Managing my money for young adults
Managing my money for young adults

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Managing my money for young adults

7 A budget for shared rentals

It will be abundantly clear to you that living in a shared property changes the things you have to budget for and can have a material impact on your finances. In this video you’ll see students Katy, Olga Ellie and Jamie explore these issues as they talk with Bobby about their experiences of living in shared rentals.

Download this video clip.
Skip transcript

Transcript

BOBBY SEAGULL
When you go to uni or move away from home to take up a job elsewhere in the country, it's very likely that you will, for part of the time at least, be in a shared rental accommodation with other young people. This can present a number of challenges. Let's explore the experiences these guys have had in their shared rentals.
So I want to ask you, first of all, when did you start your property search?
ELLIE
I started mine for the second year, kind of around just before Christmas. Because I think there was a lot of pressure to find a house, because they were, all the good ones were going. Which I kind of later realised was probably not the best idea
JAMIE
Yeah, we started looking around just after Christmas, which turned out to be one of the biggest mistakes we made. Everyone had pretty much everything sorted beforehand, so we were looking for about three months before we found our second best property. We actually lost out on quite a few of the first ones that we wanted to go for.
Turned out for the better, as it turns out. 65 quid a week, so it wasn't too bad. But yeah, definitely get on that early, so.
KATY
Yeah, I think, obviously in first year, I went into halls. So that was sorted out kind of once you get your offer you start applying for them and it's sorted out by that. And then for second year, it was, you know you're going to go into a house share. And I think it was around December time, because that was a thing. Everyone says, oh, the good houses are going, and you don't want to get left with the rubbish ones.
So it was probably a little bit too soon, because I think sometimes you compromise, especially after first year. You don't really know people that well, and you probably go and move in with people, thinking you're going to work well as a group. But then actually for the time it comes into fair sharing, you think those are the people who probably would have worked better in a shared accommodation situation.
BOBBY SEAGULL
So what were the other key factors in your search? For example, size, location, security, or any others you can think of.
OLGA
I actually went for location. I think location was the key for me, because I wanted to be at university fast enough. And I didn't think that much about security at that point of time, but later on I realised that it's worth it to keep security in mind. And it can be quite challenging, because you don't know the location where you're going. Probably you don't know the city, so I think it's difficult to keep everything in mind.
KATY
Mine was definitely location. I wanted to be, everyone wanted to be not too far of a walk from uni, so you wouldn't have to get up too early before your 9 o'clock lectures. And I probably didn't take into account security. Our thing was that we wanted a house that looked nice. So you walked in, it wasn't like a typical student house and dirty. And, I mean, in hindsight having a secure house is probably the most important thing, but you kind of go for the look of what looks clean.
ELLIE
In hindsight, I made a lot of mistakes with my friends this year. We found a property kind of last minute at the end of term in December. There was a lot of things going on for all of us, so we didn't have much time collectively to look around. And we were desperate because of the whole pressure of, you've got to get a good house now. You've got to get a good house now.
And we didn't really know what to ask, which I think is something that needs to be kind of addressed is before you go house hunting, know the questions that you need to ask because there's a lot of inexperience. And we've discovered now we've moved in that there are problems with the landlord. And the house is really not great, and there's a lot of problems with it and stuff. And we didn't really think what was the standard that we were looking for. And so in hindsight, I'd definitely make a list of things to ask and scour for a good place.
BOBBY SEAGULL
Did any of you have a household bank account?
KATY
I did, yes, in my final year. Which worked, I would really recommend. It worked really well if you're with people who you kind of all work in the same way and you're a good friendship group. And we had one person that took sole responsibility of it. So he set it up and every ... we'd work out on what was affordable for everyone.
So for some people it made sense with, at the beginning of every term, we'd put an agreed amount in after working out a budget. Some people, like, I found myself it worked out actually putting a monthly amount in was better. And it covered just things like the direct debits, which were like the electricity, the Virgin media if you wanted that, and then for shopping, so toilet rolls.
So there was never - it's your turn to buy the toilet roll. No, I got it last time. No, I got it this time. It'd be, OK, we've run out of toilet roll. Someone, I'd often go to Costco or somewhere with my mum at the beginning of term, and I'd get like the massive amount. And that would come off the amount I put in the joint account.
Or cleaning products, we'd go and do a big shop and get all the cleaning products for the house. So then it can be, so then it's nobody's personal responsibility to be like, oh, I've bought this now. Everyone owes me a pound. I think it stops a lot of potential arguments.
BOBBY SEAGULL
Good. Did you find other ways to pool spending and economise, much like what you mentioned, Katy?
JAMIE
I think one of the main things is sort of like have a set thing of what everyone contributes towards. So in my household, it was milk, butter, washing up liquid, stuff like that, the little essentials that you'll need day to day that people didn't necessarily think about, I think. But a few quid every now and then, and if everyone, as long as everyone's sort of contributing a little bit towards that. That's usually fine, that's usually more than you need to do.
OLGA
I think besides shopping and finance, the big issue is cleaning in a shared accommodation. So what we did, we had the list on the wall, on the fridge basically in the kitchen, where everybody puts his or her own name on the list. And we knew the date when that particular person is responsible for cleaning the kitchen or other common areas, which worked very well.
BOBBY SEAGULL
So was your landlord responsive when you had issues to raise?
KATY
Mine was pretty good, actually. And I think especially in one year where it was through actually an agency, so the landlord let out the accommodation through an agency. So there was always somebody in an office that could take your calls, so they couldn't really avoid you. But one year was a kind of chasing email, especially with the landlord, trying to get his attention.
JAMIE
Yeah. We have a pretty good landlord this year. They come around quite often just to have a little look around, say, oh, do you need this painted? Do you need the coffee table replaced? Any thing like that. And really worth it for the money we're actually paying, and probably going above and beyond what they should be doing, so.
ELLIE
My landlord's the opposite. I've been there for, well, a couple of weeks now, I think, we moved in. And it's a nightmare. So, yeah, I'd definitely be looking out for somewhere with a better landlord next time.
BOBBY SEAGULL
Did you get your deposit back quickly and were there any issues? And again for you, in your first year, did you get your deposit back quickly?
JAMIE
First year wasn't so much an issue. I'm actually going into the same house that I was in this year to next year. So they basically just said that deposit basically stays. You don't have to worry about it. But for the most part, yeah. Just sign a piece of paper and they give it straight back.
KATY
Yeah. I would just say make sure that you get into the deposit protection scheme, because then you are guaranteed to not get ripped off by, everything's kind of checked before. Because I think that's been history where people, some landlords have come around and said, actually, I'm going to take off this because you've got that mark on the wall. So I'm going to charge you this for a decorator to come in and do the whole thing. So I think it's a little bit safer.
BOBBY SEAGULL
OK. So finally, what were the best and the worst aspects of your shared rental experience?
OLGA
The best aspect was that I could afford it, because I was based in a foreign country and otherwise I just couldn't manage it financially. And also, I had people around me which I could refer to with some questions, which was, I was feeling quite safe.
And the worst aspect is definitely whoever you live with is difficult. They're all people. They're all different. And yourself is not an angel as well, so I think it's always an issue to live with other people. And, again, you just have to compromise.
JAMIE
One of the things I think, it's been brought up already by Olga, was just the fact that it needs to be balanced out. Like, if one person's doing everything they tend not to feel appreciated or that they're doing more than they're actually worth doing. It just needs to be divided up. You're all living in that house so everyone keeps it clean, everyone keeps it tidy. If you're doing a big meal then every now and then just share the load. Just make sure that one person is doing everything for them, so.
KATY
So the best bit is obviously the fact that you've got your independence and you're living with your friends. And you get to pick who you live with you know, and it's fun.
Obviously the worst bit was probably the fact that one year there was seven girls, and a lot of us had partners and stuff as well and constantly have different friends coming to visit over the weekend. So there's a lot of people around, and they don't always have the same standards in terms of hygiene, or they maybe like borrow some of your food and not put it back.
But at the end of the day the fun that you then have as a group of friends did outweigh that if you find people that you get on with and work well with. And it can be a really good thing. It's not all bad. Just accept that not everyone is as clean as you'd like them to be, or however your mum's house is.
BOBBY SEAGULL
OK. Thank you all for sharing your experiences.
JAMIE
You're welcome.
End transcript
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
 
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Activity 6  How will your budget change?

By signing in and enrolling on this course you can view and complete all activities within the course, track your progress in My OpenLearn. and when you have completed a course, you can download and print a free Statement of Participation - which you can use to demonstrate your learning.

Click on 'SIGN IN to enrol' to get started.

You can find out more about registering and OpenLearn in our FAQs.
MMMYA_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has over 40 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus