Exeter - Renting in the private sector (non-university-owned accommodation)

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getupkid
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Hello,

In September, I'll be moving to Exeter to start a PhD. There have been a lot of threads about university-owned accommodation, but I was wondering whether there are any Exeter students here that can give me some advice about renting in the private sector. I've only visited Exeter once, when I came for my interview, and it seemed like a lovely place. However, I'm not very clued up on the area and I've got a few questions. If anyone can help me with them or give any general advice, I'd really appreciate it!

1. What places in Exeter or surrounding areas are pleasant to live in? I'd like to hear about particular streets, areas of town, or villages and towns nearby that people think are good places to live. I'm not bothered about whether the areas are particularly "studenty" (in fact, I think I'd prefer to avoid areas with masses of student accommodation), but any/all recommendations would be great. I have a car, so transport isn't really a problem.

2. What places in or around Exeter are unpleasant to live in? Are there any dodgy areas that should be avoided?

3. What estate agents in Exeter would you particularly recommend? Are there any that you have had a bad experience with or heard negative things about?

4. Where do you search for rental property advertisements? Being elsewhere in the UK at the moment, I can't really look in Post Office windows and places like that, so I'm really thinking that I will need to rely on the internet. At the moment I've been looking on RightMove, GumTree and StudentPad, although I'm not expecting to be able to find somewhere until a bit nearer the time.

5. If you rent in the private sector in Exeter and you don't mind saying, how much rent are you paying (it would help to know how many bedrooms your house/flat has too, so I can work out typical costs!).

6. If postgraduate students live a reasonable distance away from campus, is there a possibility to get a parking permit at the university? I understand parking is pretty hectic at Exeter (as with all campus universities it seems!). My PhD funding comes with some paid teaching duties attached, and I'm not sure whether this counts as being an employee of theirs or not.

Phew, sorry, lots of questions! If anyone can help with any of these questions or provide any other advice, it would be tremendously appreciated.
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im in a coma
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1. Mountpleasant is quite nice. Some parts are very studenty but it is a bit more relaxed, quiet and family ish than others. I'm living there this year and next and we've had plenty of PhD students join us, and I think a lot of nearby houses are full with masters and PhD students as well.

2. I would personally avoid Victoria St and Springfield Rd. The council should give the whole street free new recycling bins the place is always littered with rubbish. It comes across quite studenty as well and is supposed to be like living in halls for another year. I'm sure this will upset someone though having said this!

4. Plenty are advertised on the university noticeboard.
http://www.its.ex.ac.uk/noticeboard/ if you don't have a username for IT Services yet though you won't be able to read it.

5. I pay £60 a month and the landlord has held this for us next year as we're staying there again. 4 rooms, about 20 mins from Uni. We have to pay all bills ourselves though. I would say 70-80 is typically your average.

6. The case for undergraduates are that you have to be either 1.5 miles or kilometres away from the university as the crow flies - probably the former.
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sophisticated
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(Original post by im in a coma)
1. Mountpleasant is quite nice. Some parts are very studenty but it is a bit more relaxed, quiet and family ish than others. I'm living there this year and next and we've had plenty of PhD students join us, and I think a lot of nearby houses are full with masters and PhD students as well.

2. I would personally avoid Victoria St and Springfield Rd. The council should give the whole street free new recycling bins the place is always littered with rubbish. It comes across quite studenty as well and is supposed to be like living in halls for another year. I'm sure this will upset someone though having said this!

4. Plenty are advertised on the university noticeboard.
http://www.its.ex.ac.uk/noticeboard/ if you don't have a username for IT Services yet though you won't be able to read it.

5. I pay £60 a month and the landlord has held this for us next year as we're staying there again. 4 rooms, about 20 mins from Uni. We have to pay all bills ourselves though. I would say 70-80 is typically your average.

6. The case for undergraduates are that you have to be either 1.5 miles or kilometres away from the university as the crow flies - probably the former.
Surely you mean £60 a week?!?!?
OP - I agree with what this poster has said about Vic street and Springfield Road. Avoid avoid avoid. There's so much litter lying around there, and rowdy people out on the streets and parties going on etc. My recommendation is to find somewhere in Mount Pleasant or Pinhoe area, or possibly even St Thomas if you have a car.
This year I'm paying £68 a week for my house, which is including the water. Next year the rent isn't going up but we don't get the water included. I live in a 4 person house on Monks Road (Mount Pleasant) and we have a large kitchen/diner, lounge, 4 double bedrooms and a nice bathroom with power shower and seperate loo. Its really nice you get more for your money the further you are from the town/Uni.
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im in a coma
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Haha, yes indeed £60 a week, £268 pcm. Agreed about getting more for your money.
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romeosbitch
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I live in oxford road at the moment and whilst the actual road itself isn't dodgy as soon as you leave the road you are met with junkies and tramps and generally the short of people who count hanging around outside co-op as a hobby. It's a 6 bed house and I'm paying £84 a week, not including bills!
Next year we are moving to monks road, much cheaper £60 something including water, and a nicer area i think. Lots of students but not particularly studenty.

Estate agent wise I think your best bet would be to find a private landlord, I'm with star students at the moment and they are very good in terms of sorting out any problems but we seem to be paying much more for it.
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Sephrenia
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They gave Vic/Springfield New recycling bins? I would never have guessed judging by the state of the ones in the street *shakes head*
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Persipan
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If what you're looking for is just a flat on your own in Exeter then I'd say look in the Express and Echo (local paper) - especially the classifieds rather than the agents' adverts on a Tuesday - as you'll find the cheapest flats there.

In terms of areas, I personally like living in the city centre, but areas like Heavitree and St Thomas are nice sort of suburban bits of town, and less studenty than St James or Mount Pleasant. St Leonards is lovely but pricey. What you could think about, though, is living out of town somewhere like Dawlish or Exmouth, where the rents are lower (and you're by the seaside). The only thing I'd say there is make sure the landlord intends to rent year-round and doesn't plan to chuck you out in the summer to use the flat as a holiday let.

Info on car parking is here - http://www.exeter.ac.uk/about/parking/parking2.shtml - although doing a PhD you may count as staff from a parking point of view. One thing I will say is that as a city Exeter isn't the easiest place to find parking generally - lots of Victorian terraced houses. I've personally never had or needed a car in Exeter as it's very easy to get around, though obviously depending on your research commitments you may need to hurtle hither and thither, I suppose.
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Persipan
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Oh, and for reference I live in a sort-of flat close to the city centre in Exeter (I have a bedroom, a kitchen/living room and my own shower room but the shower room is halfway down the stairs) and it costs me £400 a month in rent - about £485 a month including bills.
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getupkid
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Hi everyone,

Sorry for the belated reply! This is such helpful information, thank you all so much for responding. It's really helpful to have information on places to avoid too - it's really difficult to research the area when you don't anywhere nearby.

Persipan - I was actually considering somewhere like Dawlish or Exmouth, as inexpensive properties kept coming up on RightMove in those sort of areas. It seems like you can get a decent-looking one-bedroomed flat for about the same price as a room or a bedsit in Exeter. Do you know if many students live this far out, or do most stay in Exeter and its suburbs? Where you are living sounds like the sort of thing and budget I'm after, and I want somewhere self-contained (I don't want to share living/kitchen facilities with other people). Was it hard to find somewhere like that for that price in Exeter?

romeos***** - I think I would prefer to rent with a private landlord than an agency, I agree it is a lot cheaper! Whilst doing my undergraduate degree I rented from a private landlord, but for the past two years I've been renting from an agency. I had to pay some ridiculous "administration fee" at the start of the contract, and I'm sure the rent for where I live would be less if it was managed privately. That and the fact that I hate dealing with estate agents! Can you (or anyone else) recommend anywhere I should look for adverts from private landlords? Obviously, not living in Exeter, I can't check the usual places like newsagent windows for ads, and I can only think of Gumtree as a place online where private landlords advertise. Can anyone think of anywhere else I should look?

If anyone else has any more advice or tips it's still very much welcomed!

Thanks again to everyone who has responded so far.
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Persipan
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(Original post by getupkid)
Persipan - I was actually considering somewhere like Dawlish or Exmouth, as inexpensive properties kept coming up on RightMove in those sort of areas. It seems like you can get a decent-looking one-bedroomed flat for about the same price as a room or a bedsit in Exeter. Do you know if many students live this far out, or do most stay in Exeter and its suburbs? Where you are living sounds like the sort of thing and budget I'm after, and I want somewhere self-contained (I don't want to share living/kitchen facilities with other people). Was it hard to find somewhere like that for that price in Exeter?
I don't know if all that many students do live in Dawlish/Exmouth, but I know just general people who live there and like it, and it's something I've considered doing myself. Worth thinking about, anyway.

My flat I found through word of mouth - I knew I was going to have to move out of the house I was sharing, and at the same time I found out my boss was moving out of her flat where she'd lived for several years and knew the landlord and had good things to say about him. I did a swoopy thing, and now it's my flat. I didn't actually look at anywhere else, so in that sense it was pretty easy, but only because I got it sorted well in advance of really needing to, so I was spared all that.

If you can get anyone in Exeter to send you the local paper, then that'd be a good place to start, 'cos you do find the cheapest flats in the classifieds there.
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daiseh95
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Have you found any accommodation yet? I have a room for rent in central exe, it's a one bed maisonette but in group of flats with other masters and PhD students!
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mackemforever
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(Original post by daiseh95)
Have you found any accommodation yet? I have a room for rent in central exe, it's a one bed maisonette but in group of flats with other masters and PhD students!
Given that they were looking for a room nearly 8 years ago, I think they might have sorted it out by now...
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