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· HOUSING '98 D
• • Getting a house· is a tricky business, w-hat 'With all that traipsing up and dow-n streets and w-ondering w-hat to pay. Discover a place of your ow-n quickly 'With this guide ... or those of you moving off campus for the first time there is an sense of anticipation , and a worrying undertone of desperation filling the air. First of all DON'T WORRY, you will still be able to find a house if you've not done so already. There are a huge number of agencies in Norwich , all of which are looking to fulfil your needs and take your money. Getting your own place is very different from lodging in Uni . For a start there are no helpful cleaning ladies to make sure your washing up doesn't fester for so long it becomes a new life-form. There are no free maintenance crews to help with the broken window you fell through while plastered, and , no being able to dash to a 9am lecture after having woken up at 8.58am. This is the rea l world. Rent, bills, heating that doesn't work, pipes that freeze, and the delights of brown shag carpets. Don't be pu t off though - all these things are minor problems when compared with the freedom of having your own place, your own rules and your very own cudd ly landlord. The most important thing is location. If you want to be at the heart of the action , in the hub of excitement then a house in the Golden Triangle is for you. The Triangle is blessed with a huge variety of pubs, takeaways, stores and off licenses, all of which help to suck money from you r grant in the nicest way possible. Most student accommodation is located between Dereham and Unthank roads , with Earlham smack in the middle. From here you can walk to Uni or the City, though depending on the location it might be a gentle stroll or a marathon run . Buses run regularly from anywhere along Unthank and Earlham , but more about that later. Beginning the search for a house is the next step. You can either decide who you're going to live with first , or advertise as you 're going along . Agreeing to live with someone you haven't lived
when contacting an agency such as joining and contract fees that may commit you to things. Make sure you get a receipt for anything you do pay, otherwise you could luse damage deposits and more. If you're looking for an individual room , bear in mind that you could end up paying Council Tax if there are not only students living there. If the ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ landlord lives in the same house, then you also legally have fewer rights. it's best to make an appointment with the Union solicitor to check through your contract before you sign on the dotted line. Lastly, decide on how much rent you can afford. Most houses range between £30 and £45 a week, and no matter how nice that gorgeous farmhouse cottage is don't get invo lved in paying a huge amount of rent unless your parents are loaded enoug h to support you . Don't forget that bills (water, gas, electricity) are also often excluded from the monthly rent and then there's other stuff like rental of a washing machine, video, Sky TV .. . Some students find it easier to set up a joint bank account for the house where cash is put in for bills (say £25 per month per person) and then all bills are paid by direct debit. lt sounds like a hell of a lot to take in , but the L-~~~~~~~_.;;.-..;:;;;:;;;....~~~~~L.::..~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~-' most important thing is to make sure the house is right for you. Independence is a requirements. Then get hunting! capabilities, so be wary when you go and try to marvellous experience, so plan . prepare and get look in as many nooks and crannies as you can The best way of finding out about a house is to for yourself. Beware also of hidden expenses ready to PARTY! ask the people who are already living there. The Union Advice Unit also has a Landlord's Index which is a list of houses and comments from fo rmer residents. If they have mentioned particular problems eg damp swelling patch in living room corner. make sure these have been put right by the landlord before you cons ider the house. The Advice Unit and UEA's Accommodation Office also have rooms and houses advertised on their noticeboards. Friends in the second and third year with before can be a bit daunting. it's amazing how soon your best friend's quirky habits soon drive you round the bend, and what will you feel like when that friend you fancy suddenly brings home his/her latest flame for snoggles on the couch? Either way, get an idea of how many of you the re are going to be and any basic group
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are also a good source of into about houses on the go and newspapers have columns of places to rent. Alternatively, consult an agency which will have houses in your price range and will be able to arrange viewing appointments for you. The landlord will no doubt glorify anything from the size of rooms to the houses 'self heating'
He'e's the lowdown on what to expect from the different agencies PRO LET
1A Swansea Road 763363 Only a couple of three and four-bedroom houses left in the Golden Triangle area. £140-160 each per month
NORWICH ACCOMMODATION AGENCY
Bridge House, Fishergate 614004 A few, mostly three and four-bedroom plus one .five-bedroom, houses in the Golden Triangle still available for students in September. 3/4 bed. £468-480 5 bed. £780
62, Livingstone Street 611145 Some three, four and five-bedroom houses still left in the Golden Triangle and Unthank Road area, plus one five-bedroom available in Bowthorpe. The Agency expects more houses to become available in the next few weeks and recommends that students come into the office to see the updated lists. 3/4 bed. £400-650 excluding bills 5 bed. £800 (Bowthorpe £650)
125, Unthank Road 767100 Some three, four and five-bedroom, plus one six-bedroom, houses still left in the Golden Triangle, although Kent expect more a few more properties to become available in the next few weeks. £38 per week during term! £30 in Summer
0 HOUSING '98
Okay- so you and your mates are looking for a roof to live under for next year. You think it's going to be great- parties, nights in front of the telly, intimate chats- and it might well be, especially if you turn .,_~llilllll out to have chosen one of the following housemates from heaven. But the reality is that one of your mates could be from hell, so watch out when picking suitable 'friends'!
HELL MA SANCTIMONIOUS You thought lectures were only something you had at university -you were wrong. Mr Sanctimonious thinks he knows everything and will take every opportunity to ram his infinite wisdom down your increasingly irritated throat. Your seemingly harmless mates will morph into radical environmentalists and born again Godbotherers contradict them at your peril! THE HOGGER All you want to do is organise a really good night out with some mates - but you can't! Because the hogger has been on the telephone to their second cousin (twice removed) for over an hour and glares at you every time you even think of asking them to hang up. So, you decide to have a shower
If you've been living on Waveney Terrace this year, then you will know all about the virtues of having a fire alarm. lt is important to check whether your new house has an alarm and if not they can be picked up quite cheaply from DIY stores for approximately £5. Fire Extinguishers If and when that drunken, late night attempt to cook some oven chips threatens to end up with your own version of the Towering Inferno, you'll want something to put the flames out - and preferably not a sleeping housemate. Make sure you know where your extinguishers are, and check they've been serviced in the last 12 months. Landlords Before signing the lease its worth checking out your future landlord - you don't want to be waiting three months for the leaking roof to be fixed . it's easy to talk to the current students living in your prospective house to find out more. Remember you pay them to maintain the house, not the other way around. Never sign anything there and then. Don't visit a house on your own - it's not safe, and also, a fellow nosey parker might notice things you don't. Neighbours If you pick a house along Earlham or Unthank Road then in all likelihood you will end up living next door to another group of students. This can be good or bad depending on whether you want a quiet or noisy life. But you can also have families or older people next door. lt is easier to keep on friendly terms as you will have to put up with each other for the year. Bus Routes You need to decide whether to face a nice brisk morning walk or catch the bus. A termly bus pass costs £50 with ECB, and the 26 and 27 regularly connect Eartham Road to the University, and the 4, 35 and Sanders 104 connect Unthank Road to UEA. But be warned: buses from Dereham Road to Uni are non-existent, unless you're prepared to walk to Earlham Road. Heating Though log fires have been reduced to a Dickensian fantasy and therefore you house is less likely to burn down around your ears, there's still a way your heaters can very easily kill you. If your heaters are inadequately ventilated, you and your housemates risk dying from carbon monoxide poisoning. If your heater hasn't been serviced in the last 12 months, get in touch with your landlord, and then phone Transco, who operate a free 24hr emergency service on 0800 111 999. Other things ... Number of sockets ... Damp patches ... Bills- are any utilities included in the rent? .. .Washinglaunderette or your own machine? ... Summer rent- do you pay? How much? Can you sublet in order to save cash?
and get ready whilst you wait. But with the kind of skill that only a professional hogger fully utilises, the same housemate has got off the phone and managed to dive into the shower whilst you were getting your towel! Aaaagh .. .. THE TIGHT ARSE You were all getting along swimmingly - and then a big fat bunch of bills dropped through the letterbox. Most people pay up the money they owe, but not the tight arse! This previously normal housemate will quickly become the most reviled person in the . . .w. house as they dispute every bill down to the last detail. And forget about them buying their fair share of toilet paper, washing up liquid etc ... because they will always use yours instead. THE LOVEY Start to worry when your housemate stops simply saying hello and begins to kiss the air immediately next to both your cheeks. Things will deteriorate quickly after this as the newly recruited lovey begins to preen themselves for hours on end and develops a habit of looking down their nose at your merely averagely-priced clothes. Endless dinner parties and cocktail soirees ensue before your mate eventually thinks he is far too much of a sophisticate and socialite to be seen in public with
THE HUMAN DISHWASHER One of the most common sights in a student house is a room looking more like a bomb site than a kitchen. However this will not be your house if you are one of the lucky sods who have a housemate who compulsively washes up. They are a rare breed, but if there is one in your house invite The Cook over straight ~•A/ay and put your feet up whilst all stages of the cooking process are taken care of. THE CAR OWNER Living off campus is great - but waiting for the bus isn't. it always starts raining the minute you get out the house and you always miss it anyway. So you will be the envy of all your friends if your housemate has a car. Laugh silently as you roll out of bed late and speed past their bedraggled frames on the way to University. it's the perfect combination - off-campus living and an on-call taxi!
CAN WE BREAil THE CHAIN?
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Everybody'll tell you that the contract is a night1na e. So here's the nitty gritty to find your -way around ... renancv rhe t Tenam Pa>mg th:. R enant n · c enc
ne of the most an: lawful important aspects of renting accommodation o.rd_ is the contract. With the righ t contract you can enjoy a trouble-free time in your home , the wrong one could result in a legal nightmare and buckets of unnecessary stress. it's therefore important to be aware of all the nitty gritty before you sign . Contracts can be very complicated so it is important to have some idea of your rights and to follow some common sense guidelines. The best thing to do is to take advice before you agree to anything. The Union's Welfare Unit can help here,
P0 ssess and en lOg his othe om the Landlord l/Oy the Property d ~ ObhgariO#ls und . Or any person - llnng tile ten Cl the clarmmg Under ancy Wrthout they offer a 'contract Or li1 trust forth checking service', and in case of e liltern1pt1on
landlord/contract trouble , should ~e the first port of call. Appointments with the Union solicitor can be arranged through the Unit's reception . You should also have an idea of the possibilities that may arise when you come to accept a house. The first point to make may seem obvious but it is worth bearing in mind , always have a written contract in which all conditions, obligations, and
agreements are set out. A verbal contract may be legally binding but it can be very difficult proving exactly what was said. A written contract will save numerous headaches all round. Accommodation contracts generally fall into two types: joint and individual agreements. A joint contract occurs when more than one person signs the
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members have no intention of living as a group, but be warned , only the tenant is liable
to pay the rent and if someone moves out the tenant will be left to pay the rent in full irrespective. In this circumstance, the tenant may wish to examine the possibility of a legal agreement between them and the other occupants. When signing a contract you should also be aware of your basic rights as a tenant or occupant. The landlord is obliged to keep the accommodation structure sound and provide water facilities and heating (the landlord must have all
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gas appliances serviced once a year by a CORGI certified gas engineer). Not all repairs are the landlord's responsibi lity though . An accidentally or deliberately broken window, for example , will require the tenant(s) to have relevant maintenance carried out. This all stems from the fact that '1enants must IJehave in a tenant like manner" which essentially means that you can 't trash the place and expect the landlord to foot the bill. Also, as part of any tenancy agreement the landlord gives the tenant(s) exclusive possession of the property which includes a Covenant for Quiet Enjoyment. This states that the landlord is not allowed to turn up unannounced at the property. However the landlord is entitled to inspect it and should be given reasonable access to do this by appointment. Sometimes a landlord may also include in the contract provisions for perspective tenants to view the property while you are still in residence. Make sure that this is also by appointment only. Hopefully this brief summary of contracts has been useful , but it is important to bear in mind that it is not possible to go into the ins and outs of the whole process here , so it pays to follow this simple rule: sort everything out before, rather than after you sign. Check out anything you believe to be
relevant, never sign anything you don't understand , be wary of any landlord or agent who pushed for a quick signature, and take at least 24 hours to think over any contract you're offered. Never pay a deposit until after you've signed. Find out what date the rent starts, what date you 'll have access to the property, and what the summer rent over the summer will be. Check everything out beforehand and don't sign anything if you have any doubts or worries. If you take care before you sign, then you can save yourself a huge legal headache, leaving you more time to decide just where to put that Trainspotting poster..
• •• Arran~c Ior :J c su pplies of ':lS I'_, ~ 'e ""•· ,_ t'v al'<l tol<>pll 01 r~'<i m hts n~t c and to • . ' ~ '~ J~·n !Ct:~ tt the Pr 'P<'rt~ t be pav tor <•ll .. 1 - elect f P ropert ~· '' ncrty and re!ephonc ser.r.:cs to the
0 HOUSING '98
Move in, sort· your rooiDs and pet tickinp that
Room to move about Be sure to &nd the•• ~ Fuse box - for when everyone tries to play their stereos full blast
rtually every student ouse has one room where an unfortunate aline swung with easonable force would meet a messy end. Similarly there always seems to be a room that constitutes the student equivalent of a luxury penthouse suite. This phenomenon is worth bearing in mind when choosing rooms. There is nothing more certain to undermine household relations than the feeling that someone has pulled
simultaneously, the system overloads and it all goes very quiet. And, more often than not, very dark. Trip switch - will cut the power if you happen to drill through an electrical wire or drop the TV in the bath with an unwanted housemate. lt's the electrical master switch of the whole house. Electricity meter, gas meter, water meter - -usefUl to know when someone comes to read the meter early in the morning.
a fast one on the rooms. And there is nothing more certain to lead to this feeling than the 'early bird', or first-come first-served method. Take, for example, Cunning John, who comes back two days earlier than everyone else said they would to secure the best room. Unfortunately, John is already too late; his even more cunning housemates have had the same idea and took up residence weeks ago. For the next year the first thing John sees every morning will be tangible evidence of how his socalled 'mates' have done him out of the palatial apartment he feels he deserves. Bitterness is bound to result. Room selection, then, is best carried out before you move in. At least then John is able to rationalise the situation to himself, viz. "Well, I may have the worst room, but...": (a) " it was just bad luck" (if the selection was made by lots); (b) "I am paying less for ir (if some kind of financial redress was agreed upon) or even (c) "l did less than no work to get the house and am lucky to be living here at all, as my housemates told me in our frank discussion about rooms." · There are many ways to carry out the selection: straws can be drawn, money can change hands, or someone can volunteer to take the worst room because they don't need the space or are sick of the arguments raging. One household even had a pool competition to settle the matter.
FILL UP WITH IIEilL'I'IIY GRUB • GO FORWARD 'I'BREE SPACES
YOU CAN GET CASH BACK HERE D" YOU SPEND £5 OR MORE
Grab some mates, grab some tokens and
roD the dice!
53!»1A'H3S .U. ·113dO'Hd .1.3'1011d
HOUSING '98 D
We barged into student Pete's room to have a look at his 路p recious stuff
best& w-orst bits of
Tom Thompson ENV 2 Best: You get to go somewhere else after you've finished on campus, so it's not so repetitive. Worst: Neighbours. I had bad neighbours: the guy next-door got taken away by the police three times. I think he stabbed his wife or something.
Debbie Marco EAS 2 Best: Well there's no smelly lads downstairs in our house, and you can hold great house parties. Worst: lt can get very cold in the winter, and there are bills to pay every month!
Adam Dean SOC 2 Best: You're independent and it's your house. lt's probably the first time in your life that you have that experience. Worst: Travelling to university, and having to clean your own kitchen!
Kate Harvey MGT 2 & Lucy Goodhew EAS 2 Best: There are no fire alarms and the cleaners don't wake you up early in the morning. Worst: The mould and mushrooms that grow because of the damp, plus you've got to clean the bathroom and empty your own bin.
0 HOUSING '98 -·
Need nik·naks for your house? Check outthelocalsecond hand stores...
any students are lucky enough to rent a house which is already furnished . But if, as in most cases, there is something inadequate or missing - maybe you need another dresser or a table for your TV then you need look no further! Norwich has a good supply of used furniture shops, ranging from posh antiques to things strewn on the pavement with a sign saying 'Everything for Sale', and since the shops differ, the services they offer range as well. The essential pieces of furniture are exactly what you'd expect: a bed (preferably with a mattress), a dresser of some sort, a dinner table, some chairs, and a sofa. Not as essential , and which can be improvised as need be are a few smaller tables and some shelves, depending on whether or not there are already built in shelves in the house. The following is a quick overview of the better leads for used furniture in Norwich . Not surprisingly, Magdalen Street is the local centre for used goods, and sometimes even the smaller charity shops will have a chair, lamp, or table to sell. But beware lamps and chairs are the harder objects to find , so these you will probably have to buy new. Since the used furniture stores get most of their stuff from house clearances and auctions, the array can change daily. Where to go: Second Hand Land 113-121 Magdalen Street
611922 Mostly electronics. TV, stereo, speakers, guitars, video games, etc. TV with remote from £50-£100. Hard to find a stereo with a CD player, but radio/double tape deck/turntable for under £50. Furniture Warehouse Magdalen Close, behind Second Hand Land
628346 Very wide range of basic home furnishings, and helpful staff. Chest of drawers £30-£50. Good selection of soft furnishings. Three-piece sofa suite from £125. Mattresses, but not too many beds to put them on, lots of shelving units and dinner tables, though not many with chairs. Some useful electrical equipment such as Hoovers and microwaves from £30. D Mears
153 Magdalen Street 666393 Mr Mears spends most of the day at house
auctions while Mrs Mears minds their full-to-bursting store, most of it wooden chests and tables. Dinner table £75. Bed with mattress £125. Some of the stuff doesn't look used at all!
fii:dh i fut; () R!fk! :rlbl if.-,
Wright's Second Hand
18 Wensum Street 617889 Occupies two sides of the street. One side is antiques, where the £80 rocking chairs are enough to scare any student. The other side of the street is more reasonable , but still a __...._,.._~ little pricey with three-piece sofa suite £450, and lots of new pine dressers with that new pine dresser smell. Oxfam 8·10 Magdalen Street
629500 The local Oxfam easily has some of the best deals in used furniture around, but beware they don't deliver, competition for what they have is high, and there is little to no regular supply coming in. On the other hand, they have the best prices in town, a £10 wood and tile coffee table, sideboard, which could easily be used in a bedroom £10 - £30, a three-piece green velvet sofa suite £250, as well as the smaller things like dishes, ashtrays, lampshades, curtains, sheets etc ...
Bump, squeak, rattle Did they check over the piece to make sure it was sound? Test the furniture. Open all the drawers, shake the bed to see if it squeaks, bounce on the sofa a bit. If you like it and are willing to buy, but it · has a small problem, like a stuck drawer, the store should be willing to fix it for you. Is there is any kind of guarantee attached? Especially important with anything electrical. Will they hold a piece of furniture for you as you continue looking, for how long will they hold lt, and do you need to pay a deposit? Are they willing to negotiate on the price? Particularly useful if you are buying more than one item from the same dealer. Will they offer delivery and at what price? Most offer free delivery within Norwich, but some, like Oxfam, offer no delivery at all. When shopping, go armed with a notepad to jot down which store has which item and the price. If striking a deal, jot down the name of the salesperson as well. And when you have bought your furniture, ask for one of the store's business cards and write on the back what you bought, the price, . the date, and the person who sold it to you. Such information can come in handy later on, if, heaven forbid, everything goes hideously pear-shaped, like green flameE\.co~ out of your TV or you find out the dresser has termites.
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For the ulti~nate guide to being a party trickster, re a d on
I co urse. when viewing prospective houses, the most important qualities to look for are cleanliness, spaciousness and as few cockroaches as possible. Th e basic question th at you should be asking yourselves is this : could I live here? However, with us students being the work-shy bu nch of hedonists that we allegedly are, your second question when house-hunting should be 'Can I party here?!' In honour of that thought . here's ou r guide to bagging th e periect party pad. The most important thing is space. You don 't have to live in a mansion , bu t if your home wouldn't even rival a shoe box in size, th en you 're looking at a few ch eese'n'nibbl es evenings if you're lucky! Bearin g in mind th e fact th at for every person you invite, th ree strangers will turn up. you need a house big enough to accommodate them all . The vital ingredient to any party , as veteran revellers will know. is a decent fl ight of stairs. Why? Well . it's traditional that a co uple of hours into all part 1es. half the guests will end up sitt1ng on the stairs . quite possibly while the other half are trying to get past them to the loo. Thus, for comfort 's sake . wide carpeted stairs are a must. Plus points too for sturdy banisters tha\'11 take the strain if any drunk partygoer decides to crash through them. For security-conscious students, bedroom door '"' locks are another priority . That way, yo u can co llect together anything breakable or va luable 1 and lock it away for the nigh t. What 's more . when the local Hell's Angels decide to pay a visit. you'll be able to retreat to you r room to cower under the duvet. .. Okay, so not that many student houses come with a proper garden. but if you're planning to have a few parties ifd be nice to have one . They're ideal tor snagging , chundering and smoking . to name but three popular party activities. Be wary if your landlord takes pride in that beautiful o.~:......;....;;;.;.""""~ cluster of geraniums , as the mornmg after any good bash wi ll see the
T E GAME
oard games? Bah! We have no need for such mundane relics of fam ily Christmas! We prefer to spend our time not just painting the town red , but giving it a damn fine varnis hing too! Surely none of us are spoddy enough to stay, gulp, in at night? Are we? Sadly, yes, since at some point in the year financial difficulties invariably rear their ugly head, forcing us to forsake our double vodka-headbangers for a night in wit~ the dice and counters. Yet fear not, since board games can actually be a great method for whiling away the long nights when 1 you should be working. But what accessories should you buy for a night in, ahem, playing with j each other? In every student house since time began , there has been a dog-eared game of Scrabble somewhere in the house. If you can't find it, complain to the landlord, as it's one of their obligations to provide it. The trouble with Scrabble is that you'll always get at least one know-it-all who's spent their life so far learning the Collins Dictionary of Bizarre Eight Letter Words. Grr... An alternative is Monopoly, the infamous game of buying, selling, and squeezing every last drop of fake money out of you r housemates. If you thought the worst arguments with your housemates would be about stolen milk, just wait till your smarmy cohabitant puts hotels on Mayfair and Park Lane wars have been started for less! Jenga is another top game, that allows you to relive those heady days of your childhood, when knocking over bricks was not only allowed, but encouraged.
For those of you who haven't had the pleasure, Jenga involves a tower of wooden bricks, from which you have to remove single ones without knocking the whole damn pile over. Known for its high amount of dirty tricks, such as kicking the table REALLY HARD when your 'mate' is having their go. Not strictly a board game , but nevertheless fantastic . Skipping hastily over the whole area of roleplaying games, why not hunt down a chess set fo r those quiet nights in front of the fire? After all , it can 't hurt to increase your command of logical reasoning , and much fu n can be had from practising those hard-to-master Russian methods of intimidation . Stare ou t your rival. Wiggle you r eyebrows remorse lessly. Maybe even squeal like a wild boar if the urge takes you, as long as you succeed in forcing your opponent into a silly move. Forget naughty vids , and check out the real hardcore pawn .. . (You're sacked- the Pun Police). Finally, no student house would be complete without a copy of Twister. Yes, that IS the one where you get to grips with your housemates in various positions that even More! magazine would-frown upon . Requires a large consumption of alcohol beforehand, and preferably good personal hygiene from all the players. You could even go the whole hog and get out the bumper carton of Flora if you so desire, although you'll have to figure out what to do with it yourselves. Staying in for the night has never been so much fun!
backyard full of beer cans, vomit, condoms, traffic cones, and the odd comatosed rugby player. A good alternative is to have a park nearby, if only because arcane party law states that men, once pissed, are duty-bound to go and have a game of football. Neighbours, too, are a consideration when choosing a house. Beware the landlord who tells of the 'nice old couple next door' - the slightest whiff of music after ten at night and they'll be on the phone immediately, resulting in four van-loads of Plod and his mates descending on your gathering. Of course, some people don't consider it a successful party unless this happens ... Generally, it's far better to live next to other students. Strangely enough though, it's not so bad living next door to a family, Simply stick a note through their letter box giving advance warning, and come the day of the party, they'll be off to the coast for the weekend, guaranteed! A common mistake made by first-time househunters is to be impressed by rooms that look nice. Y'know, plush carpets, lovely white ceilings etc. That's BAD! If you're likely to hold parties, what you want are coffee-coloured carpets and nicotine-stained ceilings. That way, you won't have your damage deposit cruelly curtailed by your landlord at the end of the year. Talking of carpets, check to see if the house comes with a decent vacuum cleaner, ideally with an attachment that soaks up spilt beer. No party is complete without at least one pie-eyed goon opening their can of Fosters and producing a shower of epic proportions! Before signing on the dotted line, scout around the immediate area for those all-important amenities. Firstly a kebab shop, without which no party is complete. Secondly, make sure there's an offlicense nearby, otherwise all the booze will be gone by 11, and so will your guests. Finally, if you can't find a suitable house for partying in, have no fear. Pile around to your mates, tell them how it's done, and then run off home at the end of the night, leaving them to tidy up while you enjoy a good night's sleep at home.
The ten essential nik-naks that no student hoane should be Mthout 1. BLOW UP ARMCHAIR Impress all your mates, at least until one of them stubs out their fag on it. 2. LAVA LAMP Ultimate kitsch accessory, for that allimportant sleazy 70s brothel vibe. 3. 'AMUSING' COMEDY ALARM CLOCK If someone stays the night, this gizmo'll ensure they never come back again. 4. INDESTRUCTIBLE PLANT The Queen Mum of the plant world. It'll refuse to die, despite not being watered, exposed to sunlight, and kicked over regularly. 5. WASHING BASKET Fill it within the first fortnight, and then leave to rot for the rest of the year till your parents arrive to pick you up. Nice.
6. SUBSTITUTE ASHTRA VS Y'know, plates, pint glasses, yoghurt pots- hell, even your housemate's fluffy bunny slippers if things get desperate! 7. RICHARD ASHCROFT DARTBOARD You might have to make it yourself, but the hours of fun you'll have with it will be a fair reward. 8. TRAFFIC CONE Gosh, the japes us students get up to ... Alternatives: road sign, policeman's helmet, or for the really ambitious, a bus shelter. 9. ETHNIC 'THING' Perhaps a rug, or maybe a garish drape. If possible, tie-dye it. 10.BUTLER Yes, I know it's not likely, but if four of you club together with student loans ...