If you have a choice about who you share with, think carefully before you agree to move in. Can you live with a smoker, someone who’s obsessively tidy, or musicians who have regular band practices in the evening?
Be honest about your own lifestyle and needs when talking to prospective flatmates. Here's a few tips for keeping things harmonious.
Agree when you move in how bills will be paid and split between everyone in the house, as this is a common cause of arguments.
It shouldn’t be one person’s responsibility to sort all the bills out and then have to chase everyone else for their contributions.
Allow other people their privacy and don’t go into your flatmates’ rooms when they’re not there. Always knock first if the door is shut.
People vary in how much social contact they enjoy, so try to get a feel for this and don’t force conversation on someone who needs time alone.
When sharing a kitchen, it can make sense to share food and other supplies. But unless it’s been agreed, don’t assume it’s okay to help yourself to your flatmates’ beer or biscuits – and if you do, replace them.
If someone wants to keep their food separate for whatever reason, respect their wishes.
When you have guests, let your flatmates know in advance and warn your guest of any house rules.
Don’t allow someone to sleep on your floor for months on end, as this may annoy your flatmates, especially if your guest isn’t making any contribution to the household expenses.
Be considerate towards your flatmates and treat them as you’d like to be treated. Don’t spend hours in the bathroom when you know other people need to get ready in the morning, and if you come in late at night, try not to slam the door.
People have widely differing ideas of cleanliness. It’s best to share with people who have similar standards to you, but if this isn’t possible, try to compromise if you can.
If the house gets intolerably dirty or you’re always the one washing up, have a chat with your flatmates and see if you can all take more of a turn at cleaning.
If a flatmate’s annoying habits are getting on your nerves, you have two choices: accept that everyone’s different and learn to live with it, or raise the issue.
It’s better to communicate face-to-face in a friendly manner than to leave angry notes or take revenge in some other way.