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The Ultimate Guide To Moving Out Of Halls


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Halls are amazing. Most of us meet tons of friends there - people we’ll potentially stay friends with throughout the duration of university, and potentially even for life. But for many of us, we accept defeat at the end of first year and realise that it’s time to try and make it alone in the big, bad world of renting, and move onwards and upwards (?) out of ‘sheltered’ student accommodation.

Of course, not all of us do. I didn’t! I personally loved the cushiness of staying in an en-suite apartment, right in the city centre, and meeting even more new people all the while. I also really appreciated the security guard and CCTV – although not so much the girl who burned down my flat in second year (the less about that, the better!) However, a lot of people do move on out into the private sector, perhaps hoping to gain even more independence, perhaps hoping to live with a close group of friends they’ve already made, or, more often than not, to save a bit of cash. So that means it’s decision time!

Is A Private Rental Situation Really Best For Me?

I’m fussy. I’m not super keen on sharing a bathroom with people, I don’t like trekking long distances on cold mornings for 9am starts, and I really, really like my own space. That’s why I decided to stay in private student accommodation for second and third year (a bit like halls, but fancier). Not everyone wants the same things though, so you should consider things like cost when making your choice. Renting a shared house from a landlord usually works out cheaper, and the social aspect can be great, depending on who it is you’re sharing with.

Who Should You Live With?

I can’t sit here and pretend that I know all of your friends. Nor can I pretend that there’s some kind of secret formula for figuring out who you’ll be best living with. Sorry… there isn’t. As a starting guide, get to grips with the following:

  • Can you deal with mess? If not, is living with the guy who leaves his dishes stacked for what seems like weeks REALLY the person you’d most like to live with for a whole other year?

  • Do you fancy one of your potential new flatmates? Are you prepared to deal with any awkwardness that may ensue? Likewise, can you handle any consequences of the breakdown of any ‘relationship’ with a fellow potential housemate maturely? If not, please consider others. Nobody wants to live in drama house!

  • How well do you really know the people you want to move in with? Sure, you’ve been on at least a million nights out with them by now, but can you cope with the stuff you’ve not found out yet? Nobody’s saying you need to know everything, but a bit of insight might help.

  • Are you noisy? There’s no shame in it, but you might want to check other people are cool with that. Some people just have different dynamics. Conversely, if you’re someone who likes peace and quiet, maybe moving in with the wannabe rock star or queen bee from your course might not be the best idea!

  • Is there that one girl/guy who is ALWAYS borrowing money off other people, and seemed to run out of their student loan within a matter of days? If so, you might want to think long and hard about moving in with them. It’s hard enough paying your own rent as a student, but adding someone else’s into the mix just isn’t fair to yourself!

Of course, there are literally thousands of things you could take into consideration, from people’s personal hygiene to annoying little habits that make you ridiculously irate. Only you’ll know who you actually want to live with, and sometimes you just have to take a bit of a chance! It’s not all doom and gloom – a lot of people you live with will grow on you, and will ultimately be there for you through thick and thin for (literally) evermore. Try and pick people with similar tastes and interests, people you think are friendly and honest, and people you think might like you enough not to get sick of you, either. Of course things change when you live together (it’s a true test, after all!), but it’s not always a bad thing.

What Else Should I Be Thinking About?

  • There are plenty of things which will come into play when you’re looking into student properties. Some of them are a bit boring! For example, who has liability if someone doesn’t pay their rent? The best kinds of contracts are those where you’re individually responsible – if someone drops out of uni and leaves, you don’t want to be left splitting their costs. At the same time, make sure you have somebody trusted (like a PROPER adult… ha), to read over any contracts to see what flaws there may be, and whether the landlord is responsible and reliable.

  • There’s also the little matter of bills to think about. All inclusive deals are great, because it’s just like being back in halls. But if they’re not included, it’s probably a good idea to check out what they might be. It’s all very well being seduced with really cheap rent, but if that near on doubles in bills per month, forget it!

  • Location is another big one to consider. It’s often cheaper to live away from city centres or campuses, but if it’s going to cost a lot to get where you need to go, you might find yourself lulled into a false sense of security and having a lot more hassle for little financial gain!

  • Are there any hidden extras involved in the cost of moving? There may well be. Of course, these are going to be different for everyone, but why not try this handy calculator to see what it might cost in fees, deposits, moving vans (if you don’t have mum and dad’s help!), and so on...

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