Wednesday, May 22Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

The House from Hell

When you’re looking towards your second year the matter of housing may consume your thoughts. Firstly, there is the initial struggle of working out who you can picture yourself living with, and then there is the more complicated process of choosing a house. But after the long, drawn-out process of securing your living arrangements and eventually moving in can be an exciting, fun-filled and enjoyable experience. You are able to become a more mature, wise and well-rounded individual as you embark into adulthood; this is, at least, exactly what I expected when I first moved in. Yes, being a student house you do expect some teething problems but what neither my housemates nor myself envisioned was to one day discover a month’s worth of rain cascading into our house.

First of all we discovered that the ceiling was leaking in one of the bedrooms; with a look of horror we noticed that the laptop had born most of the water for the last two hours but, thankful, we asked ourselves what more could go wrong? Perhaps we were a little optimistic, as shortly after we discovered that in fact more could go wrong. A trip to the bathroom made us aware that the toilet and the shower were overflowing…

However this was just the beginning of our worries as we then discovered an unwanted luxury, a swimming pool in the bottom bedroom.

Yes, you did not misread that, a swimming pool of SEWAGE (okay… drain water would be a more accurate description). This is the moment when you really realise what type of characters you live with; between us we laughed, cried and had a tantrum.

Not only is this the house from hell but we soon learnt that we also had the landlord from hell. The landlord that claimed to live ‘far far away’ has actually been building a house in our back garden. Unfortunately we only realised this as my housemate accidentally flashed him whilst getting changed.

With our series of issues mounting ever higher we discovered that a Dominoes pizza would solve all our problems. On a more serious note, experiencing such a dilemma and lacking experience in this area, the ASC services at the SU provide the best advice and legal expertise to address lots of problems, even one as severe as ours. A council inspection has now been arranged and further action is soon to be taking place. If, like ourselves, you find yourself in such a situation, or one that might be deemed even worse, then make ASC your first point of contact.

So maybe we have not become the most mature and wise students embarking on our first taste of adulthood, but we have learnt many things along the way; such as: how to plunge your toilet, how to bleach the bottom of the shower, how to dehumidify a dungeon-esque bedroom and, most importantly, how not to stay calm in a flooding situation.