Living in University halls

Coming to university might be the first time that you have lived with anyone other than your immediate family.

Even for those who have experienced living with others before, moving into a new home with people that you do not know can still be very off-putting and living in a hall of residence or student house/flat may be a new experience for you.

Even if you are a postgraduate student who has previously experienced living in University residences, you are still likely to be living with an entirely new group of people. Your neighbours, however, are likely to become some of your closest friends during your time at University and understanding and respecting their needs and space is key to hassle-free living.

Consideration in shared facilities

In shared living accommodation, space is often limited. Communal space such as kitchens or shared bathroom/shower facilities are provided for everyone's use, therefore it is essential to develop good relationships with your neighbours and make sure the space is equally divided amongst residents and not dominated by individuals.

Neither you or your neighbours will want to shower or bathe in dirty facilities, therefore make sure that you clean up after yourself in communal areas, so that fellow students in the flat/house can use the facilities with the degree of cleanliness that you would expect to find.

If you experience problems with one of your neighbours and you have tried to talk to them in a calm and polite manner, the chances are that they will not realise they have caused you a problem and will be apologetic and adapt their behaviour accordingly. If this form of mediation does not resolve the issue, please speak to either a Student Warden or a member of the Residences Management Team who will willingly help to resolve the problem for you.

Noise

Excessive noise is the greatest cause of friction between residents, so it's important that you think of your flatmates.

You have decided to live in a community, it is therefore important that you consider your neighbours. Things such as loud music, mobile phones and loud chatter amongst friends in the corridor or in your room can be very distracting to a student who is studying or sleeping.

You should also respect members of the local community with regards to noise levels and good behaviour.

During exam periods we ask that you are respectful and show consideration for your flatmates by keeping noise to a minimum.

Anyone found making or causing excessive noise during the exam period may be subject to the University Disciplinary Procedure.

To report excessive noise in residences during out of office hours, please contact University Security.

Once you have finished your exams you may want to celebrate! Please be mindful that although you may have finished your exams, others may still have more exams to study for.

Guests

Overnight guests are welcome to stay for a maximum of two nights a month.

Residents will be allowed one guest per room at any one time. Your guest should be booked in advance by obtaining an Overnight Guest Pass from your residences reception by 17:00, Monday to Friday only.

Cleaning

A weekly cleaning service is provided (except in the residences for families and couples) which includes the cleaning of kitchens, communal bathroom areas, corridors and entrances.

The service does not include washing-up, laundry, removal of refuse or any cleaning of your study bedroom, ensuite or adjoining bathroom. It is your responsibility to keep these areas clean. To help you with this, vacuum cleaners are provided in your house or flat. Please note, these are not to be used for clearing any spillages.

Residences aim to:

  • Clean kitchen surfaces weekly
  • Supply black bin bags weekly (halls of residences only)
  • Clean cookers and microwaves inside and out weekly
  • Clean the outside of fridges/freezers weekly
  • Wash refuse bins weekly
  • Check walls, skirting boards, cupboard doors and inside of windows/sills weekly and clean if necessary (communal areas only)
  • Clean communal bathroom areas weekly
  • Clean communal areas weekly including carpets, flooring, stairs, stairwells and glass panels

Belongings

Protecting yours and others' belongings will ensure that you live in a safe environment. So remember...

Do not let strangers come into your room/flat/house

If a stranger tries to follow you in, don't politely hold the door open for them. Instead, ask them who they are visiting. If you are not convinced, do not let them in. Suggest that they telephone the student they are visiting who can come and greet them. Your neighbours will respect you for protecting their safety rather than reproach you for questioning their friend or colleague.

Always remember to lock your study bedroom door when you are not in your room. This will safeguard your personal belongings even if you are just going to the kitchen to chat with your neighbours. Likewise, if your room is on the ground floor, check that all the windows are secure. Even though all windows are fitted with restrictors, they are still vulnerable to an opportunist thief.

Preventing mould and condensation

The main cause of mould is damp or excessive condensation. To thrive, mould needs oxygen, water and a food source such as wood or cellulose (which is found in building materials).

This means that mould tends to grow in places such as:

  • Around window frames, especially if they are made of wood.
  • In the corners of walls, wallpaper and acrylic paint.
  • In moist areas like the bathroom or kitchen.
  • In spaces where air doesn't circulate, behind furniture for example.
  • On leather and clothing.
  • In areas around fans, air conditioning units and filters.
  • In books and paper.

You may be surprised to discover that normal routines have a major effect on the moisture in your room. Cooking, steam from a boiling kettle, washing, drying clothes, having a bath or shower, even breathing can create as much as 20 pints of excess moisture every day.

Other signs are blotches of mould on walls, also perhaps a damp smell. Check behind pictures, cupboards and furniture. Clothes, shoes and books can suffer irreparable damage and the signs of mould will be obvious enough.

Mould can be dangerous as it can affect your health, causing problems like asthma, headaches and respiratory infections so you need to do what you can to reduce it.

Steps to reduce condensation and avoid mould:

  • Wipe windows that appear wet.
  • Avoid drying clothes in your room.
  • Open your window for short periods daily.
  • Ensure window vents are left open.
  • Ensure bathroom extractor fan is operating when showering.
  • Do not use kettles and / or any cooking equipment in bedrooms.