Guest Post: 7 Reasons Student Accommodation Can Be Rather Tiresome
Something a bit special is happening on the 7 Reasons sofa today. For the first time ever, one Lee is being replaced by another. I, Jon, am stepping aside and handing control of 7 Reasons over to my brother, Rob. This may backfire quite substantially, but for the sake of me having a day off , it is a risk I am more than happy to take. If you enjoy Rob’s ranting you may be interested in reading his first book, Shattered Souls. It contains no ranting, but does feature a place called RedFjord. Amazon are also currently offering a very generous 90p discount which is quite a bonus. Right, here’s Rob. I’m off out to buy some more asterisks.
1. The Fridge. The fridge is always too small. Always. What is it about landlords and small fridges? Do they not think that their tenants might want to buy food? We don’t all survive on takeaway and ready meals y’know. Some of us can even use rudimentary kitchen utensils, or combine ingredients that aren’t cheese, tomato sauce, and frozen chips. Despite this, it’s always a case of having one shelf in the fridge. I don’t know about you, but cheese takes up about half the space in mine, let alone any other food. And no I am not willing to freeze it. Frozen cheese is an abomination. Step one, get bigger fridges.
2. The Builders. Why is it that student landlords always have builders doing ‘things’ with the house? Things which are seemingly unnecessary, and even these are invariably done badly. So the landlord is called; he/she is forced to come round; then they call back the same builders who did it wrong in the first place!* Even worse, they give them keys to the property. Yes, do go in, don’t mind them, they’re just sleeping**. The landlord comes out with things like ‘don’t lock your door so my builders can get in’. What? I’m not leaving my door unlocked in a student neighbourhood – I may as well just leave my valuables on a park bench with a ‘Take-Me Big Boy’ sign. I’m also not letting some Charlie I’ve never met, wander about, knocking bits out of the place I’m living, without someone there to stop him. (Or her. We’re very broad minded here).
3. The Neighbours. Student housing has neighbours. Invariably only about two feet away from you and separated by a wall about as thick as a cream cracker. This is not good when one wishes to sleep. Especially because the neighbours always seem to be nocturnal and have absolutely no taste in music. Music which they broadcast to the entire street***. Neighbours shouldn’t be allowed.
4. The Parking. There isn’t any. Many students have cars so they can move their collection of road signs, traffic cones, novelty hats and foreign vodka from one place to another. Lots of cars and no parking is an equation that doesn’t work. It also means walking anywhere becomes a game of car-dodgems from idiots who, having shared their lack of taste in music with the street, have decided to drive down the one you’re walking along.
5. The Bathrooms. There’s only ever one. This is annoying when you’ve just got in from a post seminar drink and discover you have to wait half an hour to use the facilities. Either that or you nip back round the corner to the local public house to use theirs and nearly end up locked in because you’ve discovered the only pub in the area which kept to a closing time of 11pm when all the rest changed to an hour before dawn****.
6. The Annual Quest For Housing. Unless you happen to be lucky enough to be in a house which is not leaking, falling down, being sold to a private individual who doesn’t want to live with students, being sold to another landlord who seems to think letting to undergrads will be easier than letting to postgrads, a pit, too small, too big, too expensive, neighboured by idiots called Nelson who keep getting stoned and wandering about outside shouting ‘Hash’ at 3am in the morning***** and then playing their music so loud that industrial-level earplugs make no difference, then you invariably find yourself moving. (Insert breath here). This effectively entails scouring housing lists on the internet and engaging in the blind battle that is finding the only decent place before all the other people do. This process is annoying, especially because it also means parting with large amounts of money in the form of deposits which you’ve only just got back from the last place******.
7. The students. There’s far too many of them*******.
*Not all builders get it wrong, some are very good at their job, however, student landlords like it cheap. Cheap and good don’t go together in building work, ask the bridge builders of Delhi.
**No, not as you may imagine at 3pm in the afternoon, but in fact at 6am when the banging starts. And by banging I don’t mean another apparently favourite activity of the undergraduate student.
***Unhappily half the time much of the street is broadcasting back, and Classic FM it certainly isn’t, it’s not even Radio 2.
**** This may or may not have happened. It does not particularly help if you just returned from a smart do and are dressed in black trousers white shirt – the staff may think you work in the cellar. This also may or may not have occurred.
*****This did happen. Many times. Many many times (a little classic comedy nod there, if you know what it refers to then I’m sure Julian and Sandy will see you right).
******Yes, everyone renting has to pay deposits, so feel free to join in being annoyed about this point even if you’re not in the university system.
*******As a postgrad I don’t consider myself a student, especially since I teach the little terrors (ahem, the academic future of this country) too. Postgrads are excluded from the above rants. Unless Nelson ever becomes a postgrad. I won’t worry about him reading this; I don’t imagine he knows how to read.