When living in shared accommodation, the people you live with will almost certainly play a pivotal part in how happy (or not) you will be when you’re at home. Sometimes you are lucky enough to be able to choose the people we live with, and sometimes you might end up living with strangers for whatever reason. Either way, there are always things that are worth considering both before and during living with housemates. Here is our concise, simple list of tips and ideas to get you started.
BEFORE MOVING IN:
- Ask the Landlord In most cases, you’ll view a property you’re interested in renting a room in before making a decision on it. The viewing process is very important for working out if a property will suit you (read more about that here), and it’s a great opportunity to ask your potential landlord about the other people living in the property. Ideally, you’ll already have an idea of what you’re hoping for in housemates before you start the search for your rental. Things worth considering include the obvious like age and gender, but also whether they are professionals or students, whether they are sociable or keep to themselves, whether they smoke, or have any pets. What do and don’t you want in the people you’ll be living with?
AFTER MOVING IN:
- Get a WhatsApp group
The chances are, if you are moving into a property where housemates are already settled in, there will already be some sort of group message between everyone living there. This can be an essential lifeline for communicating between you and your housemates, so if there isn’t a group chat in existence it will definitely be worth doing. WhatsApp is an easy, free service and in a group chat you’ll be able to communicate with your housemates on everything from who left the kitchen in a mess all the way to
- Make sure expectations are clear
When you’re living with a group of people who aren’t your family, whether you know them or not, the ‘rules’ and expectations need to be clear. What are the chores that need doing, who would prefer to do what, how are you going to organise paying the bills? We would recommend that you and your housemates sit down together to and get the basics down. Once everyone is clear on the fundamental things that go into keeping a house running, anything else can probably be dealt with over WhatsApp.
- Be responsible for yourself and your belongings
If you are renting a room in a shared house, the chances are your space (i.e., your bedroom) is going to be pretty limited. It’s going to be best for you to do everything you can to keep that space organised and tidy. There are loads of hacks for maximising a small space, and we’d suggest that you try and implement your favourite ones to make the most of your room. Outside of your room, you’ll have your own corner of both the kitchen and bathroom. In order to maintain peace and harmony in your home, it’s going to essential that you keep these spaces tidy too, and clean up after yourself. You don’t want to be known as the one who repeatedly makes a mess and doesn’t help to keep things clean, and if you make a habit of tidying up after yourself right after using the space, it’ll soon become second nature.