Horror Stories

Broken roof

Avoiding housing horror stories.


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Housing Heroes and horror stories

Now I’m sure we’ve all witnessed or maybe even endured some housing horrors throughout our time as a student. Please be assured these are the exception and definitely not the rule but it’s always good to hear from other students’ experiences and to learn how these problems can be solved. It's not all doom and gloom. Let’s also hear about some of those Housing Heroes who have really made a difference to some students University experiences! 


Housing Hero

Maya Yeung’s story

4th Year Business and Management (With Industrial Experience)

The perfect housemate bonding story is when you’ve just moved into your new house for placement year and have locked yourself out of your room (the day you moved in) and have left the keys in the room. The window was open, and my keys were on the windowsill, so thankfully one of my new housemates knew where a ladder was kept and was able to climb up and get the key for me. His first impression of me was probably a ditz, but I very much appreciate him coming to the rescue before I got super stressed out about being locked out of my room on my first day of living there! Talk about housemate bonding!


Housing Horror Story

Chloe Cain’s Story

Year 3, Law LLB

In second year, we moved into what we didn’t realise was a historically protected building. This meant that all the windows were single glazed and we didn’t even have a thermostat in the house. All of the floors were wonky so things would constantly roll off of tables and desks. It felt like we were living in a fun house without the fun.

Solution: It’s important to do your homework when finding your student home. Double glazing and central heating will not only keep you much warmer but will keep the bills costs lower as other alternatives like storage heaters are less economic and efficient. Do your research and get your money’s worth!


Housing Hero

Lucy Stearn’s Story

Year 3, BA History

I decided to live in a 2-bed terrace with my boyfriend for my final year at Exeter, ignoring assumptions that we would either break up or be reciting wedding vows by graduation. As a naturally introverted person, whose idea of a “Big Night” involves watching Bake Off with some homemade cocktails, this arrangement could not have suited me better compared to the drama of my 8-bed second-year house. My advice to students organising housing would be to not let others dictate who you should and shouldn’t live with.


Housing Horror Story

Maya Yeung’s Story

4th Year Business and Management (With Industrial Experience)

One of my friends was advertised a studio apartment and was all ready to move in, but when she arrived it turned out it wasn’t a studio apartment at all and she would have to share both a bathroom and a shower – for a studio apartment price!! After manically calling the estate agent and pushing them to find her an actual studio that was worth the money, they moved her. However, the initial stress, and shock of being completely lied to was just a disaster!

Solution: You should always try and visit a property in person before you choose it to become your new home. During Covid this is more difficult but virtual viewings still operate as a good way to get a feel for a home and find out if there is anything wrong that you need to know about. Don’t just rely on photographs they can be very deceptive.


Housing Hero

Victoria Lannin’s Story

3rd year, BA English

One of our housemates is always so proactive in encouraging us all to do activities together, and this has been so great during covid-19. At the beginning of the year we did so many beach trips, and we have continued to do meals together, household silent discos, and study sessions. It makes such a difference when just one person takes the time and effort to organise group bonding activities – whether it’s breakfast together one day a week or a board game night - and it definitely rubs off on other people. It’s especially important at this time, when we are all relying on our housemates for our social life, and to be supported.


Housing Horror Story

Amy Bond’s Story

4th year, MSc Global Sustainability Solutions (previously BA English)

One morning I woke up and some movement on my bedroom wall caught my eye. To start with I thought it was the light coming through the curtains and shining on it, but as I stood up I realised it was actually water. Looking further up, I noticed a few small holes in the ceiling, where all the water was coming from. I could hear my housemate singing in the shower and suddenly realised it was right above my room, and that’s where the water was coming from. I ran upstairs and shouted to turn the shower off, and a plumber came round the next day to fix the problem. However, a week or so later I walked into my room and the indoor waterfall was back. Luckily, after a rather stressed call to the estate agents, the leak did get fixed and I didn’t have a water feature in my room for too long!

Solution: If something like this happens you must contact the landlord straight away, it is their responsibility to ensure the issue is rectified swiftly- CHECK


Housing Hero

Amy Bond’s Story

4th year, MSc Global Sustainability Solutions (previously BA English)

My housing hero is one of my old housemates, who was never afraid to roll her sleeves up and help sort out any problems in the house. One day, we noticed the bottom of our dishwasher was full of dirty water. Instead of being grossed out, she stuck her hand in, and with the help of Google we learned how to clean all the different parts of the dishwasher!


Housing Horror Story

Lucy Stearn’s Story

Year 3, BA History

I think it is fair to say our Lafrowda flat was never the cleanest – but this experience marked a new low! I’d been away for reading week and returned to a horrid odour in the kitchen, stacks of washing up, overfilled bins, and old takeaway containers literally stuck onto the table by spilt curry. It gets worse though. As I approached the bins, I noticed… MAGGOTS…

Solution: Simple, make sure you clean up after yourselves, especially when you and your housemates are leaving for a prolonged period. Work together to clean up and get the house sparkling! It will be a nice welcome home after a long day at University. Tidy house= Tidy mind.


Housing Hero

Madeleine’s Story

3rd year, Law

Getting along with all your housemates is not always easy or possible all the time, but it is nice to know and be reminded that they are there for you when life isn’t easy. My housemates proved this when one of them had tonsillitis and was bed bound and very poorly for a number of weeks. We took it in turns to cook meals he fancied and could eat, helped him take his medication and made sure he was comfortable. We were also able to register him at the GP and took him in a taxi to help him get his medication, being there to help him when he was struggling. It’s nice to know your friends have your back.


Housing Horror Story

Victoria Lannin’s Story

3rd year, BA English

At the end of the year, when it comes to cleaning the house, there is always so much more to do than you initially anticipate! The last few days in my last house were spent dusting skirting boards, pulling up weeds, and cleaning out everyone else’s leftovers from the fridge – I made the unfortunate mistake of being one of the last two left at the house. The worst part by far was spending 3 hours scrubbing the grout in our shower with a mould-busting spray and…. a toothbrush. Tedious and frustrating, but effective!

Solution: Teamwork makes the dreamwork! Make sure all your housemates get stuck in with the cleaning, and if you keep on top of It throughout the year it won’t feel like a chore and you won’t have much to do before you move out at the end of the year.

 


Housing Horror Story

Madeleine’s Story

3rd year, Law

We had noticed over a period of a few weeks there was a terrible smell coming from the kitchen and hallway. We had begun to fight over it because the smell was unbearable, and we all blamed each other for having food that had gone off or for failing to clean up properly. We all took it in turns to check all our food and clean the kitchen, bin and fridge from top to bottom, however it never made any difference. One day we decided to shut the kitchen door that we always left open and we noticed a greenish coloured oozing mass hidden in the corner. It turned out to be some chicken that had fallen out of the bin when we had taken it outside, eventually rotting and causing the most horrendous smell. We were much more careful after that.


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