mad at you!