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2 Co ncrete Hous in n Gui de 2005

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Wethwwlar. Fehman· 23 . 2005

CONCRETE HOUSING GUIDE

2005

Contents The transition: The difference between Halls and Houses ... ... .. .. ... ... ... .. Page 2

Soon the 2005 Housing List will be released, and the Housing Season will officially begin. Thousands will leave the confines of Halls and move into a house of their own. But is it worth it? To kick off this year's Housing Guide, we compare living in halls to living in a house.

The Joy of Halls

Watch your back: Contracts, Landlords and general advice from the Union Advice Centre .. ..... .. ............. Page 3"

Location, Location, Location: Your essential guide to Norwich loc~lities and what to expect from them. Avenues, Unthank, Earlham , Dereham and the City.. .... .... ... .Pages 4&5 West Earlham , Eaton , Bowthorpe .. .. Page 6

The Horror: . Housing advice from UEA students .... ........ ... .... Page 7

Letting Agents: Alternatives to the Housing list.. ..... Page 8

Eas To Find: Getting yourself a room on campus is a lot simpler than finding a house off campus. You're dealing with the university, not a busy land· lord. The lovely people in the Accommodation Office are used to dealing with a million questions and will make everything simple for you. A landlord often has one house that is desired by many people, so courtesy is at a premium , especially during housing season. And paying for re sidency living is simpler too; the fee is paid in three instalments and it's the only fee you pay. With houses, there is not only rent. but bi lls as well, and they're likely to arrive when you least expect and want it, which leads to the next point. . Cost: Living in halls is by far cheape r than living off ca mpus, regardless of which res idency you live in. Even if you find a di rt-cheap house th ere is sti ll the small matter of bills. Water, electricity and gas are free in halls, but not in a house. And if you want interne! access and/or a house phone and/or Sky TV, then the cost quickly becomes ve ry high. Then there are the expenses that aren't bi lled to you from a utility compa ny. things like bin liners, washing up liquid and household cleaning materials. And finally there is the commute. Walking is the only free form of com muting. Bicycles need lights, locks and , if you're un lucky, a puncture repair ki t (and if you're really unlucky, sometimes a new bike altogether) . Cars , well , cars needs lots of things. but you also have to pay to use the car park. And

Deputy Editor: Simon Sheridan Contributors: Matt Cantor Clare Dodds Emma Johnston Jen Marchant Alyssa Morrisey Lucy Mowatt Kathryn West Illustrations: Clifford Hammett Published by the UU EAS Concrete Society ©2005 Concrete. ISSN 13512773. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Publisher or Editor. No parr of this accomodation guide may be reproduced through any means without the express permission of the Editor. Map of Norwich: Map Designed by David Bygrave. © Norwich Accommodation Agency, and published with kind permission . Printed by: Archant, St. Andrews Business Park, Norwich , Norfol k.

Easy To Live In: Living in halls is easy. lt really is. The bin is emptied fo r yo u, the shower pod is cleaned for you , as is the kitchen, and you have a minute area of living space to maintain. You're also often no more than five minutes from the square, and sometimes much closer than that. For people living off camp us, commutes of 45 minutes are not unheard of. Security: Waveney Terrace notwithstanding , UEA halls of residence are generally very secure. If yo u remember to lock your room you've immediately setu p an impenetrable fortress of security, and even if yo u forget, entry into th e build ing itself req ui res a key or a ca mpus card or, som etimes, both. And when it comes to fires, we ll , anyone who has lived in halls wi ll

desperate the people who designed it were to avoid a fire . Every door is a fire door, once a week, every week the smoke alarms are tested and there is a fire blanket and extinguisher in every kitchen . They even go to the trou ble of nominating a fire warden . Pot Luck: Halls, to quote Forrest Gump, are like a box of chocolates - you never know what you' re gonna get. Some of us are unlucky and are stuck with half a dozen anti-social losers who like none of the same things you like. but a lot of us ending up meeting our best friends in halls. If you 're real ly lucky, everyone in your flat becomes your best mate and yo u end up beco ming one big happy university chum team. And if you're rea lly, really lucky you find your sweethea rt just down the hall.

The Joy _of Houses

Editor~ in-Chief :

Phillip Sainty Editor: Ross Grainger

the bus, needless to say, isn't free.

Responsibility: The responsibility that co mes with finding and maintaining a house off campu s is very high , but if you master it then yo u learn some important life lessons. For start ers, the process of finding a house teaches you a thing or two about agencies, land lords and housing contracts. And once you 're in your house you get a real taste for how thing s will be in life out side uni. You have to deal with bills, you have to keep your house clean

good. Yo u have step ped up to a different level of student life wh en you begin life in a house. fu:lace : As mentioned , a re sidency room can sometimes feel a wee bit cramped. And if you 've eve r tried to sleep with another person in your single bed , you real ly feel the pinch . In a house , though , you can get a double

bed! You can have big shelves and a big chest of drawers and a wardrobe yo u could live in. You also get a living room ! You can watch TV on the couch with your feet up, instead of on your bed with your feet on one of those plastic chairs. And if you felt confined by being able to watch only terrestrial TV in halls, you can splash out a bit and get Sky once you move into your own house.

and tidy and sometim es yo. u_.---~----iii!!!!!!I!!!!P"!!!!!!I!"_..;:~~---"1 have to deal with some • awkwa rd social si tu ations; you might end up fa lling out with one of your housemates, or dating them and

House Party: it's hard to have one of these without a house. it's not impossible to have a party in halls, but nothing beats a house pa rty. Throwing a house party is

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proce ss, but wh en you come through it you're much th e wiser. Free dom: A residency roo m can sometim es feel . li ke a ce ll. but yo ur l1ouse is your cast le. Once yo u sign that contract it's you rs and yo u ca n mou ld it to fit your image . Whe n you step into your house for the first time you real ise that it's a big step from halls - and it feels

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shaving foam on one of the bedroom walls. The House Party is a rite of passage for any university student, and "'? ~ ~ eve ryone has to attempt at least on e. Some rock, some rot . but after each one everybody's wiser.


Cotc:nte Wednesday. February 23", 2005

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Concrete Housing Guide 2005

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Ther;e a~f things to consider when looking for a house. And when that dream hou~me~ yours, there ar~ of other things to take care of: damage deposits, council tax, contracts, ~ and more. To help you . se_nse of it all we called on the Union Advice Centre.

- z::r.Advice on. deposit (also called a bond or damage deposit) is a payment made by each member of a house to the land~--- lord before the housing contract is _ ,;,nnAn . 1t is retained by the landlord duration of your tenancy for possible Jn::~m::~.nA!': to the house. lt's when your tenancy that the deposit can become a problem. is because sometimes the landlord will take or all of your deposit to cover things that should not have to pay for. You might end up for damages to the house that were there you moved in, or you might spend hours the house before you move out only for to hire a professional cleaner at the ' "'"n"''"" of some of your deposit. A deposit can ly be used to pay outstanding bills or rent If this specified in the tenancy agreement. Here are things you can do to help avoid disputes r your deposit. Inventory: Your landlord should provide you a list of inventory. This is a list of everything the house, from microwave to small bedside lt's a good idea to check this list as soon as move in. If the first time you look at the invenis the day before you move out, you might be ' Original Monet? We didn't have an Monel." At which point you remember the framed photo in the bathroom which is now covered with toothpaste spray. Okay, that's not too likely, but nevertheless, check that inventory the Father Christmas checks his list

Advice on ... Housing cM,tr.acts

~ Deposits tory, you would do well to take pictures of things or areas that might be disputed by you and the landlord. For example, if there is a stain on the living room carpet when you move in, take a picture, ideally a dated picture. This can be your deposit's saving grace. As you near the end of your tenancy, ask the landlord to make an inspection of the house. This way he or she can tell you what needs to be done to restore the house to its original state. By following these simple steps, you should be able to have your deposit returned in full and in good time (usually no more than 28 days). However, most students don't follow this advice, and even those who do run into problems. lt's your money, so if you feel it is being unfairly taken from you, do stand up for it. If worse comes to worse and you and the landlord cannot resolve any disputes

he contract you sign with your landlord is, as you can imagine, very important. Quite simply, you should read every word of it and make sure you understand it, because once you have signed on that dotted line, the contract is a legal docum e n t .

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it over a pint the.n you might find that your landlord now owns your soul, or that you've signed up to one of those organ donor lists (and not kind that waits until you're dead). Below are some of the things to check for in your contract.

1) Check that the landlord's name al)d aa1Jress1 are written on the contract, as well as the address of the property you are renting. Check the amount of rent you are paying and what system will be used to pay it, i.e. standing order. 2) Joint or individual contract? If your name appears on a contract with the name of you housemates, you are considered jointly This means that you are all equally ro<:nn.n<:il~'" ' for the rent, so If one person does not pay causes damage to the property, everyone has pay the money owed to the landlord. 3) 'Quiet Enjoyment' is something that all tenants are entitled to. lt is a clause that allows all tenants to live in the property without suffering harassment from the landlord. A landlord must give 24 hours notice before entering_the property for any reason. Any landlord who persistently visits your house is in breach of the Quiet Enjoyment term.

Unfortunately, though, housing contracts are not great reading. Think Derrida as a lawyer. Most of it is mundane and filled with hous-

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4) Every contract should contain a clause ing to Section 11 of the 'Landlord and Act', which obliges every landlord to carry repairs on the property and allows the tenant to take action if repairs are not carried out within a reasonable time. The landlord cannot ask you make repairs yourself. 5) Bring your contract to the oenire to get checked by an advice worker before you sign it.

Advice on ... TV Licensing c I aims court. Check with the advice centre before you do this.

Advice on ... Landlords andlords come in all shapes, sizes and moods, but you probably won't have one as greedy and heartless as Mr. Burns (right). As long as you pay your rent on time and don't break anything substantial in the house, your landlord will have no reason to resent you. However you might have good reason to resent your landlord. If things breaking and the landlord does not fix them in good the resentment starts building up. They might also people· round to view your house often and without notice. This can become quite trying. In all of this, havg a good rapport with your landlord from the beginning of tenancy eases the pain. While they take your money own your house, they are just human beings. When you them, they bleed (this is a reference to Shakespeare, a call to arms). Talk to your landlord, get to know them, whatever do, don't forget the rentl

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t's unlikely that anyone reading this does not know that in the UK you need a licence to watch television. lt's even more unlikely that anyone .reading this is considering, or is already watching TV without owning a because you go to university, which you have a morsel of intelligence. You'd be lacking even a morsel to think about 1w~,,,.,n,nnTV without a licence. Here are the facts: , -~v<>rvnr,., who uses (or installs with the intention a television set or video recorder which is 1ca•~ao1e of receiving authorised broadcast pro(that is, the BBC, ITV. Channel 4, 5, cable television or Sky TV) needs a u ..,,.,vo<:.nn licence. A licence allows the person on it and any member of their houseuse one- or more television sets or video lre•cor·der·s.'" (From the Union Advice pamphlet on Licencing) You do not need a licence if your TV is totally incapable of receiving broadcasts. If your taledoes not fit that descprition, you need a licence. But you go to university and, morsels of intelligence notwithstanding, you enjoy flouting rules - you take all manner of drugs in all of places, you shag in the library, you bouncers and you sneak into gigs.

Perhaps the idea of getting caught without a licence turns you on, in which case please be aware of the consequences: Detector vans and TV Licence officers hand-held detectors monitor all residential including university residency areas. lt is Orwellian, but they know when you are w"'""'"" television. If an officer decides to knock on door and ask to see your licence you can them entry, in which case they will assume guilty and the fun will begin. They can apply search warrant and return without warning search your property. They can even use force get into your house. And don't think that oec;;au1se1 it's not your TV that you won't be prosecuted. If you are found guilty, the fine is £1000. A TV licence costs £121.00 and lasts for one year. You can pay for it all at once or use TV licence stamps. So with those figures in mind, ask yourself, it really worth the risk?

Student Union Advice eentre, Union

House


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Concrete Housing Guide 2005 5

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So, where to live? Within the fine city of Norwich there are more than . half-a-dozen areas that have personalities and images all their own. We give the lowdown on all of them. · Map Supplied courteaey of Norwich Accommodation Aeency Designed by Oavld By&rave

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stroll. If all of this just sound like far too nuch effort, or if you have some strange phobia of walking next to trees, the 25, 26 and 27 bus servic~s run from Bluebell Road, which adjoins the Avenues, into the city centre. The 27 and a number 23 Anglian bus service (they're the yellow ones) also run from The Avenues itself. At this point you should probably be made awae of the fact that the Avenues is not an intricate system of avenues, as the name suggest, out just one large. road, like Earlham or Unthank. This might take some of the gloss of living there, for whch we apologise. The houses themselves are varied. A large number of them are semi-detached three bedroom houses, but there are also some larger properties, particularly towards the city end. 1t is worth noting that the majority of properties in this area are family homes, but if you do decide to opt for a house here you certainly won't be the only stude1ts to have done so. They say hOuse hunting Is all about "location, location, location!" and for that The Avenues couldn't be better. Close enough to campus for early morning lectures, it's also near enough t:> the city for late night adventures, and all just a sbne's throw from the student Mecca that is the Golden Triangle.

The Avenues he Avenues. You know the one. Or you will if you've ever tried walking from· campus to town. lt's the big, aptly named straight avenue that starts just outside the University from Bluebell road. 1t stretches from here practically to the city centre making it potentially a highly desirable place for student house hunters. Cut roughly in half by Colman Road, a local shopping area complete with a post office, baker's, butcher's, grocer's, newsagent and even a couple of pubs it attracts a mixture of residents. There are far less students living in this area than on neighbouring Unthank or Earlham but the area maintains a studenty feel, as it is the main thoroughfare for many travelling to and from lectures. Besides which, bumping into the occasional "ordinary" person, after living on campus, has got to feel somewhat refreshing! This cycle friendly route also has room for those of you with four wheer,s. Off road parking is provided for many residences and there is also some street parking, for wh ich you can acquire a permit. For those of you who prefer to walk, it takes approximately 15 minutes to get from the midpoint of the Avenues to campus, or about 20 minutes to get into town and it's a pleasant tree-lined

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Earlham Road raming one edge of the famous 'Golden Triangle', Earlham is a popular dwelling place for students. Stretching all the way past the campus and into town, Earlham offers an extensive amount of accommodation and amenities. Houses along here are generally larger so if you're looking to put a roof over more than five heads, this is the place to live. For those smaller numbers, accommo.dation can also be found on the many streets leading off Earlham Road itself. Students tend to favour the lower end of Earlham, closer to town, but others prefer to live in the somewhat contrasting luxury of the family ·homes nearer the University. Earlham is well situated for any student's convenieoce, being only short distances from the University, the city centre and the other student areas: Unthank, Dereham and the Avenues. Hall way along its long stretch is a small shopping arcade with takeaways, an essential off license and a Somerfield; a really useful supermarket for the masses that can't be bothered to walk into town or make the long journey to Morrisons. There is also a post office, a launderette and, probably most pleasingly, a range of pubs. These vary from quiet locals

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to popular student haunts such as the Garden House, the Mitre (good for football screenings) and the Belle Vue for cheap and tasty food! Sadly, buses are the bane of Earlham life. Two bus services run along this road, the 26 and 27, but they still can't get it right! Unfortunately for those fond of late nights out both services finish early in the evening; the 26 runs until 6.30pm, and the 27 stops at 11 pm. Like most buses, the service is also quite irregular despite its quoted promise of 'every ten minutes', so be prepared to wait.. Having said this, the walk to campus only takes about half an hour and town is approximately fifteen minutes away by foot. For those patient enough to wait though, the bus conveniently stops at the market place in the centre of town. Regardless of the disadvantages of transport, Earlham offers a good balance for students who seek escapism within reach of the busy student culture. lt's quieter which means there's less likelihood of bumping into your lecturer in the local shop but only a short distance from the multitude of students in the surrounding areas. ''The only ball ache is the buses - they say they go every ten minutes, but they don't. However, there are good local pubs and good shops." (From an Ealrham resident) Clare Dodds

Dereham Road our first impressions of the Dereham Road area will likely be pretty good. You're not in the Golden Triangle area, but you are surrounded by shops, and you're a nice, short walk from the City Centre. If you like your take-aways then you have a KFC, Planet Wok and loads of fish and chip shops. For your daily tipple, the Wine Warehouse caters for your party needs, and the City Gate Wetherspoons will provide you with a quiet night out. Other pubs in the area are not generally student-friendly, but you may want to try the Fat Cat if you like a good ale. If you get bored with this lot then just walk down the road another five minutes and you're slap-bang in the centre of the city. Marvelous. But the closer you are to the city, inevitably you will be further away from the university. You have to walk up to Earlham for the bus (26/27) and while they are getting better, my experiences of them were many missed lectures waiting 45 minutes for them to bother turning up. So, perhaps you should get a bike or a car. Independent. lt's not my job to sell you a house in the area, though, so now for some awful truths that you should be well aware of. Crime in the area is high,

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especially burglary. Our neighbors and local shop keeps were friendly, but all had been victims of crime in the last couple of yeal'$, as was I by the end of my year there. lt's not worth moving into the area unless your house and/or belongings are secure and insured. You need double-glazing, and preferably an alarm as well. Paranoid. Dereham Road is Dereham Road ·- everyone knows where it is and everyone has heard of it This helps when ordering pizza or Chinese food; you don't have to go into minute detail about where your obscure street is, or worse, you don't have to deal with the pain of having your order rejected because you live in the middle of nowhere (Bowthorpe, for examP.Ie). Delicious. When said outloud you might think it, but when you see it written down you'll know better- there are no deer on Dereham road. 'Foxes, yes. Birds, obviously. Badgers, let's hope not. But deer? You're having a laugh. Pointless. In short, it's not a bad place to live, espec[ally if you like ~eing in the thick of Norwich life, although you may be put off leaving your house unattended for very long. I know I was, but then again I have a Faberge egg collection to protect. Sweet.

Mark Kelly

iving off Unthank is a bit like living in a village. Despite the drama about the proposed Tesco on the corner of Unthank and Trinity Street the local shops are popular, prospering and you can get almost anything you want in less than 100 metre radius of your house, from fresh bread and local grown veg, to stamps and print cartridges, ballgowns and one-off jewellery. Who wouldn't want to be near so many conveniences and resouces? Well, me last year. Having gone through the area on th e way to campus from MaT)' Chapman Court most days in the first year the idea of all the takeaways and pubs and all those peo~le made me want to be somewhere quiet and not so studenty. Having spent a year living off Dereham putting up >Mth hours spent at the Mitre bus stop, miles from the fun and bustle of the happening centre of No~Y¥ich's studentville we didn't think twice about joining our friends and moving to the convenience of the 25 bus, the lovely takeaway people, the two Budgens stores, the easy walks to town and uni, the wonderful Zuckerman's bakery, the launderette, the grea: little greengrocer's near Lloyd's bank, the hardNear shop that has everything you'll need when

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your house goes wrong, and the fabulous ballgown shop! Brilliant; all of it. lt's an old area and there are some great houses to be had. Our's has high ceilings, big rooms and costs a fortune to heat. These are things to consider when you choose a property and the other advantage of the big old drafty houses is the extra communal space you get. While most landlords convert a downstairs room into an extra bedroom it makes a big differe.nce to life in a shared house to have somewhere comfy and big enough you can all congregate. If you like the sound of the area it's a good idea to look at houses on roads off Unthank, such as Trinity Street, and there are lots of student rental places to be had. But it's a nice change from Halls to be living near your friends and also near grown ups who let you borrow things like rolling pins and hammers that you may not have around. Anyone living there will tell you that Unthank is the place to be if you want proximity to both town and campus and a wide range of facilities. The vil· lagey feel makes it unique, and having spent the second year feeling very out on the periphery of student life it's great to be somewhere that can be everything you want it to be.

Kstharine Clemow

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Colatte Wednesday, February 23", 2005

STILL HAVEN'T FOUND WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FOR?. Bowthorpe

Living At Home

If you want to live slightly out of the city, in a quieter, less student-populated area, Bowthorpe be the place for you. Situated half an hour's bus journey from the city centre, and an hour's walk from the University, Bowthorpe has not yet become completely overrun by dents, so it maintains the peaceful atmosphere of a little suburb. There are shops at regular intervals, there's never far to walk for a pint of milk in morning, or a pot of Ben and Jerry's in evening. There is a post office just past Hill Road, although it might make more sense use a post office in the city, or on campus, aepending where exactly you live. Bowthorpe is on the 21/22 bus line, which takes you directly to the city (and if you stay on through the city, to the big Tesco at Sprowston; ideal for your weekly shop). And if you fancy the walk all the way to Uni you can a 21 and get off half way down Wilbe

it is impossible to estimate the number of times that I, and several of my friends, have been asked why we chose to stay at home while at university, when we had the opportunity to move to the opposite side of the country to our families. it takes quite a lot of explaining because there are so many reasons, but most people realise that the choice was made u pon sound judgement. The most obvious reason for staying in Norwich is that it's much cheaper to stay at liome. After weighing up the possible experiences of living with friends or having some money to spend when I finish my degree, the latter sounded preferable. The free laundry service is also a bonus, providing that I do my fair share of the housework, which means there are no problems on that front. Going into the kitchen and not having to Worry that I could catch a deadly disease if I touch anything also allows for a small amount of gloating when visiting friends. Home doesn't have that "student house smell" either. it's inexplicable, but it exists, it's always the same and very odd. Being able to keep a part-time job is a benefit too. Earning a little cash is useful, and not touching the student loan is reassuring. Developing a social network almost entirely separated from university can be comforting as

Above Right: Two semidetached houses in Eaton. If it looks quiet, that's because it is.

well, especially when mid-semester stress starts to build; you can completely cut off from academic work. At Christmas and summer vacations Norwich becomes a ghost town for those permanently here, one of the drawbacks of living at home; it's sometimes nice to work just so that you can leave the house and talk to someone occasionally. The aggravation of moving house again seemed like madness, and also having a notoriously bad sense of direction means that I've only just figured out how to navigate my way around the City without getting lost. Learning how to get around another town would have taken years, at least this way I had a head start over most people at UEA. Most of the reasoning sounds absolutely mercenary, but UEA has other benefits too. The course was important, and conveniently it is one of the best in the country. Of course having family around is also nice, because it might be impossible for anyone else to stand living with me. Admittedly when it gets claustrophobic university becomes a means of escape, but it's hi'Jipful to have someone telling you not to worry about work too much, and having tea made when essay deadlines are nearing. Obviously there are the dra'>'{backs of vacations, and not having had the experience of life away from family, but on the whole it appears that it was more convenient to stay at home. Lucy Mowat

Right: A six person, semidetached house in Bowthorpe ,(Disclaimer: the young man in the doorway is not a chav)

West Earlham If you fancy big houses with plenty of space between you and your roommates, and an enormous garden for whatever reason, West Earlham is the place for you. The neighbourhood behind the University village is close, scenic and best of all, a little more spread out than the cramped quarters of the Golden Triangle. You could fit a family, maybe even a pet (if you were allowed them). Houses found in West Earlham tend to be four to six (or more) bedroom flats for larger groups of students. Kitchens in some houses are broad enough to include a dining room. Similarly, bedrooms tend to be more spacious, some even include a master bedroom with space for a queen sized bed. Although a stay in West Earlham accommodation tends to be more comfortable, it also tends to be cheaper than flats found in other

Ea ton Located to the south of the university; Eaton can boast to be the most 'upper class' of the regions available to houseless students at UEA. lt is a practical suburbia, most of the houses being of the semi-detached variety and most of the residents being retirees who own dogs. While this may all sound rather boring, you should never underestimate just how much a bit of peace qnd tranquillity can be conducive to good working. There is also the a d d e d advantage that quiet means less 'chavs' you won't have any problems in Eaton when walking home drunk at 2 in the morning. lt is quiet, friendly and unassuming. The problems with such a place are obvious, however. For a start, getting drunk in Eaton is a rather long-winded exercise. Although two pubs can be found at the main crossroads, they are more suited to the 'family' drinkers, not a group of raucous students. The LCR is only a walk away, but if you enjoy a drink in a 'local' type pub then maybe Eaton isn't for you. Sometimes peace and quiet can't make up for a good night out on the piss. lt is also a fairly lonely part of Norwich, in that not many other students live in the area. Although the transport to town is fairly good in Norwich terms, . there is no bus to the university and it is difficult to get to other areas of student concentration - Unthank Road is a 35 minute walk away. The yellow Anglia buses roam all around Eaton and go to the City Centre, but do not run as regularly as those run by First. Eaton also has a manifest lack of shops. The only supermarket-type shop is Waitrose, which, while providing customers with high-quality produce also insists that they pay the premium rate for it. Again, it is all about what you want from where you live. Just don't expect to be able to live too cheaply in Eaton as your only options when needing food are Waitrose or a small and rather badly stocked 'cash and carry'. They also shut earlier than convenience stores in other parts of the city, 8 being the latest. Eaton is also home to a small post office, two salons and can claim to possess the best Chinese restaurant this side of Ipswich. So Eaton in a word is... nice. lt's fairly boring, but does not come with the same problems as other areas. There is nothing wrong with living in Eaton, whereas living in Bowthorpe means dayto-day conflicts with chavs. However, there is also nothing to really make you want to live there. If you get a house in Eaton, you'll have a good time and minimal problems, but you won't have the best time so those of you who like to party, try and live somewhere more excitable. Simon Sheridan

regions such as the Avenues. But, do not let that allow you to run out and nick one just yet. Let us consider why it is cheaper than other parts of town. Though the neighbourhood is conveniently located right next to the university, its borders stretch all the way back to Bowthorpe Road, nearly a mile away. For those who live in the outskirts of the neighbourhood, there are no buses to take you to and from the university. Living in West Earlham assures a rigorous walk of up to thirty minutes every single day. If you lack the motivation to get up and make it to your classes, this will undoubtedly give you another reason to sleep in. There is also a large hill on Wilberforce Road between you and the University, making it difficult to bike. Though this seems like a minor problem, it will become more of a trial by the middle of the year. Bus lines 21 and 22 run throughout the

neighbourhood, which take to and from town. While the bus schedule assures you that a bus will show up in twenty some odd minutes, this is indeed false. Lines 19-22 are infamous for being excessively tardy, or just plain absent. Trips into town become a difficult endeavour, on average you could spend an hour per day waiting for the bus to come and take you home from Castle Meadow. When these buses do 路grace you with their presence, they tend to be full of shoppers who have also been waiting an hour to go home. I hope you don't mind standing. Lines 21 and 22 run until shortly after eleven o'clock pm, so if you plan to spend several nights out on the town, you will be taking a taxi, or walking home from the University While West Earlham may be centrally located for daily trips to the University, (that is if you are into exercise) it is far away from everything else. The amount of shops, including the West Earlham shopping centre, can be counted on one

hand. On a more positive note, this makes your average corner shop owner much more friendly. Here is something that might really 路put you off: there are no pubs. There is one located behind the West Earlham shopping centre, but there are no students in it, and no chance to socialize with those of like mind, and age. While your friends live cramped into tiny rooms in other parts of town, they have much easier access to student life. The long distance makes visitors scant and holding a successful house party is near impossible. On the bright side, if you are not looking to waste your time with the student drinking ridiculousness and are just interested in making the most of your intellectual education, or if you O\lln _ a car, this could be the place for you. If not, I would encourage you to avoid this part of town. Alyssa Morrisey


Co.cntt Wednesday, February 23'", 2005

Concrete Housing Guide 2005 7

www.concrete-online.com

On The Origin of Spaees Who better to ask about living in student houses than students? No one, that's who. In this final chapter of the 2005 Housing Guide we, the students, give the lowdown on how to make a house work, why sliding down the stairs on a mattress is a bad idea and what it's really like to move out of halls and into a house. Living with Friends Ok, so you've made the decision - you're ng to live together. You get on well, you have milar interests and opinions, you enjoy the things: of course you'll get along together. Think again. Just because you're buddies necessarily lead to a glamorous, stressmontage style life together with pizza takeand fluffy bunny slippers. Domestic bliss is "'"""'lhirâ&#x20AC;˘n that exists naturally, it has to be at, and to make it work you have to start on the right foot. Before you make the move and are there, under the same roof, sharing the cereal bowls shower gel, set the ground rules. lt doesn't to be a big occasion with blood oaths and pledges. Just get together and have a Talk about your lifestyles. Simple things, like time you tend to get up, when you prefer to how you're used to living. There will be little differences, that's the joy of l<>vâ&#x20AC;˘~rv''"" being individual. Accept these differPlan ahead. Because you won't how the little things that seem lrrP11RV''mT to begin With quickly become the topic of heated arguments and bitter feuds. Ever watched that episode Season Four of Buffy? and Willow move into has the roommate who is quite literally a hell dimension? I'm not saying your lovely friend from ENV who likes cats and Alanis Morrisette is going to start sucking out your soul while you sleep, but believe me, you will start to get on each other's nerves. One of the main things you'll find yourselves arguing about is housework. "You haven't done the hoovering - I do it EVERY week!" or "This is my washing up! Why should I wash up all r stuff?" A could save from all this. I know it sounds completely anally retentive, but if you agree before you shack up (or at l~ast in the first few days) how often you should aim to do housework, and maybe split responsibilities up a little, it could work wonders. Social habits, too, can cause quite a bit of . Maybe one member of the group likes stay out partying late and tends to roll in at blind drunk and loud to boot. Obviously if person has a lecture early the next mornand is roused by said drunken lout, the situais not going to be pretty. On the other hand one of you likes to get up early (unlikely not impossible), but playing loud music and

s1ng1ng chirpily to Chakra Khan isn't going score you any points with your sleepier mates. So be respectful: warn each other plans, and try not to be too loud when you others are sleeping or studying. Shared belongings: this could cause contention if there are mix-ups. There are basics that it makes sense to share- toilet milk, maybe bread - and these need to agreed on by everyone, and a system worked to share the costs. But do not assume that thing that someone else has bought is there to used by everybody. There's nothing quite upsetting going to

Anyone reading this section is probably trying to choose where to live next semester. This is a choice that many American students don't make-whether that's a blessing or a curse, I'm not sure. At most universities in the US, there is at least a portion of the student body living on s for all four years of what we call college-different, I've learned, from the UK's colleges: our "college" is the equivalent of the undergraduate years at university here. The institutional living arrangement in general is quite different. Usually students live in one of two situations: in an entryway, or on a hall. A hall is self-explanatory, but an entryway is a stairway with a single door to the outside, with just one

rooms all leading off of it, as well as a small room. Housing is chosen at most schools via a tery system of some kind. Usually, students pick a few others with whom they want to live, and enter the housing lottery in a group. Then, they will all be assigned to live together or near each other. This differs from college to college in US-though about 90% of the students at

"lt is much less common to live off-campus in the US than it is in the UK." college live on-campus, many of my friends schools move off campus for their fi Still, it is much less common to live pus in the US than it is at UK universities. Is this a good thing for us Yanks? There are either way. Living off-campus has obvious good points: you feel more independent, for one thing. You also can live with whomever you want. This may provide for closer friendships. Further, you may have a lot more space, having many rooms in which to dump your stuff, instead of a little single room and a common room, at best. You aren't sharing a bathroom with strangers, and you get a kitchen to yourself. On the other hand, living in a dormitory fo four years allows you to meet new people every year, and to be in a huge community of people your age, instead of a smaller group. Usually, you are on a meal plan, so you don't have to cook, though usually the food is crap. Either living arrangement can be great. As an American student, I always thought of college as a place where I'd live in a dorm for four years. Here, perhaps. the idea is a scary one. Matt Cantor

--'""''hor

after you finished your essay, just to find that someone else has scoffed them down . Be siderate: ask if you can borrow your housemate's items, even if it takes a text or a phone call. The number one rule is to plan ahead, make sure everyone is sure of the ground rules and boundaries, so there are no confusions and misunderstandings. And rule number two is to tal about the problems as and when they arise. You may feel you are doing the honourable thing biting your lip and not menAn example of the disharmony...

strewn across the bathroom floor. But in the end all the niggling little irritations will become huge towering frustrations tension in the house unbea able. Mention the little things before they h<>o~nrn<>l big things. Sure, it might lead to a slightly u fortable conversation, but better that than explosive row three months down the line. Talk each other; compromise. University, after all, about learning, and one of the hardest things learn is how to live in harmofl;'. Jen Marchant

very good for socializing, use everyone is so separated. In a person's first , or freshman year, he or he lives in a room with someone of the same or, sometimes, multiple people of the same As the years progress, the housing lh"'""n'"" more and more livable. Second-year nts will probably have a single room of their like in University ViHage here, except withluxury of a private bathroom. By the third fourth year, at many colleges, students are to live in suites, which are like apartments, but usually without kitchens. They generally consist of a common room, with smaller, bed-

Tales From The Frontline "In the first two weeks of living in our new house we had three attempted break-ins on our back door. The first time somebody gouged holes in the door with a screwdriver to try to disable the locks . Luckily the police and forensics that came round were really nice. "We have a number of "vents" in our walls - and by with a slated plastic covering. We thought it was bad enough that they let in icy blasts of wind, but

"We've broken the front door, the sofa ... and a thumb." then we came down to the kitchen one day and found a slug had slithered in . Soooo gross. "After long discussions we decided to invest in a microwave, and put our money together to buy one. On Christmas Day {which we spent together at the house) it suddenly set itself on fire and we were left microwave-less. Not only that, but we couldn't find the warranty anywhere, and we can't get to a dump to get rid of the thing, so it's been sitting in its box in the corner of the kitchen ever since." "The bus stop on Unthank Road is near our

house so ideally suited to our lazy lifestyle. Even so, we've lost count of the number of times we've had to run after the bus, or more accurately, the number of times the driver has purposefully left us behind. Obviously it takes more than banging on the glass and shouting abuse for them to notice. We're convinced they have a tally at the depot for how many students they can make run after the bus. B''''''SI "We had severspare manky mattresses propped up in our hallway for weeks, so we naturally thought we had to do something with them . At first we then the ingenious thought of putting them on the stairs and sliding down them came to us. Wearing bin bags makes you go faster!! "Our kitchen is a bit grim at the best of times but the day we found poo in our rice just topped it off. After inspecting all the gnaw marks, and more poo, we concluded we had mice. We thought we'd tackle the problem economically with ibuprofen but the mice were too clever for us! Several mousetrap injuries later, we called in the professionals and the problem was sorted. "Although we like to have fun, we've realised that having a laugh with your housemates can go too far. We've broken the front door, shelving, the sofa ..... and a thumb. The bills are just not funny. I'd wished we'd realised this before trying to fit one of our housemates in the fridge. "Its not always cosy in our house, particularly when the temperature gets down to 7 degrees. Apart from freezing our bums off, our exotic banana tree perished ."

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Concrete housing guide 2005 issue 174 23 02 2005