One of the most challenging experiences can be sharing a home. Any group of people will be composed of individuals with varying approaches to life. When strangers find themselves living in the same area day in and out, at least initially it can be easy for conflict to emerge. Do not fret, if handled intelligently, it can be equally easy to resolve or even avoid these conflicts. One of the best experiences you will ever have could be sharing a student house, you can forge friendships that are genuine and will last a lifetime.
Here are ten tips offered by commercial property agents that will assist you in being the ideal student housemate:
1. First Impressions Matter
Keep in mind, that much like yourself, your fellow housemates might have mixed emotions when they first arrive, from nervousness to excitement. If everyone wants to spend their first night together going out for a drink, awesome. But perhaps one of you housemates may be a tad too shy to mix with the others at first, have respect for their feelings.There will be ample time for everyone to get to know each other.
2. Knock Before Entering Someone’s Room
To put it more precisely, knock and then wait for an invitation to enter, the last thing you want to do is catch a housemate taking care of their personal “business”.
3. Respect the Possessions of Others
This point may be one you think goes without mentioning, but you may find that you will be unpleasantly surprised. Do not eat someone else’s food from the fridge or use their towel. What may seem trivial you could cause some major resentment from one of the housemates.
4. If Items are Purchased Together, Have Clear Financial Commitments
Friendships between students can be damaged if someone tries to avoid paying for purchases that were communal. There should be a written agreement to share the cost of the new television!
5. Discourage Opportunistic Theft
By leaving the doors and windows carelessly open, this is what you are doing. It may not be your computer that a passing burglar steals.
6. Shared Bills
If the rent does not include the bills and they need to be paid separately, these are costs which have to be shared amongst your housemates and yourself. Wasting electricity, for example, can cause tension, leaving your heater on in your room all day even if it is a cold December day is not a cool idea.
7. Clean Up After Yourself
It is not my intention to get all motherly, however, dishes will not wash themselves and dishwashers will never load themselves.
8. Rotate House Chores
An agreed-upon rota should be drawn up amongst the housemates and yourself for the house chores. If there is not a written rota, it is important to be considerate. Keep track of the last time you cleaned the bathroom or made the tea. It is quite easy for housemates to let this one slide and one person is left with all of the housework, this may cause that person to be frustrated and on the verge of exploding.
9. Keep The Volume Down
This may come as a surprise to you, however, not everyone enjoys the same music that you do. There may even be housemates who are trying to study so keep it down.
10. Have Respect For the Landlord and Their Property
Keep in mind that if a joint tenancy agreement has been signed by you and your housemates, you will all be collectively held responsible by the landlord if there were any property damages. So if one of the housemates breaks a window, part of the money required for the repairs will be coming out of your personal deposit, even if you are not remotely responsible for the damage that was caused.
If a so-called individual contract has been signed with your landlord as opposed to a joint tenancy agreement, it will be easier to protect yourself from being held responsible for any of the other housemates’ sins. Do you really want to be leaking money due to a fellow tenant who is irresponsible or clumsy?
In order to successfully share a home, the rules are really quite simple — be respectful, have consideration, build trust and do not forget to have fun.