Bedding? Check. Desk? Check. Toiletries? Check. Wardrobe? Check. It isn’t until we start packing our childhood room into several moving boxes that we realise how much stuff we have and how little of it we need at university. Yet, we still try and cram every bit of it into the boot of the Ford Fiesta our parents bought us as a congratulatory present for passing our driving test last year.

As you might’ve, or might not have guessed, moving into halls or private student accommodation is a significant deal for most university-goers. With only 27% of UK university students opting to stay in halls, many freshers experience their first taste of living away from their parents, living with roommates and renting their own place in private student accommodation.

Yet, no university experience would be complete without some horror stories. Whether you must deal with a flatmate who always steals food from your section of the fridge or a constantly dripping bathroom faucet in your ensuite that keeps you up all night, many common problems can arise in student accommodation, and fortunately, most can be resolved. Can I find plumbers near me or a better roommate, you ask? We list several suggestions below.

Private Student Accommodation | Repairs 

As we discussed in our introduction, it’s standard for something to go awry with the plumbing or electricity in the three years you’ll be living in your private student accommodation. So, whether you have a leaky tap in your ensuite that keeps you up all night or if any appliances included in the house are on their last legs, be prepared to approach your landlord for help.

Regarding rental property in the United Kingdom, the landlord is always responsible for repairs to the property’s exterior, structure, appliances, fittings, and utilities. So, when a problem surfaces, don’t be scared to phone your landlord and tell them about it as soon as possible; you could also follow up the phone call with a text, email, or letter so that you have a record.

Depending on your landlord, they might come to inspect the problem themselves, send a reputable tradesperson, or ask you to find one on their behalf and then reimburse the costs. Before you turn to Google and type ‘plumbers near me,’ into the search bar, an easier way to find reliable tradespeople is through local business directories like MyBuilder.

Using their unique matchmaking system, you (or your landlord) can be paired up with one of their trusted tradespeople by posting a tailored job advert. After the job is posted, relevant tradespeople will be in touch, and you can use their work history and recent reviews to determine if they’re the best fit for the job. Consider visiting their site today or contacting them directly to find out more.

Rude Roommate

Having a roommate is one of the norms of student life, and since 87% of students have multiple, it only makes sense that you’re not going to be best friends with all of them. Although we would be friends with everyone in an ideal world, this is not always the case due to various factors, be it personality, likes/dislikes and work ethic.

Regardless of the issues you have between you, living with a rude roommate can make your university experience seem like hell on earth and have you wanting to get out of your rental property as soon as possible. However, your rental contract is legally binding, meaning you can be penalised if you terminate the agreement before it ends.

Unfortunately, since the behaviour of other tenants isn’t one of your landlord’s responsibilities, it can be challenging to address this behaviour without going to the root of the problem (your roommate). Yet, you can go to your landlord for advice and discuss the steps of distancing yourself from them.

Depending on your landlord’s understanding, providing that you are upfront and unbiased with them about your roommate’s behaviour, they can negotiate some of the clauses in your rental agreement. Whether they allow you to sublet your rental property, pay off the remainder of your lease, or will enable you to move without financial repercussions – you’ll never know unless you involve them.

Deposit Issues 

Even when your student experience is complete, and you’re ready to move back home, your issues with private student accommodation might not stop there. As anyone who has ever signed a rental contract will know, you must pay a hefty deposit before you move in, which is understandable but not fun.

Typically, students are expected to pay up to four to six weeks’ worth of rent upfront; then, they will get all their deposit back once their tenancy is up, providing that they’ve met all the terms of their tenancy agreement in full. However, this is not always the case; many students walk away with less than they’d thought.

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take before, during, and after your tenancy agreement is up to ensure that you walk away with your full deposit as follows:

  • Take pictures of every room before you move in.
  • Ask for a checklist of everything included in the property before you move in.
  • Read through the tenancy agreement carefully.
  • Ensure that your deposit is legally protected.
  • Ensure that you pay all your bills.
  • Replace or repair anything that you break.
  • Invite your landlord to inspect the property before you move out.
  • Clean the house thoroughly before you leave.
  • Know your rights as a private tenant and many more.

As well as reading guides about getting your deposit back, you could consider approaching your student services department if you’ve done all of the above and still feel that your landlord is unreasonable. Or, you could reach out to former students who might be able to give you a first-hand experience of what to expect and how to deal with this time when it arises.

Noise Disruption 

There’s no denying that one of the main reasons students go to university is because of the nightlife. However, some people think university life is one big party instead of focusing on their first taste of freedom, financial responsibility, bettering their education, and much more. Although there is nothing wrong with partying now and again, it becomes a problem when it starts affecting others.

While living in private student accommodation or university halls, you will undoubtedly have to deal with noisy neighbours at some point. However, since noise control is out of your landlord’s control, and in some cases, those making the noise might be living in different houses, making them not your landlord’s responsibility.

So, you’ll have to deal with noisy neighbours yourself if they disrupt your night’s sleep with loud chatter or music. Now we’re not saying you should barge around, bang on their door, and scream at them to keep the noise down. Let’s face it; we’ve all dabbled in the Sims 3 and seen how that turns out (spoiler alert, not very well!).

Instead, go around and politely explain your issue; providing that they are reasonable people, they should apologise and make a conscious effort not to disturb you again. However, if they fail to cease their noisy antics even after you’ve asked politely, consider taking it further and contacting your student services department or local authority.