Living with best friends can be a joy and the start of a lifelong friendship but sometimes living with your best friends doesn’t always work out. Our advice team regularly see students who have fallen out with their housemates, sometimes before the contract has even started and once you have signed the contract there's often no getting out.
When deciding who to live with make sure you get to know any potential housemates. We might not want to admit it but we all have bad habits so now is the time to talk openly about these. Some habits can be ok at first but when you start living together they can get magnified. To help, take our quick test to help identify your needs:
- Are you an “owl” or a “lark”? In other words, do you prefer to stay up late or do you like to get up early?
- Do you prefer to party a lot or cosy nights in with Disney+?
- Which courses are you all studying? If you are a nursing student and on a night placement, do you want to live with the person who is up at 6:30am with the hair dryer blasting?
- Will you shop or cook individually or do it as a whole house (can be cheaper)?
- Are you ok with other people eating your food?
Most housing contracts for a group of people have ‘Joint and Several Liability’. This means everyone on the contract is responsible for each other. It doesn’t matter who broke the window or who left without paying rent, everyone is responsible. So you need to make sure you know and trust your housemates.
A great way to find people is through the Home Run message board and the uea(su) housing group on Facebook where students can post and chat about forming a group.
We also host find a housemate events to help you meet other students. Click the banner at the top of the page for our full events calendar and to book your free ticket! We also post event details via uea(su)’s social media, so keep a look out!
Some students prefer to live with people they don’t know. That’s ok too, although we suggest you have some “getting to know you” meetings before you agree to live together.
Some landlords will advertise rooms on an ‘individual basis’. This means that you have your own room but you’ll probably have to share the kitchen, living room and bathroom with others in the house. This also means that you’ll have an individual contract. The advantage of this is that you are only responsible for your rent and cannot be asked to pay if others don’t. On the other hand, the landlord does not have to consult with you when they rent out other rooms in the property.
Find out about the different types of housing contracts here.
During your search for accommodation, you may come across rooms which are offered by Resident Landlords. This means that you live with the owner of the property who is not necessarily a student. The landlord may live alone, with their family and with or without other students.
If you rent a room from a Resident Landlord then you will be issued with a different type of housing contract (a licence or lodger agreement) and have different rights to those who sign a tenancy agreement. Find out more by reading advice(su)’s guide on renting a room from a resident landlord.