Living with housemates or flatmates for the first time can be very different to living with your parents at home; here are a few of tips to help prevent house splits or problems occurring between you and your housemates.

  • Firstly pick your housemates wisely. Just because you enjoy going out and clubbing with some of your friends does not make them good housemates! Try and find people who you get on with, can cook with and do other mundane tasks with. If you are person keen to pay the bills on time and keep things highly organised, neat and tidy then try and find other people who share the same outlook! If you don’t like loud music then don’t live with people who have a rave in their room 24/7.
  • Pick your battles wisely. If you don’t like something small and insignificant then don’t make a big deal out of it, save it for when there truly is a problem. If someone borrows your rice without asking it’s hardly crime of the century, however if someone is paying bills late or refuses to pay then you have a problem.
  • Don’t dispute how much people should pay for bills. Regardless of whether someone has being staying in the house longer than you, or has their girlfriend/boyfriend round a lot, you should always split the bills between all the occupants equally. So many pointless arguments are stopped this way.

  • Ensure everyone is involved in deciding what service suppliers you are going to have and that everyone is paying at least one bill to spread things out. If you decide not to be involved or agree with everyone else, then don’t cause friction by blaming people if things go wrong or bills are more expensive than expected.
  • Set up your bills at least 1-2 month before you are all going back to university. The last thing you want is to be worrying about that kind of thing while you are studying.
  • Don’t steal your housemates food, and use a permanent marker on your own to stop them from taking yours! If they do take it then ask them to replace it rather than getting  into an argument about it.
  • Passive Aggressive Notes on the fridge are a bad idea. Bitchy notes left on the fridge are no way to solve problems, talk to people face to face – you can then hear their opinions as well.

  • Do your fair share of cleaning. Just because others don’t clean doesn’t mean you don’t have to do your cleaning. Cleaning rotors never work, some people will never clean until the rats come to visit.
  • Don’t be too possessive of your belongings! While there will be some things you will keep for yourself, things like toasters, cutlery and plates are really things you should share – you have probably decided to live with these people after all you must trust them a small amount.
  • If you don’t want people to use something then keep it in your room. Simple as that.
  • Don’t ignore your housemates/spend too much time with your girlfriend or boyfriend. I’ve seen this one a lot! If you spend too long with your boyfriend or girlfriend your housemates will start to get annoyed with you! Make sure your spending enough time a week with them as well, you will need them to rally around you if the relationship comes to a sudden end. You may find your housemates refuse to live with you next year if you spend so little time with them. Also spend an equal amount of time between your girl/boyfriends house and yours, your housemates will get annoyed at the extra electricity/gas required for your permanent resident.
  • Don’t just sit in your room! You have a communal area now, use it! Eat at the table, watch TV together.
  • Finally if you do have an argument try and resolve it, don’t sit around being awkward and turn your house into hell. Ignoring each other for the rest of the year helps no one’s stress levels, and you probably both like each other still anyway just too proud to admit one of you is wrong.

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