Everything you need to know about flatting in Dunedin The OUSA ...

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Everything you need to know about flatting in Dunedin The OUSA ...

The OUSA Student Supportflatting magEverything you need to knowabout flatting in DunedinOtago University Students’ AssociationOUSA Flatting Mag – 1


Contents040608091011121416181920212223252626Finding the Perfect FlatSuburb ReviewRent PricesGetting LegalBondRights and ResponsibilitiesFlatmatesThe OUSA Student SupportCentre Flatting AgreementBudgetHow to Make a Chores WheelSetting up ShopInsuranceHow to Stop Your GreatAunty Mildew From Moving InI’ve Got the Power (Bill)FoodEco FlattingSerious Tenancy DelusionsImportant ContactsIntroWhen you go flatting, do so with your eyes wide open! You will make some amazingfriends and have a great time. But it can also go badly, much like the movie Alien, wheresomething bursts forth from your chest one night, and now hangs around the flat, leavingacid like messes and eating your friends. This magazine contains all of the information youneed, so you can have that amazing experience.Editor: Matt TuckerDesigner: Andrew JacombsPublished by: Critical PublicationsPublications Manager: Julia HollingsworthCompiled & written by:OUSA Student Support Centre.We at OUSA Student Support deal with every flatting issue under the sun. We see whathappens when things go pear shaped, so we know a thing or two about this stuff. Readthese pages carefully and plan ahead. Remember, if things go wrong, we’re here for you,so feel free to drop in and see us.MattyManagerOUSA Student Support CentreOUSA Flatting Mag – 3


FINDING THE PERFECT FLATSTOP!And don’t panic. Before you dash off to signup for that scummy flat 6 months in advance,take some time to think about your options.There’s no need to rush – Dunedin has morethan enough flats for you all, and the bestbargains come to those who wait. Why live ina shit hole when you could live in a mansion inthe valley for the same price!Step 1BrowseThe University’s Accommodation Office isthe best place to go. They give out lists ofvacancies in existing flats and whole flats forrent (available online too: otago.ac.nz/flats),or give Trade Me a go! You don’t have to pay aletting fee, so if an agency asks for one, lookelsewhere. Agencies may try to convince youthat flats are in limited supply. We promisethis is not true.Going Flat HuntingContact the flat’s landlord. They will talk to thetenants and organise a time for you to look atit. Current tenants might growl at you if youturn up unannounced asking to look throughtheir flat. Set a budget and don’t pay morethan you can afford!Quality ControlGo to housingstars.co.nz and see if your prospectiveflats have STAR ratings. If they don’t,that could be a bad sign! Have a think aboutthese quality indicators, and use your eyes andnose. If it smells damp and you can see mould,you definitely won’t love it in winter.Step 2Step 3Step 4Step 5Know Your RightsMake sure you know your rights and responsibilities(check them out on page 11) beforeyou sign that lease. If you can’t afford it, don’ttake it.OUSA Flatting Mag – 4


Key Quality IndicatorsNoise– How soundproof is the flat?– How close are the neighbours?– Is there another flat upstairs? Can you hear elephants overhead?– Is there anything noisy nearby, like a pub, bottle bank or busyintersection?– How close is the lounge to the bedrooms? Will there be noiseproblems?Structure– Does it look like it might blow over in the wind?– Does it look like it will stand up to an earthquake?– Do all the windows and doors close and seal properly? Double glazedwindows are amazing.– Are there holes in the walls, roof, floor, doors etc?– If the place hasn’t been looked after structurally, the landlord isprobably a neglectful loser who will take advantage of you.Warmth– How will you keep warm and how much will it cost you?– Heatpumps are great if there’s insulation.– Fireplaces are good if you can get cheap wood.– High ceilings = harder to heat.– Sun?– Curtains?– Weird smells can indicate dampness.– Look up. Peeling paint and mould indicate a damp dive.Going it Alone?If you’re a lone flat hunter looking to move in with randoms,how do you check out the flat and its inhabitants? Here are a fewquick tips:– Look in the recycling bin. Is it sporting half the stock of superliquor?– What is the kitchen like? Is there grime you’d need a pick axe toremove?– Are there any bitchy notes lying around?– Think of some key questions to ask prospective flatmates thatwill help you identify any major areas of potential disagreement.– How clean and tidy is the place? If they couldn’t be botheredcleaning up before showing you through, they probably neverwill.– While it might seem cool to live in a party central flat, trust us, itgets old really quick.– Go with your gut. If you feel uneasy, don’t go there.Check out Speed Flatting – the easy way to find and screenpotential flatties. It’s like Speed Dating, but for flats! SpeedFlatting is hosted by OUSA and the Accommodation Office at thestart of each semester – keep and eye out for posters or emailsupport@ousa.org.nz to stay in the loop.Space– How big a room do you need to fit your stuff in?– Do the rooms have enough power points for you to plug in all yourgadgets?– If there’s a closet sized room, who’ll get it? Will everyone pay thesame price per room?– Is there plenty of fridge and cupboard space for everyone’s food?– Is the lounge the right size and shape for everyone to sit and watchTV comfortably?– Do you need off street parking? Parking around campus is limited!Keepin’ Clean– Is the washing machine an antique?– How will you dry your clothes? Dryer = expensive– If there’s mould or slime in the bathroom, run away now.– Is the toilet in the bathroom? This can be a problem in the morningswhen everyone’s getting ready.– How big is the hot water cylinder? Will you all get decent showers?Request a hot water cylinder wrap!OUSA Flatting Mag – 5


SUBURB REVIEWInner campus01This is the area closest to Uni, betweenGeorge St and Anzac Ave in one direction,and Frederick to Howe St on the other.Pros:– Obviously, you’re super-close to campus –A+ for convenience.– As so many students live here, it’s a bit of asocial hub.– Town is fairly closeCons:– Many students in this area are grubby andnoisy. You may face walking to schoolthrough broken glass and chunky mixed vegwith 2 min noodles.– There isn’t much common space, andthere’s little or no greenery.– This is the most expensive area a studentcan live in – a lot of flats here are overpricedfor how good they are.– Because you don’t have to walk far each day,you don’t get much exercise.The Valley and beyond02In this category, we’ve included NorthEast Valley, Woodhaugh, Pine Hill andRavensbourne together because they havesimilar pros and cons.Pros:– It’s cheap!– “Real people” live around here as well asstudents. It has a homey vibe. Good for petowners.– North East Valley has a great bus service andlots of other amenities. Buses run every 15minutes on weekdays during work hours.– Some nice views and greenery.– You will be known as a Valley girl/guy.Cons:– A bit of a walk to Uni – 15 -25 minutes (burnoff that fresher 5!)– Much of the houses in these areas are coldold-style Dunedin villas which tend torepel the sun. Expect to pay a bit more forheating.City Rise03This area runs from Pitt to Stuart St oneway, and from Arthur St/Royal Terraceto George St the other way.Pros:– In the lower City Rise area, you’re prettyclose to uni, from 12 minutes walk upwards,depending how far up the hill you’re living.– There are some very reasonably priced andgood quality flats in this area.Cons:– Getting home involves a vertical hill climb.– You’re a little further from major amenities.– Dunedin’s weather can mean an icy skid toschool on winter mornings.Octagon to Oval(aka Centre City)This area includes Princess St, and04 the streets which run off it up the hill,including High St, Stafford St and Carroll St.Pros:– It’s cheap!– Apartments can be pretty sweet– Many of the flats are old villas, but they getsun.– If you don’t live too far up the hill, you canwalk almost the whole way to school underthe cover of shop verandas – a plus on rainyDunedin days.– Buses run along princes street to uni (andback) every 30 minutes weekdaysCons:– It’s a little further if you want to walk – from20 minutes upwards.– It’s harder to feel safe walking at night in thisarea.– Apartments can be fairly expensive.South D05Down past the oval, out towards thebeaches is a mystical place calledSouth Dunedin (or just South D, to those inthe know). It’s home to St Clair and St Kildabeaches, Mitre 10 Mega, Pak n Save, the bigWarehouse and Carisbrook stadium.Pros:– It’s super cheap – some real bargains outthere!– Walk to the beach on the weekend (insummer, at least).– It’s away from the ‘Student Ghetto’ so it’sgenerally cleaner, tidier, and quieter.– There are lots of buses to bring you in to unievery day– You can do your groceries at Pak n Save and,well, save!Cons:– Walking isn’t so much an option so you’llneed to car pool, bike or learn to love buses.– Your taxi home at 4am on Saturday morningwill be more expensive.– It’s still South D.OUSA Flatting Mag – 6Copyright Mr. Thinktank


0203010405OUSA Flatting Mag – 7


RENT PRICESGeneral rule: The further from campus, the lower the rent. So you’ll get a much nicer flat for yourmoney if you’re willing to walk a bit further to uni or brave the Dunedin buses.Inner CampusRest of North Dunedin$700$700$6005+ BR$600Total Weekly Rent for Flat$500$400$300$200$1004 BR3 BR$500$400$300$200$1005+ BR4 BR3 BR20072008200920102007200820092010These graphs are based on rent averages from the Department of Building and Housing and demonstrate the price trends.OUSA Flatting Mag – 8


GETTING LEGALWe Found the Perfect Flat…Now What?Once you’ve decided on the flat you want, there are a few things you’ll need to sort out.LeasesThe legal contract between you and yourlandlord is called your Tenancy Agreement orLease. These are very important and it’s vitalyou know what you’re signing.Fixed versus Periodic Leases– Periodic leases have no end date. You canleave it by giving three weeks notice. Periodicleases are pretty rare for flats aroundthe uni area.– Fixed term leases have a specified end date(eg 31 st December), so you’re stuck with theflat until then.Worst case scenario: soon after moving in, yourealise that your flatmate is a loser. He/shewon’t move out, so you do. But you can’t findsomeone to take your place in your old flat,so you end up paying rent there and at yournew flat too.In North Dunedin, most leases are fixedterm, and run from January 1 st to December31 st . You have to keep paying until the end ofthe lease, even if you’re not living in the flat,unless you can find someone to take yourplace.Joint versus IndividualLeasesYou and your flatmates will either have aseparate lease each (individual leases),or one lease with everyone’s names on it(a joint lease).Unless you have individual leases, the lawtreats you all as one tenant, or ‘jointly andseverally liable’. This means that you can beheld responsible for what your flatmates do.Worst case scenario: You and five matesfind an amazing flat. You’re the only oneavailable to sign the lease, so you go aheadand do it. But over the next few weeks theothers change their minds about the flat, andone decides to not come back to Dunedin. Asthe only person with their name on the lease,you have to pay for the whole thing – $650per week – until you find other people willingto share the flat with you.OR: You live in an amazing flat with 4friends. One night, you and 3 of your flattiesare out partying while one stays home tostudy. He falls asleep on the couch whilemaking a midnight snack of instant noodles.The pot of noodles boils dry and sets thekitchen on fire. Sleeping flattie wakes up andgets the hell out of there. Within minutes thewhole house and the one next-door are up inflames. The flatmate responsible catches thenext plane to Australia and is never heard fromagain. YOU and the other remaining flatmatesget a $1,000,000 bill from your landlord’sinsurance company. Yes, YOU have to payeven though you weren’t even there. And yes,this has happened before.Doesn’t sound fair, does it? ASK yourlandlord if you can be on individual leases.Even go along equipped with pre-printed andsigned tenancy agreements printed off theDepartment of Building and Housing website(dbh.govt.nz/pub-new-tenancy).If you do sign a joint lease, make sureyou have personal liability insurance – itwill cover your ass in some of the situationsdescribed above.BondThe landlord can legally ask for a bond that’sequivalent to up to four weeks rent.Advance rentThe landlord can ask you for up to two weeksrent in advance.Condition of flatThe landlord should make sure the flat is ina reasonably clean and tidy state when youmove in. If it’s not, talk to the landlord at thetime. Don’t assume you can just leave the flatas you found it when it’s time to move out –you may lose your bond. The same is true foryou, you have the leave the flat reasonablyclean and tidy, not commercially cleaned!OUSA Flatting Mag – 9Property inspection reportThis is a report that you and your landlordconduct before you move in. It is where anyexisting damage to the flat is noted down sothat you don’t get accused of doing it whenyou move out and lose your bond. It’s reallyimportant that you do this! If your landlordforgets, remind them, or you could end upout of pocket.Previous tenants’ stuffThe landlord is responsible for making surethat the old tenants’ stuff isn’t cluttering theflat when you move in. However, they can’tjust throw out the old tenants’ stuff. They haveto put it in storage.Recent ChangesThe Act was recently updated, here are a fewimportant things to know:– If a landlord is going to be absent from NewZealand for more than 21 consecutive days,they must appoint a New Zealand basedagent, notify their tenants of the agents’details and the Bond Centre (if a bond isheld).– New rules have been added for landlordsdealing with abandoned goods.A number of unlawful acts have been addedincluding:– Failure of the tenant to quit the premises atthe end of the tenancy without reasonableexcuse.– The tenant using the premises for unlawfulpurposes.– Exceeding the maximum number of peoplewho may reside at the property.– Landlord’s failure to comply with theirobligations regarding cleanliness, maintenance,relevant building, health and safetyregulations.– Interference with the supply of services, forexample, electricity.


BONDWhat’s a bond?It’s a safeguard in the form of money you give to your landlord. If youget behind on rent or damage your flat, your bond will go towards costrecovery. If you don’t damage the flat and leave it reasonably clean andtidy, you’ll get your bond back when you move out. The landlord mightask each flatmate for an individual bond, or might get all the flatmatesto pay one bond together.How much do you have to pay?The most you can be charged for bond is the equivalent of four weeksrent.What happens to your bond?When you pay it to your landlord, they give you a receipt, and lodgeyour bond with the Department of Building and Housing within 23working days. The Department sends you a letter when they receiveyour bond. You can ring them on 0800 737 666 to check your bond hasbeen lodged, or ask questions. If your landlord doesn’t do this, they arein trouble and you can ask for compensation.How do you get your bond back?When your tenancy ends, you or your landlord can apply to theDepartment of Building and Housing to get your bond refunded toyou. If you and your flatmates have paid into one joint bond together,you may need everyone’s signatures to get it back. It can be tough toget everyone’s signatures when you leave Dunedin in November, butit’s never a good idea to fill in a blank bond. Come and see us at OUSAStudent Support and we will work something out for you.When can the landlord keep your bond?The landlord has to give the OK before the Department of Building andHousing will give your bond back to you. The landlord can try to claimsome or all of the bond if you break or take stuff from the flat, leave itdirty or have rent owing. However, a landlord can’t claim your bond tomeet the costs of normal wear and tear to the flat.How can you dispute this?You might agree that the landlord is entitled to some or all of yourbond – if so, you and the landlord sign a form together. If the landlordwon’t agree to release your bond and you think that’s unfair, you canapply to the Tenancy Tribunal to have it sorted out. See OUSA StudentSupport for help with this.Buying out someone else’s bondIf someone is moving out of a flat and you’re taking their place, it’s OKto buy out their bond – so long as you, the old tenant and the landlordfill in a Change of Tenant form and send it to the Department ofBuilding and Housing. If you don’t send in this form, the Department ofBuilding and Housing has no way of knowing that the bond lodged bysomeone else now belongs to you, so they won’t refund it to you.I need to know more!!For more about bonds, visit www.tenancy.govt.nz or ring the Departmentof Building and Housing on 0800 836 262.OUSA Flatting Mag — 10


RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIESA brief translation of tenancy lawThe landlord cannot discriminate (as defined by the Human Rights Act) against prospective tenants.This means it doesn’t matter what you look like, where you’re from, what you believe or who youshag, you should be treated equally and with respect.TENANTS are responsible for:– Paying your bond and rent on time– Paying for your utilities like electricity, phone, gas, etc if you use them– Telling the landlord if there’s something wrong with the flat –whether it was your doing or not– Fixing (or paying for) any damage you do to the flat beyond normalwear and tear– Fixing (or paying for) any damage your visitors do– Keeping the place reasonably clean and tidy– Not letting anyone live in the flat who isn’t on the lease– Making sure nothing illegal is going down at the flatThe LANDLORD is responsible for:– Taking care of the paperwork– Giving you a receipt for your bond– Sending your bond to the Department of Building and Housing within23 working days– Making sure the flat and grounds are reasonably clean and tidy whenyou move in– Keeping the flat maintained to a reasonable state of repair – thismeans no leaks, holes, health hazards, etc– Fixing things in a timely manner if needed– Paying you back if you have to fix something urgently (but only ifyou’ve tried to contact them first and it wasn’t something you brokeby being a dick)– Paying the rates and other property costs– Trying their best to stop any of their other tenants fromdisturbing your peaceonce the heatpump arrives in April. If an increase isn’t written intoyour agreement, your rent has to stay the same the whole time. If thelandlord doesn’t fulfill the agreement, for instance, if your agreementsays that a heat pump will be installed by March and it isn’t, pop intoStudent Support and we’ll help you out.If you’re on a periodic lease, your landlord can put the rent up if theygive you 60 days notice. BUT, they can’t do this in the first 6 months ofyour tenancy, and they can’t do it again for 6 months after putting upthe rent.Getting things FixedIf something needs fixing at the flat, let the landlord know. It’s a goodidea to put things in writing as well.If the landlord doesn’t do anything you can give them a ‘10 workingdays letter’ which is official notice that they need to meet theirresponsibilities otherwise you’ll take the matter further. You can get atemplate for the letter from dbh.govt.nz/pub-sorting-out-problemsConfused?If you have questions about tenancy matters, you cancall the Department of Building and Housing’s helpline:0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262). You can also contact the OUSAStudent Support Centre for help or to ask questions. Emailhelp@ousa.org.nz, phone 479 5448 or pop into 5 Ethel Benjamin Pl.Your landlord must give notice before coming into your flatunless it’s an emergency. They have to give you:– 24 hours’ notice before coming to fix something (or sendingsomeone else to fix something, like a plumber or exorcist)– 48 hours’ notice before coming to do a flat inspection.Rent IncreasesIf you’re on a fixed-term lease the landlord can’t put the rentup unless they write it into your tenancy agreement. Theymight write something like “heatpump to be installed in April,from which point rent will increase by $5 per week” and if yousign the agreement, then you’re agreeing to pay more rentOUSA Flatting Mag – 11


FLATMATES The good, the bad and the smellyChoose CarefullyThis sounds obvious, but when you’re about togo flatting for the first time it’s easy to focusonly on the good points of your future flatmates.Look ahead: will it bother you if yourflatmates come home drunk during exams?Can they live with your loud music and fussyeating? Can you cope with seeing someoneelse’s curly pubes in the bottom of the bathtub? Differences aren’t a bad thing, so long asyou discuss in advance how you’ll make themwork in a flatting situation.Friendship KillersAll the flatmates want to save power but one.You’re wearing a 10 centimeter thick cardiethat weighs more than your bag full of tinnedtomatoes on shopping day. Flatmate number2 totters around in a sleeping bag with theirfeet zipped out. Flatmate number 3, on theother hand, has created a tropical paradise intheir bedroom using their fan heater becausethey like to wear shorts all year round.It’s a matter of priorities. Agree on howmuch you all think is reasonable to spend onpower? If you can’t agree, are some flattieswilling to pay more than others? Read thesection about power in this mag for energysavingtips.Your flatmates are stoners. The flat stinks,and you’re afraid that someone will leave theelement on and burn the place down.Can you make rules around cigarettes,alcohol, and drugs? Are they OK in individualbedrooms, outside the flat or not at all?Check whether your insurance covers youfor personal liability – if your flatmate burnsthe flat down, you’ll be covered. (NB: It’salways better not to burn the flat down if youcan avoid it)One flatmate is always behind in paying intheir share of the bills. You and your otherflatmates have to keep paying their share orthe power/phone will get cut off. You wantto talk about it with them, but they keepavoiding you.Before you go flatting, make sure you’renot committing yourself to a lifestyle youcan’t afford, and think about your futureflatmates’ spending habits. If you’re theaccount holder for the phone or power, you’llbe held responsible for paying the whole billif your flatmate can’t or won’t contribute. Toshare the risk, get different flatmates to eachput their names on different accounts. In theevent of a flat meltdown, one person won’t bestuck with all the debts.Your flatmates are just plain dirty. Theirbedrooms reek, the dishes haven’t been donefor a fortnight and there is mouse poo in yourcornflakes.Being filthy isn’t a problem in itself – it’s aproblem when you’re living with tidy people. Ifyou and your flatties have different tolerancelevels for mess, work out how to deal with itin advance. (Incidentally, if you are laying amousetrap, they actually prefer peanut butterto cheese. One alternative to setting trapscould be to introduce the feral cat populationfrom the flat down the road).Some of your flatmates like quiet, while otherslike music that rattles the windows… and thenthere’s noisy sex, thin walls and early morningstompers. If you protest, they argue that it’stheir flat too, and they’ve got a right to makethemselves feel at home.Some flats get round this problem byhaving set quiet times during the day or week,and devoting the rest of the week to noise.Your flatmate’s boyfriend has pretty muchmoved in. He eats the flat bread, has 25minute showers and makes a lot of noiseduring… err… rugby games.Talk about BF/GF visitation rights at thevery beginning. Will they contribute to billsand food? How much? How many sleepoversper week is too many?Do– Fill in a Flatting Agreement (see centerfold)and talk about all these things in advance.It’s a million times easier to have theseconversations while it’s still hypotheticaland emotions aren’t involved yet.– See Student Support for tips on having thatdifficult conversation. We can help you finda nice way to tell someone that they stink orthat their boyfriend is a dick.Don’t– Communicate via post-its. Seriously.– Wait until you’re homicidal to talk to yourflatmate about what’s bothering you.The beginning of the endMost problems can be handled with a bit ofdiplomacy, negotiation and open communication.Here are the most ineffective yetcommon ways of dealing with flat problems.OUSA Flatting Mag – 12


The Bottler – Silently seething about theproblem, personalizing everything you sayand then unexpectedly you trip their wireand it’s tears and yelling in the hallway.Playing nasty – Getting some of yourflatmates onside, so you’ve got someone tobitch about the others with.Passive aggressive – Ignoring the problem,avoiding the person that’s bothering you,slamming doors, being snarky.Being a munter – Playing practical jokes, likeputting their cellphone into lost propertyand glad wrap on the toilet seat. If you’rearguing with a munter, be sure to give yourtoothbrush a sniff test before use.None of these ‘resolution’ methods actuallylet the person who’s bothering you knowwhat’s wrong, or what they can do about it.Most people can come up with creative solutions,so long as there’s open communicationand goodwill. Approach issues as things thatneed to be worked on together, not everyoneelse’s problem.Conflict Coaching andMediationOUSA Student Support has people trained inconflict management. That is, we specialise inhelping people sort their sh#t out.Conflict coaching is where someone canhelp you figure out the best way to handle arelationship or situation that’s turning pearshaped. Mediation is like a flat meeting withsuperpowers. A mediator sits in to make surethings don’t turn into a bitch fest or fist fight.Don’t be alarmed: these things aren’t allabout sharing your inner pain and learningto love again. They’re about identifyingproblems and working out solutions in acivilized and constructive way. Talk to theOUSA Student Support Centre (479 5448 orhelp@ousa.org.nz).Flat FalloutsSometimes flat problems can’t be resolved,and someone has to move out. That’s oftenwhere it gets tricky. If you’re jointly andseverally liable, the lease sees you and yourflatmates as one tenant, so you all shareresponsibility for the flat and you’ve all got anequal right to live there. You’ve got to decidewho goes, who stays and who pays.If you decide to move out, the landlord hasthe right to ask you and/or your flatmates topay for your room until it’s filled by someoneelse. Getting someone to take your place onthe lease is called “assigning”. The landlordand your flatmates must agree to the newperson being signed onto the lease (and youbeing taken off it). This means you will needto find a replacement that is agreeable to allparties rather than picking the first personthat shows interest in the place.Worried about someone?Studying and flatting can be really stressfultimes – it’s important to look after yourself.It’s also important to look out for yourfriends. Things like depression and eatingdisorders are common in our age group. Ifyou’re worried about someone, ask somegentle questions about how they’re doing.Maybe they’ve just got a big assignment andwill be right-as-rain next week. If not, talk tosomeone at Student Health or OUSA StudentSupport. We can help you help them.Really Bad StuffThe OUSA Student Support Centre seesa small number of people whose flattingsituations have got out of control. Violence,threats, abuse or vandalism may be occurring.If you’re in a dangerous situation, getout. Then contact the police, the UniversityProctor, Women’s Refuge and/or the OUSAStudent Support Centre.OUSA Flatting Mag – 13


THE OUSA STUDENT SUPPORT CThis agreement is a guide for you and your flatmates as youplan how your flat will run. Go through it at your first flatmeeting – this should be well before you move in or evensign a lease. Communication – before you move in and whileyou’re flatting – is the key to success.Meals:Are you going to cook together? Every nightor just on weekdays? What are your food andcooking preferences? Does anyone have anyspecial dietary needs or religious requirementsguiding what they can or can’t eat?Does anyone need cooking lessons, or helpwith cooking?We agree to eat together on:Mon Tue Wed ThurFri Sat SunWe’ll make our own arrangements on:Mon Tue Wed ThurFri Sat SunShopping:Flat shopping will cover:Dinner suppliesLunch suppliesBreakfast suppliesSnack foodsFlat needs (e.g. toilet paper, oven cleaner)Other:How will we pay for the shopping?We’ll put $ into the flat accounteach weekwill pay for the shopping,then split the bill.Who will do the shopping?We’ll take turnswill do the shopping everyweekWe’ll do it togetherHow will we get the shopping home?We’ll split the cost of the taxi moneyWe’ll givesome petrolmoney to use his/her carWe’ll walk or find a free way to get theshopping homeBig eaters will pay $ more per weekthan others.Vegetarians and vegans willCleaning:Often flatmates rotate the chores each week,but sometimes each flatmate decides to takeon one job for the whole year. One way tokeep things fair is to make a chores wheel (seepage 18).Generally, the main chores are:– Kitchen: bench top, oven and stovetop,microwave, fridge and floor.– Bathroom: surfaces, basin, toilet, bath,shower, floor.– Common areas: tidy and vacuum lounge,dining area, stairs and hall.– Dishes: will the cook do their own dishes ordo you need a separate roster?– Odd jobs: putting out the rubbish andrecycling, emptying scraps bucket, washinghand towels and bath mats.– Shopping: writing the list, doing the shopping,getting it home and putting it away.– Any other jobs: at your flat, it might bethe tenants’ responsibility to take care ofthe lawn and garden or you might havefirewood to bring in.OUSA Flatting Mag – 14


ENTRE FLATTING AGREEMENTTidiness:How tidy do you agree to keep the commonareas of the house? (If you have any pet hates,now is a good time to talk about them.)Visitors:We agree on the following about visitors /girlfriends / boyfriends / randoms:Visitors can/can’t stay for meals.If they can stay, they do/don’t have to pay ashare of the meal costs.Visitors can/can’t stay overnight.If they can stay, are there any conditions? Isthere a maximum number of nights they canstay, or any nights of the week that don’t suit?Are they allowed to use the shower and heaters,or help themselves to the fridge?How will you deal with noise/mess/problemscreated by visitors?Phone, Sky and internet:Do you want:Call waiting or call minder?Individual PINS so you can tell who’s madetoll calls?Will you get Sky?Who will pay? Will flatmates who don’t paybe allowed to watch?Will you get internet access?Who will pay, and what kind of plan will youget?Noise:Do you want to make rules around:Visitors?Parties?Playing music or having the TV on?Incoming phone calls at night?Having quiet at certain times of the day/week?Electricity:Do you want to put any limits on:How much each flatmate can use heaters?How much each flatmate can use theclothes dryer?Shower lengths?Bills:Our flat agrees that:Every bill has a different person responsiblefor organising payment.The person responsible for a bill divides thetotal amongst the flatmates, collects themoney then pays the bill (making arrangementsfor times like semester breaks whenpeople are away).Each flatmate pays their share as soon asthey can.orWe will pay $ into the flat accounteach week to cover bills.Who will set up the flat account, who willhave access to it, who will set up and stopautomatic payments, and who will close theaccount at the end of the year?Disputes:As you’ll know from reading Flatting Mag fromcover to cover, communication is the bestapproach to any problem. If you can’t sort itout, try the OUSA Student Support Centre forinformation, mediation, advice and support.Contact us on 479 5448 or help@ousa.org.nz.OUSA Flatting Mag – 15


BUDGETBefore you sign that lease, work out what you can afford using our weekly budget as a guide. You canalso do this on our website using our budget calculator which adds stuff up for you! Just visit www.ousa.org.nz, click “support” and then “flatting”.Weekly IncomeEssential Weekly ExpensesOther Weekly ExpensesStudent allowance $If you’re under 24, single and living away fromhome, the most you can get on the studentallowance is approximately $167 per week(plus an accommodation supplement, max$38). This amount changes from year to year.Student loan $If you’re borrowing living costs on your loan,the most you can get if you’re single andunder 24 is approximately $169 per week.Rent $Think carefully – this will be your biggestweekly cost. How much you spend on rentdetermines how much you’ve got left over foreverything else that’s important in your life;food, going home in the holidays, going out,bus fares, coffee, whatever.Contents Insurance $Check out the insurance section (page 20) tofind out what you’ll need and where to get it.Landline Rental $Toll calls $Cell phone $Internet $Personal stuff $E.g. shampoo, tampons, contact lenses,deodorant, etc.Work $If you get a student allowance, you can earnup to approximately $203 per week beforeyour allowance is reduced. For every $1 youearn over that limit, you get $1 deducted fromyour student allowance. Find out more fromwww.studylink.govt.nz.Other $There are plenty of other ways to add toyour weekly income, such as help from yourparents, share dividends, prostituting yourbody to drug companies for trials…Total A $Car Insurance $Groceries (breakfasts, dinners andhousehold stuff) $Me and my flatmates like to eat:A Everything we can get our hands on$45-55 (each per week)B Moderately $35-45 (each per week)C Not much – we pride ourselves on beingemaciated and would rather buy into thebody image mirage than buy food. $25-35(each per week)Lunches $$15 If you’d rather buy your kai than bring alunchbox, the cheapest option is a $3 lunchfrom Clubs & Socs. If you’d like somethingmore upmarket, budget more here.Electricity $Your share will depend on how many peopleyou flat with and how energy conscious ya’llare. A very rough guide is $10-18 per week.And remember, you don’t just use moreelectricity in winter – it actually costs moreper unitTotal B $Clothes and Shoes $Transport $Do you run a car? Will you use the bus?Entertainment $E.g. going out on the town, movies, going outfor dinner, etc.Saving for Occasional Expenses $Every now and then, you’ll have to go to thedoctor, dentist, or buy cold and flu tablets.You might need to buy a bunch of stationary,a new textbook or do something during theholidays. We recommend putting $5-10 aweek aside for such things so it’s not so stressfulat the time.Other $Total C $OUSA Flatting Mag – 16


Staying out of HighInterest DebtOf course, there’s a world of things you’llwant over the year that aren’t included inthis budget: CDs, magazines, birthdaypresents, shoe polish, costumes. Themoral of the story is: think before yousign a lease. By being prepared to live 5minutes further from campus, you couldsave $20 a week.Total Income (A):$Total Expensives (B + C):$Balance(Income - Expenses):$Wondering how on earthyou’re going to survive?Come and chat to one of our friendly,non-judgmental awesome budget advisorsat OUSA Student Support. They’re trained inbudgeting and, unlike other budget advisorsaround the place, they understand thespecific needs of students. They can alsohelp you figure out whether you’re gettingall the assistance you’re entitled to and helpyou out if you’re in hardship. Email us atbudgetadvice@ousa.org.nzOne of the most important parts of surviving your time as astudent is to stay out of pointless debt. With the cost of studyinggoing up every year, and part-time jobs becoming harder andharder to find in Dunedin, it can be tempting to grab some sort ofhigh interest debt, like credit cards or store cards. But before youstart to buy flat screen TVs and laptops thinking “I’ll just pay for itlater”, consider the following.What fee’s could I be charged?Over Limit feesIf you exceed your credit limit by even 1 cent you could be stungwith fees ranging between $10-$40. As most cards allow you to goover the limit, this can really catch you out.Late payment feesEver thrown away a bill when it comes in the mail because you can’tbear to look at it? Don’t have any money to pay the credit cardthis month? You’re likely to then get charged a late payment feeof around $20 for not making the minimum payment. Be careful asyour late payment fee may take your balance over the limit, causingyou to also pay an over the limit fee that month.Balance Transfer feesEver been tempted by the attractive offer to transfer your creditcard to another company to get a rock bottom interest rate? Youmay find that that comes with another fee. Be sure to read the fineprint.Inactivity feesTrying to get rid of your card debt by not using it? Watch out forInactivity charges. Some companies may actually charge you fornot using the card.How does the interest free periodwork?If your credit card has an ‘up to 55 days interest free’ period andyour statement starts on the first of every month, then your bill willbe due on the 25 th of the next month. Say you make a purchase onthe 1 st of the month, you will have 55 days (until the 25 th of the nextmonth) of zero interest. If you were to purchase something on the20 th , you will have 35 days of zero interest, and 25 th of the monthwill give you 25 days.It’s important to avoid this type of debt as it can be extremelyhard to get out of once you’re in it. If you have to have a card, makesure you read the fine print and understand how everything works.OUSA Flatting Mag – 17


HOW TO MAKE A CHORES WHEELThere’s no need to fight over whose turn it is to do the vacuuming – justmake a chores wheel!01Make two circles, one larger thanthe other. You could trace arounda small plate for one, and around a jam jarfor the other.02Using a pen and ruler, divide eachcircle into the number of flatmatesin your flat.03In each segment of the smaller circle,write a chore that needs to be doneeach week, e.g. vacuuming, cleaning thebathroom, taking out the rubbish and so on.04Pin the small circle in the middle of thelarger circle so that it can rotate.05On the larger circle, around theoutside of the smaller circle, write thenames of each flatmate.06Rotate the wheel on a set day eachweek and viola! Everyone knows whatthey’re supposed to do and everyone gets aturn at everything.RosieBathroomDwainKitchenVacuuming& RubbishCommonAreasStevenJemimaOUSA Flatting Mag – 18


SETTING UP SHOPTime to move in! But wait, the lights won’t turn on and the phone won’t work…You have the power of choice – shop around to find the best deals for your amenities, and think carefullyabout what you can afford. Remember if your name is on the bill, it is your responsibility; not your flat matewho keeps making 0900 psychic calls to see what to cook for dinner, your other flat mate who opens thewindows when the heater gets too hot, or flattie number three who downloads Star Trek and porn all day.PhoneHomelines are expensive. Some studentschoose to just use their cellphones and don’tbother getting a landline. If you do want one,think about:– Which company you choose (shop aroundonline first).– Connection fees. How much will theycharge you to get set up?– Disconnection fees – how much will theycharge if you move out or change yourmind?– Toll costs. Do you want to put on a toll baror have PINs so that you know who makestoll calls?– Package deals, e.g. if you want Internet aswell.InternetYou get free Internet at uni on the campuscomputers, plus access to free wireless if youtake your laptop to campus. Do you needInternet at home too? If you do, think about:– The same sort of stuff as phone lines.– Be wary of installation costs. Some placescharge you hundreds while others doit for free!– Look out for specials.– Ask what happens if you go over your dataallowance. Will they cut you off or just keepcharging you more and more until you geta $6000 bill?– Lots of companies have 12 or 24 monthcontracts, but a lot of students move outjust after exams. Be careful about early disconnectionfees. Orcon is one provider thatdoesn’t make you sign up for a fixed term.– WIC has free WIFI in certain places in Dunedin.It’s slow and they block lots of things,but it comes at the right price.– If you find a place close to a University hall/college, you may be able to pick up theUniversity WIFI. It’s free as well.– The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing)Amendment Bill is being enforced at thetime of reading, so, um, no pirating please!If you do, you might lose your Internet.PowerThere are so many options. The best bet isto just ring the main providers in our areaand ask them what plan would be best foryour flat and how much it will cost. Go toconsumer.org.nz/powerswitch to comparecompanies and to look at other ideas andoptions. There are special plans that can saveyou money if you:– Are low electricity users– Use most of your electricity at night– Are willing to pre-payOUSA Flatting Mag – 19


INSURANCEWant to avoid being bankrupt at 19? Insurance is important when you’reflatting, especially a personal liability cover. That’s the kind that willcome in handy if your dodgy flatmate burns the house down then skipstown – without personal liability insurance, you might have to pay thebill on your own. Got a spare $500,000 lying around? No?Then read on…Ring around to find out what the best deal will be for you, as itdepends a lot on your individual needs. Most insurance companies havea default starting coverage of $20,000 worth of contents. Chances are,you don’t own twenty grand worth of stuff, so be sure to ask whetherthey have a lower package available. Some do $10,000 if you ask, whichis more realistic and will cost you less in premiums.When getting quotes, they’ll need to know:– How much all your stuff is worth (approx)– Details about your flat like:– Where it is– Who you’ll be living with– What it’s made of (seriously, they ask! Wood, brick, concrete…)– Security – is there an alarm? Locks on bedroom doors?Here are some key questions to ask them:– I own $XXXX worth of stuff. Do you have a package that would suitme?– How much personal liability is included?– Am I covered if one of my flatmates steals my stuff? (Often the answeris NO).– How much are the premiums and excess? Is there extra excess fortheft or burglary? (Sometimes this is hundreds more).– Is my stuff covered when it’s not at the flat? Like when I take mylaptop to uni or home for the holidays? (Sometimes it’s not!)– What kind of replacement policy do they have? If the worst happens,will you get stuck with second hand stuff or will you get to buy newthings?– Your bicycle or your glasses might be covered, ask if it is, it might notcost more.This table is a very rough guide showing prices and conditions of a fewkey providers. Your quotes will depend on your circumstances andinsurance companies may have changed their policies since the time ofprinting. These amounts were for a student in a 4 person flat in NorthDunedin with $10,000 worth of stuff.PersonalLiabilityAnnualPremiumExcessBurglary &Theft ExcessWhat willthey pay?AMI 1 Million $240 $200 $350 Market Value onlyState 1 Million $304 $250 No extra Market Value onlyTower 1 Million $183 $200 No extra Market Value for most thingsAA 1 Million $175 $200 No extra ‘New for Old’ on everythingBNZ 1 Million $321 $250 No extra VariesWestpac 2 Million $270 $250 No extra Market Value onlyNational Bank 1 Million $390 $250 No extra Market Value onlyOur favourite quote was from AA Insurance(same as last year) because their premiumsare pretty awesome, they don’t charge extra ifyou get robbed and they’ll hook you up withnew stuff for pretty much everything. Theyalso cover some things that are with you whenyou’re not at the flat.OUSA Flatting Mag – 20


How to stop your GreatAunty Mildew from moving inStaying warm and dry in your Dunedin flatMould and mildew are health hazards. Some mould spores are toxic and inhaling them can have a nasty impact on your health. You could get sickmore often, have breathing difficulties, an allergic reaction, wounds that won’t heal… not very nice!It’s the landlord’s responsibility to provide the flat in a clean and tidy condition and keep it maintained to a “reasonable state of repair”. It’s thetenants’ responsibility to take “reasonable steps” to keep the flat mould-free. Here are a few tips:Do:– Ventilate the flat by opening the windows, particularly when you’rehaving a shower or cooking. Ask your landlord to put catches onthe windows so you can leave them open without getting your stuffstolen.– Ventilate your bedroom by leaving the door open from time to time.– Open your curtains during the day and let the sun in.– Wipe condensation off the windows every morning.– If your flat has a clothes dryer, ask the landlord to install a vent to takethe moisture outside.– Air your mattress and turn it over from time to time.– If you’ve got clothes, books or other stuff stored, periodically checkthat they’re not going mouldy.– If you’re lucky enough to have a heat pump, check whether it has ananti-mould settingDCC Minimum StandardsThe Dunedin City Council sets housing standards to protect tenantsagainst dangerous and unsanitary conditions.– The flat should be as free as possible from dampness, withadequate ventilation.– There should be no cracks, holes or depressions in the walls or floors.– The supply of electricity should be safe.– The flat should be weatherproof (ie no leaks).– There should be a way of getting out if there’s a fire– The kitchen should have adequate facilities to store and cook foodhygienically.Flat not meeting these standards? Call the DCC on (03) 477 4000.Don’t:– Live in filth – mould loves company. If you wipe down windows andclean your bathroom at least once a week the mould is less likely torun rampant.– Use gas heaters – they give off lots of moisture.– Dry your clothes on a rack inside.– Put your mattress directly on the floor – use a bed base otherwiseyou will rot the carpet.– Ignore mould if it forms — it will not go away on its own and it isbad for your health.The warmer your flat, the drier it will be. In fact, keeping your home5°-7° warmer than outside is recommended – but this can be hard forcash-strapped students.If you’ve done your best to keep the place dry and it’s just notworking, it might be because your flat has structural problems. It’syour landlord’s job to fix these problems, and make sure that the flatcomplies with the Dunedin City Council’s (DCC) minimum standards.Come and see us at OUSA Student Support for help with getting stufflike this fixed.Copyright Steve WeaverOUSA Flatting Mag – 21


I’VE GOT THE POWER (BILL)Your flat should have power when you move in, but it’s not free. Callyour preferred power company to set up an account.Powershop (powershop.co.nz) is easy to manage – you can keepyour meter current via the web yourself. It’s also easy to use witha simple pricing structure that even BA students can understand.Remember you hold the power, so you can change electricity providersanytime if your current provider is ripping you off. Just chat with thenew provider and they will take care of everything for you.How much do you expect to spend on electricity in your flat, andhow can you make savings? Visit powerswitch.org.nz to estimate whatyour flat’s power usage might be and evaluate the pros and cons ofvarious appliances. Power is more expensive in winter (it costs more perunit in winter and you use more of it). Winter power bills can sneak upand take you by surprise. And it’s never a good surprise. Be prepared!How to Save Power– Replace normal light bulbs with energy-saving ones.– Block off draughty cracks and unused fireplaces. They can suck out15-25% percent of the heat in your flat.– Try to convince your landlord to get you full-length, thermal curtains.They’re the only kind that effectively stop the 25-35% heat loss thatoccurs through glass. Or try to buy some at your local op shop.– Showers are more economical than baths, but a crappy showerheadwill cost you more than you need to spend. If it takes less than aminute for your shower to fill a 10 litre bucket, ask your landlord for anew showerhead.– Your hot water cylinder doesn’t need to be more than 60 degrees.Don’t let it go below that, though, or nasty germs will grow in there.– Each dripping hot water tap costs $80 per year. It’s your landlord’sresponsibility to fix these.– Switch off lights that aren’t being used, and don’t leave appliances onstandby (this is a fire hazard as well as a waste of money).– Only do full loads in the washing machine or dishwasher.– Only boil the amount of water you need in your electric jug.– Put lids on your pots – they’ll heat quicker, needing less electricity todo the job.You can save hundreds of dollars a year just by turning stuff offat the wall!OUSA Flatting Mag – 22


There’s more to food thaninstant noodlesFoodPlanningPlan your meals for the week before you go shopping. That way, youdon’t buy extra stuff that you don’t need. Write down everything that’sneeded for the coming week’s meals and make your shopping list. Mostimportantly, stick to it when you’re at the supermarket.It’s true what they say – don’t go to the supermarket when you’rehungry. It’s tempting to waste money on snack foods. Why not justavoid the chocolate isle all together?!ShoppingBuy in bulk – but carefully. Sometimes it’s cheaper to buy in bulk, butsometimes the bulk bins are a cleverly disguised rip-off. Check value formoney by dividing the weight of the product by its price (and don’t beembarrassed about taking your calculator to the supermarket – lots ofstudents do it). Remember, you have to be able to store what you buy,and be able to use it before it goes off.On Special! How can I lose?! Don’t be tempted to buy something justbecause it’s on special. It’s not a bargain if you don’t really want/need10,000 plastic forks.The New World supermarkets (Centre City and Gardens) are pretty niceto students. They have a courtesy shuttle van that will take you and yourshopping home if you’ve spent over $50Centre City NW shuttle times: Mon-Wed 6-9pm; Sun 10am-7pmGardies NW shuttle times: Mon 4-8pm; Sun 12-8pmBuy your fruit and veg on campus from Hinton’s Fruit and Vegstall outside the OUSA main office, near Union Grill. Convenient,fresh and cheap!Lunches and SnacksFor a cheap hot meal, try $3 lunches, served every day from 12- 2pm atOUSA Clubs ‘n’ Socs. They’re filling, vegetarian, healthy and absolutelydelicious. If you need a cheap way to up your veggie intake AND savemoney, this is the easiest way to do it.You can also save time and money by making extra food at dinnerand having the leftovers for lunch. Of course, there’s no point makingextra food if you can’t store it or won’t use it.The amount you spend on snacks can quickly add up. If you’retempted to snack during the day, prepare in advance by packing stufflike dried fruit, nuts and seeds. Or, if you’ve got the time (and ability),why not dabble in home baking? Your cookies will probably be muchcheaper and will be free of additives and other scary things. Yum!Or go to the Farmers Market on Saturday mornings. They sell prettymuch everything. If you can stumble out of bed and make it beforemidday, you can get a coffee there, some breakfast (mmmm, crepesand bacon butties), stop and watch the buskers, pick up your fruit andveg and head home feeling satisfied that you have real fresh produce(and are helping local business).OUSA Flatting Mag – 23


Healthy Eating for Poor StudentsYou don’t have to be sickly and malnourished just because you’re astudent. You can eat healthily, you just have to be smart and learna few tricks.– Veggies are generally cheaper than meat so bulk out that stir-frywith a bit more broccoli and a little less beef.– Fresh is best but frozen and tinned are good too! Budget tinnedtomatoes are a students’ best friend, as are Pam’s mixed veggies.– Learn to love mince (unless you’re a veggo). It’s cheap andversatile! It can be very fatty so you don’t need to use much oil (ifany) when cooking mince.– Drink water. It’s free! Juice is full of sugar anyway. After a while youwon’t even miss it.– Jazz up your 2 minute noodles with an egg! Or use those cheapnoodles as a base for your healthy stir-fry.– Too many takeaways will transfer the fat from your wallet toyour arse.– Coffee can be your best friend but your wallet’s worst nightmare.You’ll pay $3-4 for a coffee on campus, which quickly adds up.You can get a whole lunch for that price! Buying coffee for homeis much cheaper. If a cup at brekky isn’t cutting the mustard, bringcoffee from home in a thermos!– Educate yourself! Find some good cookbooks or recipes online.Think about your diet and whether you’re getting all the nutrientsyou need for those long study sessions. Your body is a templeand what-not.– Eat at your friends house– And last but not least, watch out for alcohol. It kills off the braincells you are trying to cultivate and it’s high in sugar.OUSA Flatting Mag – 24


ECO FLATTINGFeel some love for the Earth and make your flatting experience something Captain Planet would be proudof! It can be tough to be an eco-warrior when you’re a poor student as you can’t always afford to shop withyour morals, but there are plenty of ways to save the planet and save money at the same time.Food Shopping– Nobody likes plastic bags. Re-use them next time you go shopping,recycle them (there are special bins outside the supermarkets) or ditchthem altogether in favour of reusable bags.– Go for stuff that’s in recyclable packaging.– Buy local produce at the Farmers’ Market next to the train station onSaturday mornings.– Can’t get out of bed on a Saturday morning? There’s also Hinton’s fruitand veggie stall on campus outside the OUSA Main Office. They’rethere on weekdays (weather permitting).Grow Your Own Veggies– Learn the skills and tricks at Dunedin’s Community Gardens on ShetlandSt. Call them to find out more on 478 0311– Growing your own mini herb garden is pretty easy. You can get kits andseeds from places like The Warehouse.– Even if you don’t have much of a yard, you can grow stuff in buckets!– Go to sustainability.govt.nz, and click on “Gardening” for info and tips.Op Shops and Buying Second HandReduce costs by buying second hand stuff and reduce waste by donatingyour old gear to charity, selling it at the monthly OUSA Market dayor Trademe. There are LOTS of second hand dealers and Op Shops inDunedin. Check out the Dump shops where someone’s rubbish could beyour treasure (ph 477 4000). They have all sorts of weird and wonderfulbargains including perfect furniture for your flat and everything fromcandles shaped like Venus De Milo, to shoe racks, to bikes. Restore is theperfect op shop for cheap bargains (ph 03 477 3500).Rubbish and Recycling: Where to Stick ItThere are many places to put your rubbish other than Castle St. Yourrubbish and recycling need to be out for kerbside collection by 7amon your rubbish day. If you live close to campus, your rubbish day isMonday. If you’re not sure, call the Dunedin City Council and check(ph 03 477 4000).– Your flat should be provided with a blue recycling bin (glass bottles andjars only) and a wheelie bin (plastics 1-7, Paper and tins). If yours hasgone walkabout, ask your landlord (nicely) for another one. If you’refinding it all a bit complicated, call DCC for details. Remember, thecouncil doesn’t care how many bottles you put out – if they are not inthe blue bin, they won’t collect them.– Rubbish has to be put into official DCC rubbish bags. They WON’T takeyour rubbish if you put it in any old bag. You can buy DCC bags fromOUSA cheap or from the supermarket for a slightly higher amount.– The DCC can growl at you if you let rubbish spill onto the footpath.– The DCC and the University put free-to-use rubbish skips around thestudent area three times a year: Orientation, the end of semester one,and the end of semester two. Use them!– Recycling is FREE, rubbish bags aren’t. In short, recycling saves youmoney!Make Your Own Household Cleaners andSave $$$$$Invest in some reusable spray bottles, a crap load of budget white vinegarand a box of baking soda, and you’ll be able to clean almost anythingDisinfectant:– Add 10 drops of tea tree oil to 1 litre of white vinegar.– Decant into a spray bottle– Spray on to surfaces and wipe off with a clean cloth.Vinegar Window Cleaner:– Mix one tablespoon of white vinegar to one litre of water.– Using white vinegar when cleaning glass or windows stops awful streaksfrom grease build-up.Remove Lime residue:– Electric jugs and irons build up lime deposits over time. When they getreally bad, fill them with white vinegar and turn them on.– Turn off before rinsing.– Rinse it out, fill with fresh water and run it again.Drain Cleaner:– Boil two cups of vinegar and pour it down the drain a small amountat a time.– Allow the vinegar to remain in the drain for about 5—10 minutes beforepouring a pot of very hot water down the drain.– The alternative is to use ½ cup of baking soda poured into the drainfollowed by ½ cup of warm vinegar.– Cover the drain and allow to stand for 5—10 minutes before runningcold water down the drain.General Cleaning Tips– Put an open box of baking soda in your fridge. This will help to get rid ofany nasty odours.– Rubbing baking soda directly onto clothing removes the smell of vomit.– Lemon juice mixed with vinegar and/or baking powder can be used as acleaning paste for dishes, surfaces and stains– Salt poured directly onto carpet can soak up red wine spillsOUSA Flatting Mag – 25


OUSA Flatting Mag – 27


IF YOU HAVE TROUBLEWITH YOUR LECTURER,COURSE,LANDLORD,FLATMATES,FINANCES,LIFE IN GENERAL...TALK TO OUSA STUDENT SUPPORTWe can help you sort things out.We offer Advocacy, Queer Support, Foodbank & Budget Advice5 Ethel Benjamin Place, Ph 479 5448, help@ousa.org.nzStudent Support CentreOUSA Flatting Mag – 28

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