Ten Rules for a Successful Flatshare
Tenants | Tips for Tenants | 04/02/15
Summer's nearly over, and everyone is going, or has gone, back to school for the new acadmeic year. For many, this means moving into a new apartment and acquainting oneself with a new living space, and sometimes even new people. For some, this can be very nerve-wracking, especially if the person that will be sharing your space is a complete stranger. This is why we at Roomlala have compiled a list of Ten Rules for a Successful Flatshare to make it that little bit easier for you, and here they are!
Rule #1: Find the Perfect Flatmate using Roomlala
The easy part of a flatshare is finding one, especially if you are using Roomlala. With people looking for shared living accommodations in every corner of the world, you can be assured there is one fit for you. The beauty of Roomlala is that we allow you to discuss the accommodation and living situation with potential flatmates before making any agreements!
Rule #2: Adapt to Each Other’s Preferences
You may find your fellow flatmate prefers that everything remains spotlessly clean, or one that wants to make sure their home is their own personal haven. Unfortunately, this can be hard when living with other people; while it is easy for you and others to make your place feel like your own perfect home. Differences in style, personality and other things will always exist and that is why it is essential that you learn a little about the living accommodation and the person you will be sharing it with before you sign a lease, since you will be bound to that accommodation and person for a considerable amount of time.
Rule #3: Sign a Lease
Speaking of leases, signing one is one of the most important things we can advise you to do in this article. Without a lease, you cannot be assured that your living accommodation is protected legally. What does this mean? Simply that if something goes wrong, such as a dispute between the landlord and yourself, damages to things you own, or any other problem you could experience, you would not be protected by insurance or the law.
Rule #4: Make Some Concessions, They Will Too!
It will also be necessary that you and your flatmate(s) set some rules and that you make some compromises regarding the living accommodation in your new space. For example, rules concerning having guests over, pets, or smoking in the flat need to be set forth during the infancy of this new relationship. You may find that your new flatmate prefers (if you do) that you not smoke in the flat (yes, even if it’s cold out), not have guests over on weeknights, or play music too loudly. If this is the case, you may need to make the agreement to accommodate their preferences. With that said, if your flatmate senses that you are making an effort to adapt to their preferences, they will most likely try to accommodate some of the things that you are looking for in a living situation as well! It’s all about the give and take.
Rule #5: Make a Plan
You will need to discuss who does cleaning when, what will be shared in the living space and what will not be shared, along with who will purchase said shared items (i.e. toiletries, cleaning supplies, etc.). This is not to suggest that you need to write an entire book of rules, but just list some common points of understanding that can easily be agreed to.
Rule #6: Be Friendly!
There will, of course, be times when you invite your friends over. There will also be times when your flatmate has their friends over. Encourage each other to become friendly with each other’s different friend groups. This will help you and your flatmate create a friendship that goes beyond sharing a common space, but also will make your circle of friends even bigger! There’s no way you can lose!
Rule #7: Make Your Voice Heard!
You may find yourself in a situation where you have moved in with people who are already well acquainted. Even if they already have their preferences established, don’t be afraid to make your voice heard! If you make meals as a group, and there is something you prefer to not eat, let them know! There are ways to make sure that everyone is happy and they will surely be accommodating!
Rule # 8: Eliminate the Tension Immediately
If you sense that there is building conflict, discuss it openly the first moment it begins. The worst thing flatmates can do, like in any relationship, is allow tension to build until it hits a breaking point. By discussing problems openly and in a calm manner you can create a working dynamic rather than a destructive one.
Rule #9: Your Private Life and Your Friends
Never assume that your friends and your flatmates get along as well as you do! While it may be the case that your flatmate(s) and friends are amicable, it is yours and your flatmate’s living situation; not yours, your friends, and your flatmates. Be vigilant of your friends crossing boundaries that your flatmate may not be okay with.
Rule #10: Think of Your Parents
If this is your first time leaving home, and maybe even if it isn’t, it is likely that your parents will be worried sick about you. Fears of your living conditions or getting into trouble will cause them to worry about you! So don’t forget to check in with them every now and then. Send them photos, news, and let them know that you haven’t forgotten about them, even if you are constantly on the go. Show them that gaining some independence does not mean letting them go completely!
Best of luck!
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