Many students live in halls of residence for their first year, but when their second year comes around, there is the urge to try something different. The cost of renting a property still remains high in many places around the UK, so the best option can be to share with others. In fact, this can often be a great way to afford somewhere more expensive than you would ever have been able to do it you were on your own. But how do you organise life as a member of a shared student accommodation?
Who should you share with?
When we look for housemates there’s always the temptation to share with people that are very similar to yourself but this isn’t always the best way to do it. According to psychologists, it is best to have a range of different personality types in the house to help achieve balance.
For example, have one person who is the organiser, the driver who will ensure that things get done, that the bills are paid and the house is organised. Another good person to have around the house is a logical thinker, someone who can organise paperwork and finances in the house. Someone who is an empath and can listen to problems and ease tensions is a great person to have in the house. And it never hurts to have someone who is the entertainer, the fun one who makes everyone laugh.
The practical stuff
When looking at a property, it is advisable to deal with student let companies such as Collegiate who can offer their services to find you a property within the budget you and your housemates have. That way you know the property will be of top quality and that all the legal side of things will be done correctly. If you are unsure, always have someone check over things like the tenancy agreement to be certain everyone is protected.
When you set up utilities for the property, ensure that everyone’s name is on the agreement. If only one person is named on the bill, they are the only person that can speak to the company. And if anything goes wrong, they are the person who will be chased for the balance on the account so make sure everyone is listed.
When you live in shared accommodation you will need special insurance for your contents. Normal home insurance isn’t designed for this type of situation so speak to a specialist in student insurance to get the right cover for a shared property. Each person might need to take their own policy or at least to provide details of which belongings are theirs.
Other bills such as the phone and broadband, the TV license and the council tax should be shared by everyone. Use a clear system to mark who is responsible for paying them and when everyone has contributed their share. That way bills get paid and there are no arguments about who owes what for which service.