We have spoken to students since 1993 about how to have a successful house share and we can give some tips as follows: –
- How about a budget that suits you all. If you are sharing as a group for the first time it is important to get a clear idea of what you can afford and what everybody else can. What you don’t want is somebody in your group that struggles with the commitment even if they wish to be within it.
- Always respect the belongings of others. If you are going to borrow something without permission, then it doesn’t always bode well and can often cause problems within house shares. Always ask first.
- How to clean a student share? Not everyone has the same standard of cleanliness. Often it is important to try and agree before you even move into a house who is going to do what and how to share it out. Think about having a rota for kitchen cleanliness and the bathrooms as they are the most important parts of the building.
- Respect people’s privacy. If a door is closed on somebody’s bedroom it means that they don’t want any visitors so knock before you enter.
- Don’t eat other people’s food in the fridge. It is a classic house share cliché, but it irritates people and doesn’t help for a harmonious relationship.
- If you are new to the University and trying to settle in keep chat about the home to a minimum.
- Share when you can as it always makes you popular with other housemates and it makes you all feel part of the group. Don’t expect anything in return but also don’t be taken advantage of at the same time.
- Don’t take someone else’s booze. Although we have dealt with this in relation to the food it is always worth noting.
- Clean up your own mess. Often people leave plates and food out but if they cleaned them up as they go then it wouldn’t irritate anyone.
- Don’t have a go at someone else if they don’t clean up their own mess. That’s why the item above is helpful not everyone is the same.
- Don’t leave notes around the house for other people about problems. Try and speak on a face to face basis.
- If you are not going to be around for a few weeks then let your other tenants know. It is always about communication.
- You are only at University for two to three years so try and avoid unnecessary arguments over politics, religion etc.
- Try and socialise together occasionally. It is a natural benefit of a group and it only improves the atmosphere in the house.
- Try not to argue over money and talk it through. If you are going to lend somebody money be aware that they may not be able to pay you back thus be aware that you may not get it back at all. Think about it before you do it. We have previously written an article on how to save money as a student, click here to read more.
- Get to know your housemates. You will enjoy living with them much more if you find out more about them and are interested in them.
- Treat people like you want to be treated. It seems simple but try and set your own standards.
- Be flexible and be prepared to compromise. This always makes it a much more harmonious experience.
- Accept that people are different. One of the things that you will find and you will enjoy at University is that not everybody is the same.
- Try cooking a meal as a house together. It is a great way to get to know each other and to drop barriers.
- Do the laundry together. It might be boring but it is less boring if you do it together.
- Take an interest in your house mate’s courses. It will help you find out more about them and you might even find it interesting.
- Set some house rules. Again, if you sit down as a group before you start the tenancy and work out what the house rules are and then everybody knows then it is very helpful.
- Get to know each other’s timetables and respect any early starts. No one appreciates being woken up in the early hours of the morning if you have got to go to college early from somebody coming in.
- Set up a WhatsApp group. So that you can talk to each other about any problems.
- Talk things through. Communication is key in any form of shared house and it is much more advantageous to be amicable about chatting items through and resolving them.
- If you want your boyfriend to stay it is always best to ask. Whilst it may be your room having a stranger in the house turning up without anybody knowing can be disconcerting.
- Try to do something together like watching a TV programme etc. Again, anything done as a group makes it much easier to live with other people.
- Be open to new things and experience. It is part of the benefit of sharing a house with people but it will make most of your time at University.
- Set up a kitty to share the cost of the basics of the house. It is always easy to then avoid arguments about who bought stuff last etc.
- Don’t moan about your housemates try and sit down and sort any issues out. Communication is key. If you have a problem with somebody else and you don’t wish it to escalate why you don’t sit down and have a conversation with them to discuss it first.
- When agreeing a cleaning schedule don’t forget to do the common areas.
- Always give people their personal space. Sharing a house does not mean that you have to be under each other’s feet all the time.
- Keep the food you keep in the fridge fresh. Nobody wants to be confronted with decomposing chicken when they open the door.
- Don’t leave wet towels on the bathroom floor. Apparently, lots of people find it annoying
- Don’t monopolise the TV if any. It’s called a house share for a reason.
- Try not to hoard glasses and cutlery or plates in your room people find this irritating
- Don’t label everything you own unless you feel that it is necessary.
- Try and find a happy medium when dealing with the heating. Yes, it is the first time that you have had to pay bills and nobody wants to spend the whole winter freezing. But you need to have the heating on to ensure that the property is heated and ventilated.
- Let the rest of your house know if you have family or friends visiting.
- Take your time thinking about who you are going to live with. As a first year in halls you may have not been pressured into discussing these issues but when you are sharing a house it is very different.
- Have fun. Living with people your own age can be a lot of fun and a great experience.
- Don’t get irritated by each individual person’s habits. Everybody is different. You might have some of your own that people don’t like.
- Try to work out a bathroom schedule. Often it is difficult when people are spending far too long in the bathroom and that you need to get to University.
- Do you smoke? Did you know that it will be almost in every tenancy agreement that you are not entitled to smoke within the property? Thus, take this into account when you are taking a property.
- Do you like loud music? Take this into account when you are looking for other housemates and whether they like the same things that you do
- The most important thing is to enjoy your student accommodation in Brighton as it is such a short period of time in your life.