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Eight Key Differences Between Living in Halls and Living in a Student House

Eight Key Differences Between Living in Halls and Living in a Student House main image

By Beth Lewis

Moving into a house in second year can be daunting when you compare it to the comforts of living in halls. You’re suddenly left completely independent and have to figure out lots of responsibilities you’ve never had to worry about before.

Here are some of the key differences to bear in mind when moving from halls into a house or flat.

Bills are no longer included

Gone are the days when you didn’t have to give house bills a second thought. Moving into a house means the university no longer includes your bills in the rent, so you and your housemates have to undertake the long slog of figuring out how to get the cheapest bills quickly or you risk starting the term with no electricity or water.

No security presence

University halls normally have security on the doors and CCTV monitoring each building. Your house probably won’t have any of this. You’ll be extremely lucky to get a house alarm and the doors no longer lock themselves behind you like they did in halls. Leaving a window open or forgetting to lock the door when you leave can suddenly become way more of an issue than before.

If this new level of independence sounds a bit daunting, there are tips you can follow to improve your self-confidence so you can become more comfortable living in a house and dealing with any problems that arise.

It feels so much more homely

Just living in an actual house already feels homelier than the identical flats you’ll have had in halls. Now there are no identical bedrooms and each group’s house or flat will have a different feel. You can also decorate the house and make it your own (within reason – landlords won’t want you completely repainting every room), giving the place a bit of life, which will feel so much nicer than your first-year room ever did. However, it’s not all good news…

Arguments about bedrooms

When the bedrooms are all different sizes and have different flaws (one inevitably is always on its own downstairs and at least one of the others will have mould in the corner), arguments can happen. You’ll all end up wanting the same room and you’ve awkwardly got to figure out how to decide who gets which room and there’s bound to be a bitter person left with the small and dingy one…just hope it’s not you.

House parties

First year parties in halls might have been great but that’s because you haven’t experienced a house party in an actual house yet. There’s so much more space, you don’t have people in the flat below getting annoyed and you’ll know more people by then, so you can invite your actual friends instead of random people from your block of flats.

You have to deal with a landlord

Landlords and letting agents tend to operate as if students can be taken advantage of, ignoring our calls and taking forever to fix the tiniest of problems. You don’t have the university maintenance team five minutes away anymore and you have the problem of landlords trying to squeeze every last drop of money out of you.

Bearing this in mind, it’s vital you take thorough pictures of any damages when you move in and read your tenancy agreement properly. It might be boring, but it will save you from being charged a lot of money at the end of the year. You can find other ways to save money at university here.

Your house won’t be perfect

Mould, broken furniture, bugs, no hot water, windows not shutting, washing machines not working…and more mould. The house might not even be clean when you move in! No university house is perfect so look for one with a limited amount of damages and try to report any issues over summer once you’ve moved in, as once term starts the landlord and letting agency will be having to deal with everyone else’s maintenance problems.

Without diligent university cleaners to clean the house before you arrive, you might be in for a bit of a shock.

You get to choose who to live with

In first year, you move into halls with a bunch of strangers who’ve been thrown together for a whole year. Given it’s so random, there’s bound to be someone you don’t get along with or who always causes arguments so moving into a house means you get to leave them behind and live with whoever you choose.

Whether that be your original flatmates or friends from your course, living in a house with your close friends has a much better atmosphere since you all get along and there isn’t that one person who makes it uncomfortable.

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Yes you are right! living in a home with your friend during study is very suitable for both. So they can help each other in study and home expenses.



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