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.
What would be our top ten tips when dealing with a house share?
We have laid out so many suggestions for you but we believe the top ten tips are as follows;
Respect your house mates
You are sharing a house so you need to get along with people. Embrace difference commonalities and accept differences. Respect each others privacy and belongings. Make sure you keep noise levels to an acceptable level. Life is about diversity.
Socialize and make new friends.
Moving to a house full of strangers can be very daunting but it is a fantastic opportunity. Find out about common interests such as music, sport and drinking! Why not have a chat with them over lunch? It is not just a question of making friends but also being civil with each other.
Pull your weight.
You are moving out of a home and you have probably had everything done for you. This wont be the case in your new house. Be prepared to share the chores. You need to clean the dishes, empty bins, clean the bathroom and generally keep tidy throughout. Shared accommodation is exactly what it is – Shared.
Pay your rent on time.
It is always stressful especially if you are in a joint contract for everyone not to pay their rent on time. Remember your rent is a priority. Even more important than your social calendar.
Remember pets aren’t allowed.
You love your furry friends and you want to take them with you. However, not everyone else loves a pet. What can be worse than that is they could have allergies. This might make the pets totally intolerable to them. Is it also unlikely you will be entitled to pets under the terms of your contract.
Have a notice board and check it regularly.
Why not have a notice board in the communal areas so everyone knows what is going on. You could be busy for days so why not leave important stuff on there. Anything from emergency numbers to the most important, pizza deliveries!
Your house mates food is not yours.
Sharing a fridge can often mean you suddenly dive into temptation of taking someone else’s food. Food isn’t communal it relates to the individual person. It is the same for cookery and cutlery, so don’t collect it in your own room.
Try to agree on a bath/shower schedule.
It may seem extreme but if you are sharing a bathroom some people like to have a schedule. A lot of people may be apprehensive about going to the bathroom. Having a schedule can help everybody. Clean the bath regularly also makes it a much better place for you.
Report any maintenance issues.
Maintenance work will need to be carried out in any house. Report the issues to your landlord or agent as soon as it happens. Don’t wait for it to get worse. However, remember light bulbs are your responsibility.
Try to resolve disputes amicably.
Most people living shared accommodation get on well with each other. However, relationships can sometimes break down. You need to try and be happy in your home and go forth and share the experience with other people. However, if you are having difficulties try and sit down and talk it through. Communication is always key in these issues.
Make sure that you have an acceptable budget that suites everyone in the house. It may seem silly but what you don’t want is to alienate someone in the property and suddenly find that they cant do what you can as you have a very different budget. Find out what is clearly affordable for everybody so nobody struggles on any form of financial commitment.
Listen to your housemates, good communication is not all one way. Make sure you are giving people you are sharing with a fair hearing.
If their bedroom door is closed make sure you knock before you go in. You are not at home with your mum and dad anymore so respect everyone’s privacy.
This may seem simple but don’t sleep with your housemates!
It is very a good idea and normally ends badly.
If you are new to university and try to settle in why not keep chat about home to the bare minimum?
Pick your battles.
Only try and address the really important issues that arise while you are living together or your voice will disappear into the back ground. You must remember it is probably not only your first time but other peoples in living away from home. It can be very difficult for you but even harder for other people.
Don’t go onto your house mates about your absent boyfriend/girlfriend.
Recognise that not everybody is interested.
Share when you can.
It is will make you popular with your house mates and it is always important to be part of the group. The more you share the more likely you are going to get back in return.
Don’t leave passive aggressive notes around the house.
In fact it is probably not a good idea to leave notes at all. Communication is always key and especially face to face.
You are probably lucky if you get 2-3 years at university. Why not therefore avoid unnecessary arguments regarding politics and religion. That is what seminars are for not your housemates.
Never try to argue over money. Always try and talk it through.
Get to know your house mates – getting to know your housemates seems really simple. Surely, it cant be that difficult? However, how many of you actually do know your housemates or think you know?
Don’t sit in your room all day.
It seems pretty self-explanatory but if you want to have a good time you have got to make an effort with people.
Why not do laundry together?
It might be a lot less boring if you do.
Why not cook a meal together?
It is always a great and cheap why to bring people together.