Often university is the first (and only) time most people will experience shared-living. No, living with parents and annoying siblings or other family members doesn’t count!
It can be a culture shock getting used to other people’s ways of living – even carrying out the simplest of daily tasks can vary wildly from one person to another. Similarly, one person’s idea of tidy can be very different to another’s… All potential stress factors and grounds for conflict but it needn’t be that way. After all, you’re all in the same boat; living away from home for the first time and learning to stand on your own two feet and do things for yourself. Everyone has different strengths and playing to them could be the best way to go about house sharing.
Whatever your situation, whether you’re sharing with pre-established friends, course mates, teammates or total strangers, here are some top tips to keep your house-share harmonious.
Keep it clean
Cleanliness is subjective and we all have different ideas of what clean means. It’s best to share with people who have similar standards to you, but, if this isn’t possible, try to compromise. You should set a few ground rules in the house share at the start of the tenancy agreement, such as keeping communal areas clean and tidy. Everyone must agree to clear up after themselves, particularly in the kitchen, and dirty pots should never be left to fester. If necessary, draw up a cleaning rota to ensure that everyone does their fair share of the workload, or agree to split the cost of a weekly or fortnightly cleaner.
Get the bills in order
When you move in, agree how bills will be paid and split between everyone in the house share, as this is a common cause of arguments. Set up bank transfers to cover the monthly outgoings that are your responsibility, and keep a record of what’s been agreed when it comes to making payments. Alternatively, download an app that allows you all to access and track expenses by logging in from your phone.
Keep your belongings in your room and be clever with storage, so that your personal items don’t spill into the communal spaces. Security can be an issue too, with people coming in and out of the home that you don’t know, so it’s worth having some lockable storage in your room for high value items. Be vigilant and, as a house, agree to always lock your doors and windows to prevent break-ins. Also, if you have a burglar alarm, use it!
Share the essentials
It’s a good idea to band together with your housemates and put money towards kitchen basics, such as pots and pans, condiments, spices, and dairy products to save you all over-buying. Each month, you can agree what needs to be replaced and all put money in a pot to make sure that those essentials are restored going forward.
Respect your housemates’ privacy; don’t go into their rooms when they’re not there and always knock first if the door is shut. Keep the noise down if you are inviting friends round or coming in late at night, and try to give some warning if you’re having visitors. Being respectful in a house share goes a long way towards preventing conflicts.
Remember to communicate
Have an established method of communication to discuss specific house matters, for example a Facebook or WhatsApp group. If you have an issue to raise, however, the best thing to do would be to communicate face-to-face, so that it can get resolved quickly. If you haven’t developed a social relationship with your housemates, a simple “please” and “thank you”, along with polite conversation, can establish a comfortable atmosphere for everyone.
Choose your housemates carefully
If you have the luxury of getting to choose your housemates, think carefully before you agree to move in with someone, and consider whether you could potentially clash on anything like smoking, obsessive tidiness or having conflicting work schedules. Be honest about your own lifestyle and needs when talking to prospective housemates, as it will be a much more enjoyable experience living with people that you get on with.
Re-post from Propertymark
At Mistoria Estate Agents we specialise in student housing with all-inclusive bills (including broadband), in close proximity to university campus’ and a reliable 24/7 maintenance service. Our high quality rental properties have everything a student needs and are situated across Liverpool and Salford. Properties are let on a room-by-room basis to make the renting process easier for both you and us. Our prices are advertised per person, per week, allowing you to quickly decide if a property is within your budget. Whether it’s a small three-bed terrace or a large 6-bed townhouse or something in between, let us help find you the perfect uni pad. Call 0800 5003015, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit one of our local branches in Liverpool and Salford and speak to one of our friendly team.