The transition of moving from university halls to a house or flat in the community is a very exciting prospect for most. While the en-suite bathrooms, on-site security and overall student atmosphere of halls can be perfect for your first year, there is something enticing about moving into a house in the community.
For some reason, it makes you feel more mature and adult, but also after just under a year of living in a flat, the idea of something homelier, with a proper living room, hopefully, your very own washing machine, and fewer stairs to climb seems like the way to go. While this can be an exciting time, transitioning into a further state of independence, there are a few things to take note of first.
Not all Landlords or agents are great. Be selective and do your homework when it comes to choosing who to go with. Yes – there are lots of companies who only deal with student properties in the area, but they are all different. It is important to note that if something goes wrong within a University halls residence, it may be easier to get help and solve. Whereas, going to a house in the community can be a bit trickier.
Solid example – I had a problem with my house, but there wasn’t the accommodation team around the corner from me, unlike when I was living in halls – so it took a bit longer to fix. That is exactly why it is also a really good idea to really look around at all your options, speak to current residents if you can about any problems they had, before signing for a property.
You now have neighbours that are not necessarily students. In halls, you can have your music playing on a Friday night and it is not super likely that you will hear from your neighbours. Even if you do, things at a slightly lower volume will probably solve the problem.
However, when you go out to live in the community, there is always the possibility that you may live next to a family and other members of the local community. Obviously, this means that you would have to be way more considerate than when you’re in halls because some of those walls can be super thin.
Safety! With student halls, you are used to having a security team working, as well as cameras just to super make sure everyone is safe. When you move out into the surrounding community, you don’t have that. Suddenly, you have to make sure that you’re completely responsible for your own safety.
That means being wary if the lights on your street don’t stay on past midnight, unlike the lights that stay on all night at halls. It means making sure you keep your doors locked and have good insurance for your possessions. It is also an idea to check out the area that you are thinking of living in, as some streets are less safe than others.
Choose who you live with wisely. In halls, usually you will all be responsible for keeping the kitchen and living area clean to some degree (or you might even have a cleaner!), but in a shared house, it is the whole living room, kitchen, and all the bathrooms that need to be taken care of. The responsibility should be shared equally and you should all be on the same page, but it is often cleaning which causes tension in a house.
These are just some of the differences and things to consider when moving from university halls to a house in the community. Each type of accommodation has its pro’s and con’s, so it is just about making sure you choose what is right for you.