Last week, students across Cardiff were looking ahead to the start of a new term and, for most, a completely new way of life. For many, this is the first time that they will have lived away from home, and we provided a few top tips for those who were getting to grips with moving into rented accommodation…
Now, the practical bit is out of the way, the challenge is more about adjusting to the highs and lows that come with communal living – unless you’re a mature student, google the Young Ones and you’ll begin to see what I mean! So we’ve pulled together a part two to go with the blog post from last week, providing some more thoughts on how to survive life in rented accommodation.
- Money. The root of all evil? Maybe not – but it’s almost certainly the cause of the most shared digs arguments! Paying, or to be more accurate not paying, the bills can become a serious source of in-house hostility, so if you haven’t done so, work out a system that suits everyone. Spreading the bills out between house mates will avoid the responsibility falling to the same person all the time, which can be great if it’s not you, but not so much fun if it is! Don’t be afraid to ask housemates for a receipt to show you have paid your share. It might seem a little over-the-top but it quickly becomes easy to lose track of who has paid for what, especially in a large house. Remember that everyone is going to be on a tight budget and bills for gas, electricity, telephone and internet, which come monthly or quarterly, can leave you with a large sum to pay all at once. Put money aside when you can to cover the larger bills and avoid any last minute panic.
- Obviously, no one is going to complain if you have a friend over, or if your partner comes to visit, but if they are still there in six weeks’ time, polishing off the communal milk and monopolising the bathroom and Tesco value loo roll, then it might be a different matter. Have a chat amongst your housemates to find out how people feel about visitors and discuss some dos and don’ts when it comes to house guests.
- The odd bit of noise is an inevitable part of a living in a shared house and those used to a quiet environment could be in for a bit of a shock. The solution is to be reasonable. You might like nothing more than playing a bit of Slipknot at 3am but the housemate who has to be up for an early lecture might not agree. And even the most sociable housemate will probably not appreciate an impromptu party in the room next door the night before their first exam. As with everything, communication, early warning and common sense is key.
- Always remember to do your bit. No one likes a slob and leaving your dirty socks lying around, rubbish on the floor and dishes in the sink is a sure fire way to loose friends and alienate people. Clean up after yourself, do your share of the house work and if you break something, bite the bullet, admit to it and replace it. It will make life easier in the long run.
Martine Harris FARLA
Head of Lettings