Whether you’re heading off to university or you’re moving to a new city to start your career, sharing a house with others often makes sense.
Not only is it much cheaper than renting on your own, but there are other benefits, like safety, making new friends, and the size of your accommodation.
Whether you’re an introvert who spends all of your time in your bedroom or an extravert who is never at home, adjusting to a new life sharing a property with others can be tough.
To give you a helping hand, we’ve put together some rules that you should follow…
Let’s start with the obvious one: when you’re sharing a house, you’re all responsible for the bills, including rent, gas, electricity, water, a TV license, and cleaning. Don’t be the person who pays their share of the bills late - nobody likes to have to chase others for money.
We recommend setting up Direct Debits to ensure you don’t forget, or signing up to a bills management service like ours, where all of your bills are covered under one monthly fee.
Once you’ve paid the bills, you can spend the rest on booze, takeaways, and video games.
If you’re sharing a house, you need to be able to get on with the people you’re living with.
Newsflash: you’re probably not going to like everyone, and the chances are that you’ll have different interests, attitudes towards living, and personalities. Get to know each other and accept that you’re different; you don’t have to be best friends, but you do have to be civil.
Respect each other’s privacy, and don’t be too loud when others are trying to sleep.
As tempting as it is, that M&S pizza isn’t yours to eat.
haring a fridge is one of the trickest parts of shared living, and unless you have a communal food arrangement, you need to remember to keep your hands off what isn’t yours.
Overcome any challenges by giving everyone their own shelf or labelling food so it isn’t taken without permission. And the same for cutlery - buy your own or be reasonable and make sure knives, forks, pans, and plates are washed and put away after you’ve used them.
If you’ve got a communal area with a notice board, make an effort to check it every morning so you’re in the know - you might be facing an inspection from a landlord or an increased bill.
Don’t have a notice board? Head to the high street and buy a corkboard for a couple of quid or use some fridge magnets to display important notices and messages. The more you can communicate with one another, the less likely you are to suffer from fallouts and upsets.
Just because mum and dad did the washing and ironing at home, that doesn’t mean you can expect others to pick up the pieces and do your dirty work when you’re living with strangers.
Do the dishes after you’ve cooked, empty the bins when they’re full, clean the bathroom after you’ve showered, and keep everywhere you visit tidy. If you’re struggling to get others to do the same, set up a rota and ensure everyone pulls their weight in the cleaning department.
If you’re renting a property, it’s your responsibility to report issues as soon as they happen.
Whether your fridge is playing up, the shower isn’t as powerful as it used to be or there’s a crack in the ceiling, let your property management company know about issues as soon as you can, and they’ll send out a professional to put things right.
Let things slide and you could face fines when it comes to moving out of the property.
It can be pretty daunting moving into a house full of strangers, especially if you’re not the most sociable person in the world. But it’s a necessary evil; throw yourself in the deep end.
As soon as you move in, organise a house meeting and get to know one another; you’ll soon find common interests, whether that’s music, the soaps, drinking, or food, and you can make some new friends who’ll keep you company when you’re not studying or at work.
If you genuinely have nothing in common with the people you’re living with, no fear: keep it polite and put in the effort when they’re hosting ‘house nights’ with a pizza and Netflix.
Finally, a quick word on bathrooms.
If you’re not lucky enough to be moving to a property with an en suite, good luck to you!
We recommend setting up a schedule so that everyone has time to get ready on a morning.
That way, there’ll be no awkward standing outside in the corridor when you’re desperate for a shower. Just make sure you’re ready at your allocated 8.30 AM slot every weekday and you’ll have the time you need to freshen up before a busy day. No drama, no arguments.
There you have it - eight rules that you should follow when living in shared accommodation. Do you have any others that you think we should add to this list? Let us know on Twitter and check back soon for more tips and tricks on living with your pals when you’re at university.