r8 - 19 Apr 2010 - 15:18:34 - SusieBurdettYou are here: Astrophysics Wiki >  WelcomeToExeter Web  >  RelocationInfo > HousingExeter

Housing & Accommodation in Exeter

Arrival

Arrival in a new place without somewhere to stay can be tough. So you've booked your tickets and you know the date that you're arriving in Exeter, but where do you go from airport/train or bus station? Organising accommodation whilst out of the city or the country even can be somewhat of a nightmare with many agencies unwilling to give you the time of day until you arrive.

Temporary Accommodation

When I arrived in Exeter I was lucky to be offered a room with a staff member on a short term basis. People have told me that they stayed in hostels, or at someone's place whilst they were away.

I personally would recommend emailing the group, prior to your arrival, letting people know who you are and roughly when you will be arriving. This not only is a good introduction to yourself for existing members, but with any luck, someone will be travelling during the dates that you arrive and may be willing to offer you a room or a bed on a temporary basis until you organise something more permanent.

If however you're too shy to do that, then try first asking your immediate supervisor if they know of anyone travelling, if they can ask the group on your behalf or even if they know of any way of finding temporary accommodation. They will more than likely point you here though smile

The University also has temporary housing available to students. As a postdoc I didn't actually try to make use of this service, but have heard rumours that they also help postdocs. Try the housing pages of the University:

You can also try emailing them.

Finding more permanent accommodation

I spent quite some time searching for housing when I first arrived in Exeter and due to a bad first experience spent even more time looking again, so I am somewhat of a (reluctant) expert. NOTE: The property market in the UK moves phenomenly fast. 3 days! Don't sit on something and think that you will call tomorrow. Call yesterday. Don't see a property and take a week to decide, it will be gone!

Cheap ways:

Northcott House: You can try visiting Northcott House on campus and asking them for help. From what I hear (and this may be wrong) but they prefer to help students over staff and postdocs. Inside the doors of Northcott House there is also a noticeboard which has advertisements of rooms or flats to rent. These advertisements actually need to be approved by someone at Northcott House before they can be posted so may be more reputable.

University noticeboard: The University has a noticeboard that advertises things like housing and furniture free of charge. You can consult this page for flats and/or rooms. However the problem with this is that you need to have an internal University of Exeter account. If you ask someone in the group nicely they may look for you. http://www.its.ex.ac.uk/noticeboard/

The paper: Obtain copies of the local papers where the housing is advertised. Contrary to popular opinion the major papers don't (in my experience) appear to include things like housing. So stick to LOCAL papers like the Exeter Times or the Express and Echo. The Express and Echo does both a property to rent and a property to buy section on Tuesdays and Thursdays, respectively. DO NOT miss these days if you're serious about house hunting. Their listings can be viewed online at http://classifieds.thisisexeter.co.uk/ThisIsClassifieds/www/default.aspx?p24=GeneralClassifieds&p25=GeneralClassifieds&p28=THISISEXETER

On the web: Some useful websites include:

More Expensive Ways

The more expensive option is of course agencies. An agency will typically charge you an "application fee" which is dependent on the agency and also on the number of applicants. I found that an agency fee for one person was of the order 70-120. I heard a rumour that agencies may also charge a one month fee as well. I never found this to be the case, but may simply have been lucky.

BEWARE: some agencies told me that they couldn't help me unless I had lived in the UK for a period of 6 months first! [not sure where they would like me to live for the first six months!] Check with an agency how they handle "foreigners" BEFORE booking inspections so that you don't waste your time.

Some websites for agencies:

Some agencies include:

  • Lemans
  • Bradleys
  • Force and Sons
  • Bellvoir Lettings
  • Star
  • Cardens

Or if you're stuck, walk down North and South streets which are "real estate streets" of town.

Shared Accommodation

Those looking for shared accomodation (most likely to be grad students) can look on the university noticeboard (http://www.its.ex.ac.uk/noticeboard/) where students place ads for housemates. The university also produces an accommodation list towards the end of each month which can be useful, although is mainly aimed at groups of students who plan to share and are looking for an entire house. University accomodation is also available, e.g. the self-catering Bonhay House or the very nice studio flats at King Edward Studios.

(not from me and not sure if still applicable?)

You can also try fish4rent above.

Areas

Exeter housing is in "housing estates", sort of like neighborhoods where all the houses look the same.

  • Common places where people here live (if in Exeter city)
  • Pennsylvania (suburban, quiet, semidetached houses)
  • lower Pennsylvania (lots of students, rowhouses/terraced houses)
  • Stoke Hill (similar to Pennsylvania)
  • Quayside (more modern apartments)
  • St. Leonards (suburban, quiet, close to city centre)
  • St. Thomas/Exwick (across river)
  • City centre

Important things to look for in your housing

Council Tax

The council tax imposed by the City of Exeter council will likely be your biggest expense. Properties fall into different bands based on location and their value. The more expensive properties pay higher council tax. Ask about council tax band at inspections! Single occupancy in a particular house/flat is entitled to a discount by the council, make sure that you ask about this when you register.

Postgraduate students are exempt. You will need to tell the Council that you are exempt and will need a letter on University headed paper saying that you are exempt. This can be done at Northcote House.

Meters

Most places have electricity and gas on a meter, but it doesn't hurt to ask anyway. Some places are subdivided by the landlord and you may not actually pay for what you use. Check this. Some places also have coin meters, where you "top up" your meter at the local SPAR and plug the meter key into the wall. Not my idea of a fun time, and if you forget to top-up then too bad.

Water: Don't assume that the water is on a meter. A lot of places are not! You could be spending 12 a month on a meter or up to 80 for one not on a meter. Ask first if the places is on a meter, if it isn't then ask what you are likely to spend on water a month or whether the landlord would consider getting a meter. 50-80 a month for single occupancy is ridiculous and you will never use that! With 2 or 3 people who like to take baths all the time, maybe a non-meter is OK, but this will depend on your circumstances.

Parking

If you're lucky your new place will come complete with car space, but don't count on it. Doesn't hurt to ask. Parking in the city otherwise is by permit which is about 12 per year I believe. Parking also operates on a first come first serve basis. Parking outside of the city doesn't necessarily require a permit, but check with your landlord/agency. If you have a car space, then you are not entitled to a permit = this may be an important factor with a multiple-car household.

Setting up House

Furniture

You may need to buy furniture to setup your house. The nearest IKEA is in Bristol - 90 miles away. They will deliver up to 500 worth of furniture for 40 + 1 per mile (130 delivery fee!!!!).

You can also get furniture from Argos (next to Sainsbury's) from a catalogue and delivered for 4.95. Check the sizes in the catalogue though. I swear that they delivered me doll furniture!

You can also buy furniture and house hold items relatively cheaply at "The Range" http://www.therange.co.uk/scat/ourstores which is in Haven Banks next to the bowling alley (near the Quay).

Second Hand furniture:

Try:

Other

Household items like a kettle, bath mat, coking utensils etc you can buy (cheaply) from places like Poundland/ Pound Stretcher (both on Sidwell st). You can also try the Range in Haven Banks, or indeed argos.

For more expensive alternatives you can find at "Habitat", Lakelands ltd, Debenhams etc.

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