Sharing a house may sound like a great idea but when things aren’t run properly, conflicts can arise. Here’s how to make sure your house share is successful.
Sharing a house can be a great way to save on costs, however, a successful house share starts with choosing the right housemates and setting up good ground rules. Ground rules are vital to ensure that every housemate is on the same page and knows what is expected of them, in order to live harmoniously.
Choosing the right housemates
There are a few considerations to take into account, to ensure that you choose the right people for your house share:
The lease agreement
It is advisable for you and your housemates to consider signing individual lease agreements, if your landlord will allow it. This ensures that everyone is responsible for their own portion of the rent separately, and helps reduce the risk of other housemates having to carry a defaulting housemate. Alternatively, housemates can sign a joint lease and perhaps appoint a head tenant whole will gather all rent money into a joint account to pay the landlord. A separate housemate agreement can be done to deal with things like who is responsible for bills and expenses, special rules about what is shared or not shared and how the security deposit will be handled.
Cleaning is one of the most contentious aspects to a house share. It can often be the source of tension and disagreements. It’s best to establish a cleaning roster at the beginning, to ensure that tasks are divided up equally and that everyone does their fair share. Perhaps put the roster on the fridge and each housemate can mark off what they have done. The best way to avoid any conflict is to clean up after yourself as you go along.
Unless you plan to share food, give each housemate a shelf that is for their food only, and perhaps keep one shelf that is for communal use. Things like sauces can be put on the communal shelf if everyone agrees to make sure these are replaced as they’re finished. If you plan on sharing food, work out a way to divide the purchasing of food between each housemate, and who will cook on which days.
Managing rent and bills
The electricity and water accounts will need to be in one of the housemate’s names, as well as the telephone line and internet connection. Housemates can either appoint one person to be in charge of paying the bills, or each person can take on some bills and ensure that they are paid every month. Either way, it’s a good idea to set up an account where housemates can all contribute their share to the monthly bills for the house. Remember to keep all receipts as proof, should a dispute arise.
Respect and awareness
Perhaps the most important aspect to making a house share harmonious is to respect each other. Respect each other’s boundaries, personal space and schedules. Asking before helping yourself to anything that isn’t yours, not taking too long in the shower and keeping noise levels down on weeknights are a few ways to make sure that you help maintain a harmonious environment for all.
Remember that your priorities may be different to your housemates and there needs to be a certain amount of give and take between each housemate. However, these tips will go a long way to making your house share successful.
Article from privateproperty