We all start in a house share situation or flatting with friends when we first move out of home and it will likely stay that way for some time. If you've just flown the coup and are new to flatting, here are some tips to 'House Share Etiquette'
- Make a weekly budget and stick to it. Never rely on your flatmates to cover your bills.
- Have a housework roster, including dishes.
- Clean up after yourself. If you've just made lunch for yourself, clean up the mess and put your dishes away straight after eating.
- Establish rules around visiting girlfriends or boyfriends.
- Share all bills equally. Unless someone has purchased a movie to download or made an overseas phone call, then paying for extras is the responsibility or the purchaser.
- Are you going to chip in equally for food or buy your own food?
- If you chip in for food such as meals for dinner, do up a dinner roster to co-inside with the dishes roster, whoever cooks shouldn't have to do the dishes afterwards.
- If you are buying your own food, again make sure you clean your mess after yourself, and NEVER eat your flatmates food. Always ask and then replace it ASAP.
- Leave your flatmates leftovers alone, unless they say you can eat it. Then repay the favour buy leaving them your leftovers next time or share your next meal.
- At the very least you should be splitting the costs of house hold cleaning products, toilet paper, laundry power, dish washing cleaner, tea, coffee sugar etc. Things that you will all use.
- Stay out of your flatmates room unless you have permission.
- Your room is your space, however, it's best you keep it reasonably tidy, windows opened, and no leaving dirty dishes in your room.
- Be respectful of each other, don't come home after a night of dancing and turn on and blast the music, waking up your flatmates.
- Respect that you will all have "bad days" and may be grumpy for whatever reason, give each other space when needed. Make them a cup of tea.
- Hold a "house meeting" if you feel that things in the house aren't equal or
- Be friends with your flatmates, go out for a drink or meal together once in a while.
- Check with your flatmates that it's okay that you have a few friends over for a gathering, or dinner, or to watch the game on TV. Invite your flatmates to join you.
- Always let your flatmates know if you won't be coming home that night, or going away for the weekend. If you are going away for the week, make sure your share of the rent has been paid to cover your time away.
We hope these tips have been handy for you. Just remember, living in a house share situation is always a great learning curve. You will learn what to do and what not to do, you will most likely be humbled when you realise just how much mum and dad did for you at home. Always be calm, respectful and considerate of the feelings of others in the house.