So you have a student house, now what?

So you have a student house, now what?

It occured to me that this is my last year as a student, and so my last year to really talk about University advice from a student perspective. I used to give quite a bit of advice when I first started, because I was working through it all and it was helpful to me. However, as my blog and other interests have taken off, my University advice posts have slipped to the side… Now that I’m in my third year, I want to get back to advice posts, and lay some things out simply (Or at least, as simply as I can). So, I thought I’d start with one that’s fairly topical this time of year – housing.

Student housing is always a fast paced and stressful process. You have to find the friends, view the houses, hope nobody wants it before you, find the money for the deposit, rush into signing contracts you know you haven’t properly read, and commit to a property for at least a year. Though that bit is (In my opinion) the most overwhelming, the tasks don’t stop there. There’s so much to look into once you’ve got your house, so I thought I’d get into it below.

You need to think about bills…

Obviously, this isn’t a priority until a month/few weeks before you move in. However, it’s worth having in mind. Typically, there will be three types of bills you’ll have to pay: energy, water and WiFi. Water bills are usually sent/organised by your local authority, so I won’t really get into that one, but let’s talk about energy and WiFi.

Energy

The first think you’ll need to do is find out whether your house uses gas or electricity. It should be one of the many housing documents you get emailed/given, but if not you can always email your agent and ask. There are many different suppliers and it can be easy to get bogged down, but if you google and check out all the energy comparison sites around,you can try and find the best and cheapest one for you.

WiFi

I don’t know about you, but dodgy WiFi drives me up the walls. With all the online reading and blogging and Netflix I watch, I need a good signal. However, I don’t really want to pay a fortune either. Like the energy, there are a bunch of sites that will help you compare a bunch of different providers and find out what works for you and your flat. This one even comes with resources to find out what you actually want from your WiFi. For example, they have an article comparing Virgin and BT (I learnt that Virgin was the right choice for me and “can’t be beaten when it comes to speed”). Basically, if you are clueless like me, it’s a good place to simply read up on what WiFi matches your needs.

Splitting

Obviously, if you’re in a house with multiple people, you’re going to have to figure out how to split bills. To make things easy (and to stop you constantly pestering your flatmates for money), I recommend a money tracking app like Acasa. You can each register, and then it presents you with a house dashboard, showing who owes who what. You can set up direct debits on it too, so it tracks when the money’s coming out and sends people reminders of when to pay it. We also use it in my house for things like toilet paper, washing up liquid etc… The things that add up, but you might feel petty for asking for in person.

You need to think about moving in…

I feel like with the whole moving process, sharing is caring (and also so much cheaper).

The moving day

A lot of places have a specific day you can move in and collect your keys on. Also, some of these places are difficult and want you to collect all the keys at once. If you can get your moving date in advance, I would recommend you do, so that you can all arrange to be there/make arrangements if one of you isn’t. I personally think it’s best to be there on moving day so you can get good cupboard spaces and report anything on the inventory ASAP – you don’t want to get stuck with charges when you move out.

Storing your stuff

Every year that I’ve moved student housing, I’ve been lucky enough to have overlapping move in/move out dates. So, I’ve been able to store the bulk of my things in my old house, and then come back to move it directly into my new house. However, that’s not always the case. If you don’t want to take it all home with you, consider sharing a storage space with your other housemates if they have the same issue. However, if they happen to have overlapping dates, see if they’ll let you briefly move your stuff into their old property.

Transporting your stuff

Whether you’ve gone with using a storage unit or moving things over straight from your former residency, you still have to get your stuff to your new house. Again, the best way to do this is to share with eachother. Moving vans can be quite pricy, but moving vans split between a few people? Far more manageable. Shove all your stuff into one van… Maybe even try to see if one of you/your parents can drive up and transport excess in their car. Suddenly, the process isn’t as daunting.

You need to think about rooming…

I’ve never actually had an issue with rooming. In my second year house, everybody decided pretty simply and we didn’t have any disputes. In my third year house, all the rooms were the same size, so we weren’t that bothered. However, if you haven’t decided your rooms, here’s some things to consider:

  • Did anyone have a particularly terrible room the year before? Be a nice person, let them have first pick.
  • Is somebody willing to pay more/less if the rooms are considerably different sizes? It might be worth weighting the rent (Some places may already come with it weighted).
  • Does anyone have any particular requirements? e.g. would benefit from a room downstairs/on a lower floor (If you have those).
  • Is somebody going to be there considerably less than others? Discuss how it might be fair for them to choose last.
  • If none of the above helps, the fairest way is just to randomly assign them. Number off the rooms and use a random number generator for each person.

Also, if you get stuck with a room you don’t want, remember that student housing is only temporary. Also, everything looks cuter with blankets and fairy lights.

Hope you enjoyed this! Let me know what you thought, and also what other student topics you would like me to cover in the comments.

Lots of love,

Jas xx

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27 Comments

  1. January 14, 2019 / 2:41 pm

    I’ve heard so many horror stories about student housing and I’m not looking forward it. I might just stay in halls for the whole 4 years, I can’t live in dirt man.

    This post is going to be so helpful for when I stop being a princess and move out of halls.

    Fran | http://www.franciscarockey.co.uk

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      January 14, 2019 / 5:07 pm

      Hahaha I refused to have a “typical student house” and found girls that were also passionate about keeping it clean and finding a place that wasn’t run down haha, good luck if you ever choose to move out of halls!

      Jas xx

  2. January 14, 2019 / 5:10 pm

    You sound like such a well organised and kind roommate to have, Jasmine! I definitely agree about moving house being a really stressful process, I’ve decided to stay in the same house in my third year as I’ve lived in in my second year and even the process of renewing that contract was really anxiety inducing! Money tracking apps are a brilliant way to split the cost of everyday things like loo roll as well, I use SplitWise and I wouldn’t be without it!

    Abbey xxx

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      January 14, 2019 / 5:13 pm

      Awwww thank you Abbey! Staying in the same house sure would make things easier! And yeah I couldn’t be without a money tracking app!

      Jas xx

  3. January 14, 2019 / 5:12 pm

    I remember when I moved into my student flat. I did not have much to worry about to be honest besides paying rent on time and moving in. Otherwise it was quite smooth. But i remember the bad surprises when someone had overused heating!

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      January 14, 2019 / 5:14 pm

      Ahhhh yes I can imagine the heating bill being a bit of an unwelcome surprise!

      Jas xx

  4. January 14, 2019 / 5:27 pm

    I mean, all this sounds super stressful but I guess it’s an amazing chance to experience all these things and learn how to live on your own and manage your money, food and bills before you actually have your own house. I didn’t go to University but I seriously wish I did, for this reason among so many others xxx

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      January 14, 2019 / 5:33 pm

      Yeah, it’s definitely taught me a lot about living on my own and “being an adult” but it is super stressful haha

      Jas xx

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      January 14, 2019 / 5:33 pm

      Can’t stand dodgy WiFi!

      Jas xx

  5. Lisa's Notebook
    January 14, 2019 / 5:33 pm

    It’s been years since I was a student (granny alert) but I always lived in halls because I couldn’t stand the thought of bickering over bills and rooms. If I’d had something like your post to read through first I might well have house shared. I like the sound of the Acasa money tracking app, especially as it has so many additional uses. Fab post, Jasmine, really details and helpful! x

    Lisa | http://www.lisasnotebook.com

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      January 14, 2019 / 5:35 pm

      Yeah, staying in halls is a good option to avoid all the stress haha! And honestly the money tracking app has saved my life, thank you so much for your comment!

      Jas xx

  6. January 14, 2019 / 6:28 pm

    This is really interesting to read as I never had to worry about student housing (I did my degree through the Open Uni). I never realized there was so much to consider but it sounds like apps like Acasa and comparison sites make things so much easier. I also love your tip: everything looks cuter with blankets and fairy lights, that is 100% true! Thanks for sharing Jas, great post and I’m sure it will help so many people <3 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

  7. aimsysantics
    January 14, 2019 / 7:00 pm

    These are great tips, even for after uni when you continue to house share! I never experienced student housing as I lived at home throughout uni, but did get to experience 7 week practice placement in drs/nurses quarters in Grimsby! These would have been useful tips for back then.

    Lovely post!

    Aimsy xoxo
    https://www.aimsysantics.co.uk

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      January 14, 2019 / 7:43 pm

      Thanks so much!

      Jas xx

  8. January 14, 2019 / 8:59 pm

    Articles like these are very helpful to Students, How I wish I read an article like this in my years back at the University!

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      January 14, 2019 / 9:53 pm

      Thank you!

      Jas xx

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      January 14, 2019 / 9:51 pm

      Thank you!

      Jas xx

  9. eviebraithwaite
    January 15, 2019 / 5:21 pm

    Oh I’m currently in the process of finding student accommodation for my fourth year and it’s so stressful – especially trying to do it from abroad! Transporting my stuff is what takes the longest haha. These are fab tips x

    Evie x | https://eviejayne.co.uk

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      January 17, 2019 / 7:14 pm

      Oh god good luck, and congrats!

      Jas xx

  10. January 15, 2019 / 8:19 pm

    I’m so glad I never had to do this. My uni had separate halls for 2nd and 3rd year students so I was lucky enough to keep my en-suite, all bills included, security guarded entrance for my entire duration. The area wasn’t that great so a lot of the student houses available were complete dumps too. The Acasa app sounds amazing though! Absolutely essential depending how reliable your housemates are. Great post! x

    Sophie
    http://www.glowsteady.co.uk

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      January 17, 2019 / 7:43 pm

      Ahhh you were so lucky that you got to constantly stay in halls!

      Jas xx

  11. Michelle Blackadar
    January 15, 2019 / 8:34 pm

    student housing can really be such an nightmare! you presented some really great tips to keep in mind. usually my roommates and I would go shopping together so we’d figure out at the store who was going to buy what and be sure to alternate on the shared items like toilet paper. my one regret is not speaking up about the room sizing in my last place. I didn’t mind my room size or anything but I do wish I spoke up about paying less because my room didn’t even have a closet nor did the doors lock. other then that my living situations as a student were pretty drama free x

    mich / simplymich.com

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      January 17, 2019 / 7:43 pm

      Shopping together can also work! And it’s great that you had no drama <3

      Jas xx

  12. January 15, 2019 / 10:13 pm

    What a helpful post! Totally know what you mean about WiFi, it’s the worst when it’s slow or barely ever works xx

    Hannah | luxuryblush

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      January 17, 2019 / 7:55 pm

      It honestly is!

      Jas xx

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