Take Your Time


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Mythbuster

Every year there are rumours that circulate the student community which create panic and contribute to an early rental market. Let’s hear from the student’s themselves, bust open those myths and set the record straight!

Myth

Reality

You have to stay in private rented houses past year one

 

The University has limited accommodation for returning students so students will likely need to look to the private sector for housing. There are options this could be in purpose-built student accommodation or in a shared house with other students or as a lodger with the landlord.

Your friendship group will work amazingly as a household and you’ll never have fallings out.

 

There will be ups and downs with living together and this is entirely normal. It can help to make sure you take your time to get to know people and to have clear expectations from the start. Although it can be difficult it is best to have open conversations about any problems.

The only choice for finding accommodation alone is a studio

 

If you are sure that you do not want to live with others it is likely that you will need to think about a studio flat or bedsit. This can be more expensive so make sure that you budget.

It’s better to use a bill management company

 

Not necessarily. It is important to do your research and see what is going to suit all the members of the house.

 

Student houses mean that I’m going to freeze no matter what

 

Not necessarily, Landlords should provide you with the properties EPC rating which can tell you how energy efficient the house is. Legislation has changed to ensure that properties can be heated, but you should also so some research; look at the condition of the windows, speak to current tenants etc.

Bills for houses can be ridiculously expensive

If you have not had to think about bills before, it can be surprising how much things can cost. Make sure you look at the offers that energy and Internet providers have, these can save you a lot of money.

You must secure a house early or there will be nothing left

There’s always such a rush for Exeter housing, but I found a really nice house with my housemates and didn’t sign the contract until late December. You want to make sure you like the house, location, etc of this place you want to live in or else you’ll have secured a house early, but will be miserable when you actual end up living there.

It’s not good to be on your own when looking for a house

 

There are many platforms you can advertise where you need a house – groups on facebook, through the university accommodation guild help page etc. You shouldn’t worry at all if you’re on your own looking for a house – there are definitely houses and spaces looking for just one or two extra people – people who have dropped our of contracts, or need spare people to fill a house

A house close to the university is the best house

 

You don’t need to be super close to university, a half hour walk is a lot shorter than you realise, and you may even be more equidistant from town and university if you decide to live a little further away from university. Plus, you won’t get all the noisy students walking past to go for a night out!

Living with housemates is the easier option

Living with people can be great but it also comes with challenges and get take some work to make sure everyone is happy. Living on your own also comes with its own challenges to ensure that you are not isolated.

There’s not a lot of good housing in Exeter

There is so much good housing in Exeter, as well as some lovely housing, there are other options such as the new brand new flats that have been built recently so are really modern, or private hall accommodation, and studios available too!

You need to have decided who you’re living with by November

 

There will always be people looking for housemates until summer, there’s so much time to work out who you get on with, so don’t sign into a contract that you can’t get out of too soon.

All the best houses are on Pennsylvania Road and Vic Street

 

These houses do have the benefit of being close to campus, but don’t be afraid to branch out and explore a little further away. Some of the nicest houses might be a 25-minute walk from campus but if you don’t mind the walk it can be nice to get some fresh air twice a day

All houses in Exeter are expensive

 

There are loads of ways to find cheaper rent – look for houses that are slightly further out, try and get bills included to avoid any surprises at the end of the year. Think about budget with your housemates and try and find a group of people who all have a similar budget so some of you aren’t left struggling with money! Also, if there’s a smaller bedroom, sometimes you can decide with housemates to pay slightly less rent if you take the little room

Student houses are gross and cold and full of damp and mould

 

Even if you’re a student you still have a right to have a habitable home! Various standards must be met and if there are problems in your house that your landlord is refusing to sort out, you can talk to the Guild.

You need to live with your best friends, or you’ll never see them

 

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.

Students only live in halls as freshers

 

Many students choose to live in private halls in Exeter. The University does offer a small number of rooms in University residences to returning students with medical needs in their further years of study

Students have no respect for property

This is a bit of a myth and in many cases not true. Most Students are keen to look after the property so that they get their deposit returned and they live in a nice environment.

It is impossible to get your deposit back

Deposits should be held in a deposit scheme and landlords should not be able to take any unreasonable costs from this and this will be returned at the end of the tenancy.

All student landlords are out to get students

 

There is a mix of landlords and student experiences. Last year our rental agency (Star Lettings) were very fair and on top of any maintenance issues – we even got our full deposit back!

Locals don’t like students

 

Although there can be tensions between neighbours and students, I’ve found that if you get to know your neighbours just a little, they will be friendly and come to you directly with any issues

You must pay for a cleaner at the end of the year

 

As of thee Tenancy Fees Act 2019, the landlord cannot require a tenant to pay for professional cleaning when they vacate the property, however, they can request that the property is cleaned to a professional standard.

There are ‘society’ houses

 

Some students live in houses that will help other students in their friendship group secure for the next year – however this is not because societies or friendship groups ‘own’ or have a monopoly on the houses.

You should live with your flatmates from first year.

 

Often, you’ll meet people from your course/societies etc who you’re much better suited to living with, don’t rush!


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