What is the Big Deal Anyway?

We hear you asking that question. You have made some friends, you’ve heard of a great place from some third years and you have a deposit ready, so why should you wait? Here are the common problems that students just like you have encountered in the past:

Found your BFF’s?

Hopefully, you have met some good friends already either on your course or from your accommodation. However, you have only really known people for a few months and who knows how signing on to live with them for a full year will go. Getting on with your first-year housemates is often down to luck. You may like them but may not be compatible to live together. Or you may not have gelled with them at all and do not know who you want to live with.

  • Briony, 4th year Modern Languages tells us-

“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 am 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 are 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 your living styles work well together or not.”

Found your Ideal spot?

There are a variety of property types in Exeter, from traditional residential houses to Purpose-Built accommodation, ranging in size and location. Finding the right property can be tricky, and there are lots of things to consider – number of rooms, size of the bathroom(s), parking or public transport access, neighbourhood, distance to campus, etc. Taking your time will help you find the right spot with the right property.

  • Students tell us -  

“We are a quiet group of students really; I wouldn’t say we’re the partying-hard type. We found a flat, had a look round and it seemed pretty lush. Once we had moved in though, we realised it was on a main route from campus to the city and it got very noisy on certain nights.”

  • Maya-4th Year Business and Management (With Industrial Experience) tells us-

“My fourth-year house is nearer to St. Lukes so is a 40-min walk to the university. I can always get the bus, but the commute is longer than I would like it to be. However, it is nice to be in a different part of Exeter, and Heavitree is so cute! I have a good run route now that I would not get if I were closer to campus, plus I am only a 20-minute walk from town which is great.”

Space to Study?

Finding the right home with the space to study can be very important. Whilst there is lots of good spaces on Campus to study, many like to study from the comfort of their own home. Or like the option to work flexibly. So, make sure to view your accommodation with both thoughts in mind- relaxed home environment and a good space to be productive.  

  • Students tell us –  

“I live with 8 other students in a house, and I got the smallest bedroom, which means I’ve got the smallest desk ever and I am next to the bathroom. It is almost impossible to study for any period of time.

  • Victoria, 3rd year BA English tells us-  

“Consistently, the worst and most stressful part of living out in second and third year is getting the house sorted – deciding who to live with and what your budget is, what you want to and don’t want to sacrifice, and deciding on rooms. However, if you can have these difficult conversations with your group and can approach these situations with empathy and understanding, you know your group will be strong enough to weather any challenges living out might present! Once you move into your new home, all the worries will be behind you, and you will be able to enjoy your newfound independence.”

All Landlords have to be nice; we’re paying!

Unfortunately, not all landlords are nice people. Don’t get us wrong, there are some excellent and caring ones out there, but we have heard stories of landlords treating their tenants, properties, and contracts with less-than-ideal care. From a lack of repairs to a lack of facilities, from over-priced properties to misleading adverts. The government has made some steps forward in protecting tenants, but things can still happen, especially with a quick decision.

  • Students tell us –  

“When we came back after Christmas, our boiler had stopped working. The house was freezing. It took the estate agents three days to reply to our emails and calls and then it was another 2 days before someone came out to repair it. All because the owner was abroad and had limited signal.”

  • Briony Richards, 4th year Modern Languages tells us –

I was looking for a house in my second year and we found a lovely little one but when we spoke to the landlord to ask questions, he then said to us “Not being funny, but are you all English? I don’t really want any more of those bloody foreign students ruining my house.” We decided he was a bigoted racist and looked for another house.”