If you're on a course that is longer than one year, it is quite likely you will have to make some decision about your housing for subsequent years. If you are living in University or private residences you may already be sharing with people but in most circumstances these will be with people you have not personally selected but whom the University or the Private hall have allocated. You may or may not have established firm friendships by the time it comes to start thinking about your accommodation for any following years of study.
It is important to take your time to think about whether you really do want to share with other people or not. Some people prefer to live alone. If you do want to share, you might decide this will be the group you have already been living but you might also decide you would prefer to live with different people you know from your course, societies, sports etc.
Some things to think about when deciding:
- Think about your different personalities, likes and dislikes and tolerances. If everyone in your group likes to stay up late and party but you don’t, then is this the wisest choice? Think about compatibility. This is a little more serious than just sharing with friends. You can visit friends; it doesn’t mean you should live with them. It might result in you not being friends.
- Friends of Friends – it can be difficult to say to a friend that you would prefer not to live with one of their other friends but it is important to be honest from the start.
- Once you sign your contract you are bound by it and therefore give very careful consideration to who you might enter a joint tenancy with.
- Living alone - Single accommodation is usually more limited and expensive. Some single accommodation (studio’s) can be within blocks of accommodation so that you have the best of both worlds where you have close proximity to other students but your own independent space. Don’t feel bad for wanting to live alone just try to remain involved in activities so you don’t become isolated.
- Try not to get cajoled into something you are not sure about yet. Do what is right for you.
- How long have you really known each other? - Initial friendships don’t always stand the test of time as you settle more deeply into University life.
- Joint & several liability (See our Contracts section for information on Joint Liability) Sometimes people want to share but don’t want the joint and several liability. Consider asking for an individual one in a shared house. You remain jointly and severally liable for the communal areas but not your room.