Take a look inside Britain’s biggest student house
Got a million quid (and the rest) going spare? The UK's biggest student house could be yours!
Britain's biggest student house is up for sale, but you'll have to stump up a cool £1.4 million if you want to become its next owner.
Regent House, on Gordon Terrace, is actually made up of four Victorian houses knocked into one mansion-like property. It comprises of 32 bedrooms, 22 toilets, and four kitchens, and can be found in Mutley, in the Plymouth suburbs.
The estate agent selling the property explained that it used to serve as a nursing home, before closing in the 1990s. It was then converted into communal accommodation and turned into student digs in 1999.
Plymouth University students usually pay about £144 per week (less than the regional and national averages!) to rent a room in the house, and its convenient location means residents can easily walk to the university campus.
Inside the house
As well as the strings of bedrooms available, inhabitants can enjoy relaxing or socialising in two spacious lounges.
It's unclear who's currently living in the property, but in 2013, the house was occupied by 24 men and 8 women.
Student Thomas Riggs, who was 20 at the time, said he managed to keep on top of his studies during his three years of living at Regent House, despite the occasional chaos. Speaking at the time, he said:
[We] go on several nights out a week and pretty much every night we have a drink in the house – so it pretty much feels like one big party.
The house is crazy and intense but at the same time it's a lot of fun. We're like one very, very big family.
Luckily, most of the bedrooms come with en suite bathrooms, so you don’t have to worry about sharing with anyone messy.
Three kitchens mean that there’s enough room for everyone to cook their dinner (or at least sit around the kitchen table with their takeaways).
There's white goods aplenty too. The house holds four washing machines, five fridges, five freezers, and four ovens, so there's unlikely to be any arguments or queues.
You’ll never get bored either, as the house boasts a pool table and a darts board. Factor in the short walk from the university campus, too, and the house has a lot of appealing characteristics.
In fact, the only aspect we'd criticise is that there's only one bath. Residents will need a seriously organised rota, or have to settle for one of the seven showers available.
Some mental statistics
When added up, the Regent House residents spend 320 hours a week at lectures, followed closely by 311 hours partying.
A whopping 3,111 hours are spent watching TV and 900 hours on the PlayStation. But they don't just stare at a screen in their downtime – they also spend about 224 hours playing pool.
In an average week, the 32-strong household get through:
- 40 toilet rolls
- 20 bin bags of rubbish
- 100 tins of baked beans
- 20 large bags of pasta
- 500 cans of beer
- 150 cans of cider
- 50 Pot Noodles
- 150 takeaways
Would it save you money?
So the question is, would you save any money living here compared with more typical student accommodation in Plymouth?
If you wanted to stay in the Plymouth University halls which are within walking distance of campus (like Regent House), the cheapest rooms are £115 a week without an en suite, and £135 with your own bathroom.
Choosing university accommodation with an en suite, instead of an equivalent room at Regent House, would therefore cost you at least £140 more every month.
But what about other private accommodation in the area? According to Plymouth Uni's guidance on approved private accommodation, an average en suite room in a shared house will cost about £95–105 per week.
However, as you'd expect, factors like distance from campus and facilities provided will affect the price of the property. It seems to depend on whether proximity to campus is a deal breaker for you.
What's more, in a 32 person household, you're likely to paying a far smaller share of the bills than you would in a bog-standard three or four bed house.
That said, Plymouth Uni's halls offer students 41-week contracts. It's unclear whether a stay in Regent House would be on a full year contract, so this is something potential residents should consider when comparing costs.
And perhaps most importantly, you need to weigh up whether living with 31 other people would suit you. If you value your privacy or quiet surroundings, it might not be the best place for you!
Common, let’s have it! What’s your opinion on living in a massive communal student property like Regent House? Have you done it before or did you opt for a more solitary student lifestyle? Let us know in the comments.