I recently moved into a flat in bath. On the surface it looked awesome, nice and big, good location and great housemates for company. These things are all still true but there was a lot of other things I didn’t know about.
1. You HAVE to start understanding bills
When you were the foolish one to sort out the electricity bill you are now responsible for paying it, by a deadline. I had never given a thought to what a ‘tariff ‘ meant and with my first call to EDF letting them know we were now tenants they were trying to get me to choose one. I originally tried to sort things through there online live chat, which was ok. I laughed a lot because at the end of the conversation the guy I was talking to said ‘the pleasure was entirely mine’ which is … creepy. When I called them I was put on hold for ten minutes, listening to the following on loop –
Also you have to get a metre reading, which in theory sounds simple. In practise it requires calling my Land Lord as it’s in the basement flat’s kitchen. I also sent my other housemate to get it because I was busy with a washing machine emergency. She came back with a bunch of unintelligible numbers that neither of us had explained to us. Yay.
2. There will be things you are not told about
My Land Lord/Lady (they both seem to own/manage the flat block) have cut a few corners. Now I won’t bitch on about this to much. Our shower broke and they fixed it the next day, letting us use the one in the hall in the meantime (the other flat on our floor has their toilet and shower in the hall, I have no idea why). The shower has been holding up. However we have discovered that if you use the hot water in the kitchen while having a shower the shower will be ….. effected. Mine got mysteriously much hotter, my housemates yo-yo-ed up and down, which was completely my fault. There have been so many surprises that I’ll sum them up in a list –
* The toilet is very loud and makes noises for 5 mins after used (it shares my wall).
* There is only so much hot water we can use in the kitchen at once.
* There are lots of flies …. I don’t know how to get rid of them.
* Our washing machine must be in the bathroom due to a water pipe. Our bathroom has no plug sockets no every time we want to use it we have to run an extension cable through the bathroom to the hall.
*There are very few plug sockets in general.
* The oven has come strait from hell (it’s very very hot).
I’ve probably missed some. I know a Land Lord can’t go ‘I hope you like this flat but please be aware of ALL these problems’ but some sort of heads up would have been nice.
3. It is not living in halls
When I lived in halls at university if you lost your keys or left them inside you could always get let in, any day or time. Toilet roll would appear once a week in the bathrooms, and our kitchen would get swept and cleaned.
Our current situation has one of us with lost keys (we got spares cut), a dirty kitchen and our last toilet roll with no discussion of buying more.
Before I start this one I am SURE I have some quirks that my housemates would rather not be there. I can come back at early hours of the morning, then stumble around the kitchen, then decide to play music (quietly). This could be considered annoying. Things that you found endearing become less so or things you never knew about the people you are living with come to light. I won’t go into much here because this blog is pretty public and I LOVE my housemates, and I’m very lucky to have them.
5. You ended up hanging out with your housemates friends/other halves/parents
This is by no way a problem in my situation. My boyfriend and my housemates boyfriend used know each other quite well as my other half used to go to our uni, and I know her boyfriend/friends well to. But I guess if you are randomly put into independent housing in your first year, that could be awkward.