There’s nothing quite like exploring a new city and making friends. One of the advantages of being a student is that you’re surrounded by people in the same situation, experiencing everything that student life has to offer and building lasting friendships.
Deciding who you should live with is a big decision, especially if you’re living away from home for the first time. From mates you meet in lectures to your regular study buddies, it’s important to take time to think about who you might want to share your student accommodation with.
As experts in student lettings, here are our top tips to consider when choosing who to live with.
Are you a vegetarian who can’t stand the smell of meat being cooked? Are you more of a night owl than a morning lark? Do you prefer to spend quiet time in your room rather than socialise in communal areas? These are the important factors to consider thinking about flatmate arrangements.
Make sure you are broadly on the same page when it comes to day-to-day living, to avoid clashes later down the line. It may be helpful to run through what a typical day looks like for you, so that your potential flatmates understand what it might be like to live together.
Before you start looking at potential properties, take time to hang out with your prospective flatmates. Go for a coffee, to a gig, or simply spend some time studying together. This will give you a good idea of how you’re likely to get on, as well as giving the opportunity to spot any differences or similarities you may want to consider before moving in.
Budgeting is key to a happy student life. Sit down together and work out exactly how much you’re looking to spend on rent and bills. If you find that each member of the group has a significantly different budget, you may need to work together to find a compromise.
Don’t forget to factor in important costs such as water, electricity and other bills, as well as any travel costs to and from campus.
Think About Property Type & Location
There are several types of student property to choose from, including houses, flats and purpose-built student accommodation. Consider which type of property you feel would suit you most, and chat this through with your potential flatmates to help narrow down your search. Check out Roseworth’s guide to student property types for more information.
Newcastle has several areas popular with students, so it’s also important to think about which area you might prefer. We’ve put together information on Newcastle’s student areas to help you choose.
Talk About Chores
Student living doesn’t have to be associated with dirty dishes and overflowing bins. Talk to each other about how you’ll share the cleaning. Some flatmates find a cleaning rota useful, for example, so that everyone is clear on what’s expected. Make sure you also chat about how you’ll deal with cleaning after any parties or big nights in - there’s nothing worse than being the only one left to tidy up the pizza boxes!
Being open and upfront with each other is the best way to ensure a harmonious student living experience. Think about how you may deal with any disagreements. For example, how will you share the fridge, or work out whose turn it is to buy milk? What would you do if someone keeps forgetting it’s their turn to wash up? It may sound dull, but considering these questions in advance will encourage good communication and help to avoid some of the more common flatshare arguments.
Some people find it helpful to set up a WhatsApp group, so that everyone can keep in touch quickly and easily. However, we’d recommend speaking face-to-face wherever possible. Not only will it help with communication, it’ll also help to remind you why you chose to live together in the first place.
Student properties can often get snapped up quickly, so once you’ve found your perfect flatmates, make sure you start looking for a place early. To find out more about how to find the right property for you, visit our Student Advice hub.