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What’s the big deal anyway?
We hear you asking that question, you’ve made some friends, you’ve heard of a great place from some third years and you’ve got a deposit ready, so why should you wait? Well, here are the common problems that students just like you have encountered in the past and some new ones due to COVID-19;
Found your BFF’s?
Even in previous years, you would have known your friends at University for only a few months by now, signing onto live with them for a whole year is an unknown. This year is even more challenging with the usual spaces for meeting new people (in class, societies, halls, sports, etc) not operating as normal. Getting on with your first year housemates if often down to luck, but you have the ability to make a choice on who you want to live with.
- Briony Richards, 4th Year, Modern Languages tells us- “Sometimes your best friends make the worst housemates – I speak from experience! I lived with some of my best friends in second year and as much as I love them, we were not compatible as housemates at all – I’m a bit of a clean freak and most of them were fine with mess, I used to go out clubbing a lot and they wouldn’t etc… there’s loads of ways to see your friends outside of your home so don’t just move in with them because you get on well – think about whether or not your living styles work well together”
Found your Ideal spot?
There are a variety of properties types in Exeter, traditional residential houses to Purpose built accommodation, ranging in size and location. Finding the right property can be tricky, there are lots of things to take into account – number of rooms, size of the bathroom(s), parking or public transport access, neighbourhood, distance to Campus, etc. Taking your time will help you find the right spot with the right property.
Students tell us - “We’re quite a quiet group of students really, I wouldn’t say we’re the partying hard type. We found a flat, had a look round and it seemed pretty lush. Once we’d moved in though, we realised it was on a main route from campus to city and it got very noisy on certain nights.”
Maya Yeung- 4th Year Business and Management (With Industrial Experience) tells us- “Not so much a problem now because of Covid, but my fourth year house is nearer to St Lukes so is 40 mins walk to the university. In non-covid times I could always get the bus, but I guess the commute is longer than I’d like it to be. However, the location is so nice to be in a different part of Exeter, and Heavitree is so cute! I have a good run route now that I wouldn’t get if I was closer to campus, plus I’m only 20 minutes walk from town which is great.”
Space to Study?
As we entered the pandemic in March, all students were required to study remotely. This meant that many had to make do with the space that they’d chosen over a year before. This year has been about the blend of remote lectures and on campus sessions, but we don’t know how long this will last due to the potential for further outbreaks. Finding the right home study space for everyone is important.
Students tell us – “I live with 8 other students in a house and I got the smallest bedroom, which means I’ve got the smallest desk ever and I’m next to the bathroom. It’s almost impossible to study for any period of time. As campus was closed due to the pandemic, I really struggled.
Victoria, 3rd year, BA English tells us- “Consistently, the worst and most stressful part of living out in second and third year is getting the house sorted – deciding who to live with and what your budget is, what you want to and don’t want to sacrifice, and deciding on rooms. However, if you are able to have these difficult conversations with your group and can approach these situations with empathy and understanding, you know your group will be strong enough to weather any challenges living out might present! Once you actually move into your new home, all the worries will be behind you and you will be able to enjoy your newfound independence”.
All Landlords have to be nice, we’re paying!
Unfortunately, not all landlords are nice people. Don’t get us wrong, there are some excellent and caring ones out there, but we’ve heard stories of landlords treating their tenants, properties and contracts with less than ideal care. From a lack of repairs to a lack of facilities, from over-priced properties to misleading adverts. The government has made some steps forward in protecting you, but things can still happen, especially with a quick decision.
Students tell us – “When we came back after Christmas, our boiler had stopped working. The house was freezing. It took the estate agents three days to reply to our emails and calls and then it was another 2 days before someone came out to repair it. All because the owner was abroad and had limited signal.”
Briony Richards, 4th Year, Modern Languages tells us – “I was looking for a house in my second year and we found a lovely little house but when we spoke to the landlord to ask questions, he then said to us “Not being funny, but are you all English? I don’t really want any more of those bloody foreign students ruining my house”. We decided he was a bigoted racist man and looked for another house… “
Heroes & Horror Stories