The horrific stories about student housing that have penetrated contemporary media are enough to put anyone off living in the housing, but in reality the horror stories can often be avoided. The workload at university can be stressful enough without having to worry about mouldy houses or landlord troubles, but there are measures that can be taken to prevent having major problems and hopefully make the transition of moving into housing an easy one.
Before signing the contract
Particularly in the first year of university, there seems to be a large panic about who is going to live with whom and there is a rush to sign for the ‘best’ house. However, this is not necessarily the best idea; not all of the ‘best’ houses are signed first. Instead, a really important thing is to find people who you actually want to live with; not just those you’ve met in your first weeks at university. Although this takes time, it’s worth it so you live with people that you actually like. Also, many people are so excited to sign for their house they do not read the contract properly. Most universities provide services that check over contracts to make sure there are no hidden conditions, which is very useful.
After signing the contract
Keeping up a good relationship with your landlord and neighbours is really important; common courtesy like telling your neighbours about when you are having a party, and keeping the house in good condition for the landlord will definitely be good in the long run. Cleaning the house once in a while – as arduous as it may seem – as well as reporting any problems immediately, is definitely worth it because it will prevent any future problems, like mould or damp. This will also ensure you get your full deposit back at the end of the year.
The perception of student housing has been tainted by ‘horror stories’. Although it can’t be denied that these do happen, there are certain things you can do to prevent having a bad experience which don’t really take a lot of effort.
Picture: fotohansi – Fotolia
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