Don’t Settle for Sh*t Housing!
It’s November once again! Famous for bonfire night, my day of birth, looking for a house… HANG ON A MINUTE!? Looking for a house? In November? But surely that’s madness? Well yes, madness it is.
Every year there is a wild flutter of Freshers utterly convinced that if they don’t get their second year housing in November, ALL the good ones will be gone. This fear is fuelled by the illegal and outrageous flyering and postering rogue letting agencies shove through halls’ letter boxes; in my first year, I was so taken in by the scare-tactics, that I’d signed on the dotted line by December 1st.
And what was my house like? No double glazing, no curtains, a front door which didn’t close and a bathroom the size of a postage stamp to cater to eight people. If only I’d waited, taken some advice from SUSU and got hot on my rights as a tenant, eh?
I’m going to tell you this now: I promise, with all my welfarey heart, that you ABSOLUTELY DO NOT need to get your house during semester one. Trust me. There is a surplus of housing in Southampton: they will never run out. This year, post election bliss, I found my house in April. It is warm, cosy, newly refurbished and came with a TV. Winner.
Letting agencies try to scare students because when they see them, they see big dollar signs. Unaware, un-savvy students equals big bucks. Kerchiiiiing, and all that. They make you think about housing way too soon because if you don’t know your rights, if you don’t know what you’re looking for, and if you’re panicked into making a decision, you’ll probably just pick the first thing you see. And that’s them and their grotty, dishevelled properties. I can name no names as I’d rather not get sued, but there’s a reason that some letting agencies descend upon campus: it’s so they appear legitimate and at the heart of student life. In my opinion, and I’m not alone in this one, they are money grabbers who care as much about your welfare and rights as that evil park ranger guy from Jumanji.
My street team of housing enthusiasts and I will be out on campus and up at halls all week spreading the word and flyering, so look out for us and come say hello! And check out our snazzy new website for everything you need to know about housing, including what kind of housemates you may want, what to look out for, and how to avoid rogue landlords.
Get savvy on housing. Don’t settle!