Student Property and House Sharing Tips
Sharing a house is practically a rite of passage when you’re a student. Even if you don’t experience the joys of a shared halls of residence in your first year, you will likely find yourself joining up with course-mates to enter into a shared tenancy for your second and third years. This will also likely be your first experience renting a property. With that in mind, what should you be looking out for?
It may be the case that you’re sharing your student property with a set of fellow students you don’t know so well, or even haven’t met before. Before you settle in to living together – and settle into potentially bad habits in the process – you should gather together and set some ground rules for your shared tenancy. These rules should cover respect for one another’s boundaries, as well as a united approach to household tasks like the washing up or hoovering. This way, you can maintain a harmonious tenancy together.
Student areas are often hotspots for crime, leading to an increased risk of break-ins and theft of your personal possessions. There is also the risks of fire or flooding to contend with, especially in flats or terraced student houses that may have aging infrastructure. Protecting your belongings can be as simple as installing a lock on your bedroom door (with your landlord’s permission) but taking out tenant’s contents insurance can be a smart way to protect the value of your things.
Keeping the Peace
Student areas are also built-up, and you may find yourself living in particularly close proximity to other students – and even families, if you move a little further out from your university’s campus. As such, it is important to bear in mind your impact on the neighbourhood around you. University is a time for enjoying yourself, but parties every other night may not endear you to others on your street.
Looking After the House
Student properties are not often synonymous with luxury. Nonetheless, they need to be treated with respect during your stay, if only to secure the return of your security deposit in full. Accidents happen, though, and it’s beneficial to read up on some quick DIY solutions to help you keep the house in good condition: for example, using a filler paste to cover up any holes you’ve made in the walls with nails.
Knowing When to Speak Up in Shared Tenancy
But living in a shared student property shouldn’t feel like treading on eggshells when it comes to your landlord. It may well be that something is wrong with the house, whether the emergence of damp and mould or an appliance breaking.
Rather than feeling like you need to sort it out yourself, get in touch with your landlord or letting agency. Your contract enshrines your rights as a tenant to a well-maintained property; if you encounter resistance from your landlord, there are various resources you can use to ensure action – or, at the very least, safe release from your contract and return of your deposit.