For those of you that don’t watch my vlogs or follow me on Twitter, I’ve been having some issues with my student flat. I don’t live in student accommodation and my landlords haven’t got any association with my university, myself and my flatmate Sam found this place ourselves and moved in last summer, July 2016.
Photo: Sam & myself as freshers in 2014 near our student halls.
It was like a dream come true compared to the house I’d just moved out of. I shared my previous home with seven other people, we all decided to move in together near the end of our first year like absolute idiots. Sharing a living space with SEVEN other human beings is HARD. Four guys, four gals, two bathrooms, double kitchen (two ovens, fridges, toasters, kettles), one freezer. Being a veggie in that situation wasn’t great but I didn’t make a fuss and I dealt with it just making sure my food was tied up in plastic bags and kept near the top of the chest style freezer.
I’ll just bullet point the main shit we all went through instead of going into detail ’cause we’d be here forever.
- Mice – had inhabited the house longer than us, landlord neglected to inform us.
- Heating being inaccessible – we had a password protected digital thermostat that we weren’t allowed the password for, it ended up at the illegal state of below 13 degrees in communal areas and even then they wouldn’t change it.
- Dead pigeon fiasco – a dead pigeon fell down the chimney in my bedroom that the landlord had claimed to have ‘blocked off’, he’d shoved a bin bag up the very open chimney.
- Landlord coming into the property without notice – and bringing strangers to view our house and INTO OUR BEDROOMS WITHOUT KNOCKING.
Bare in mind I paid over £90 a week to live in this house. My room was incredible but the whole year was a nightmare.
Back to present day…
We had teething problems with this flat like everyone does when they move into a new place. We had to set up our wifi, find a good gas and electric supplier and get to grips with the ins and outs of a life of bills not included living for the first time.
We had problems with EDF so we switched to Scottish Power, we had problems with our boiler so we spoke to a plumber, our hoover broke and our landlord got us a new one. That was about the extent of our issues for the first year of living here, nothing at all to worry about.
Photo: Sam & myself, three years later in May 2017, after living together almost a year!
Until the mice came. Yet again I was living with mice. I am a clean and tidy human, I don’t leave piles of clothes on the floor, I don’t leave dirty dishes any longer than two or three days and I dust and hoover at least once a month. The mice came from the flat below us, they were disgusting and very inconsiderate and actually wanted to renew their contracts to stay another year and our landlords rejected their application on the grounds of how unclean they were. These people weren’t even students.
I’m used to mice, they don’t frighten me and I can sleep easy even knowing they’re in my bedroom but that doesn’t mean I wanted to share my space with them or let them near my food. Unfortunately we had no access to humane traps and my landlord left trays of poison around our flat and of course that led to finding multiple dead mice and even a couple of decomposed ones/skeletons. It broke my heart but I had to be selfish about it and do anything possible to get rid of the poor little fluffy cuties for the sake of our health.
So now the problem I’m facing is our kitchen. Or lack thereof. We have no kitchen.
But of course, we’ve been given access to a kitchen. The one from the flat below us. The disgusting flat that inhabitants brought us the mice, that hasn’t been cleaned since they moved out. I am not using that kitchen. But we still have our microwave, kettle and toaster in our flat so I’m living off microwave rice and peppermint tea.
Now, my issue with this is that we were promised to have this brand new kitchen finished by the 20th August. Today is the 23rd September. I have a big ass kitchen countertop in my bedroom. Until today I had our living room sofa in my bedroom and we had to move it downstairs ourselves as our lazy ass landlords made the poorest effort ever to help us by calling a removal company but not paying them so they had to leave without even starting the job. (For further detail pls see vlog here.) Yes there were many PIVOT moments.
I’m one of those people who cannot cope with disorganised mess. I can’t process anything properly, I cannot relax and I definitely cannot sleep around it. So arriving home at 11pm on Friday night (last night) to have my personal space stuffed to the brim with furniture that did not belong there sent me into a horrid panic attack made even worse by the state of our living room/kitchen.
Our landlords are currently in London, there are no workpeoples coming in this weekend to make any further advancements and we start university again for our third and final year on Monday morning. Which just so happens to be when the workpeoples will be back to carry on installing our new kitchen.
Aaaand when I say new kitchen I don’t mean a new oven and a few cupboards. Our living room/kitchen is GONE. It’s empty. We’re waiting on new flooring, new tiling on the walls, new sideboards, new oven, new fridge, new freezer, new washing machine EVERYTHING. Oh and we have damp.
If it weren’t for Sam, my sanity would be long gone. He’s reassured me through my fits of anger and floods of tears and he’s done everything possible to help me feel more comfortable in this horrible situation.
If I have any advice at all for student living, pick who you live with incredibly carefully, especially if you’re far from home.