- Maddy West
2021 Guide to House Shares
Whether you are a university student, postgraduate, working professional wanting to move out or just simply looking for a new adventure, this is the article for you. Moving into shared accommodation can be daunting; for most people, it is entirely out of their comfort zone, so this guide will tell you how to make the most of the experience and explain everything you need to know.
What is a house share?
A house or flatshares is when multiple people live in the same accommodation, often sharing bills, facilities and responsibilities. Some people share accommodation with friends or people they know, whilst some prefer to live with strangers. Besides being cheaper and having a social aspect, there is something beneficial to all age groups, backgrounds, professions and even couples. Often you will share communal spaces such as kitchens, living rooms, bathrooms, but have a private bedroom; you might even find somewhere with an ensuite room to rent.
Research, research, research! Begin by establishing a budget, consider where you want to live, your length of stay and even your housemate preferences. Websites like "SpareRoom" has plenty of information about who you will be living with, including your housemate's gender, age range, smoking preferences and more.
Usually, within house or flatshares, it makes sense to set up a separate bank account that everyone can transfer money into and then set up direct debits that can be taken directly from there. Remember to work out your budget before moving into a house share; consider all of your outgoings to see how much you can afford. You may decide it is easier to go down a co-living route as this means you each pay one all-inclusive bill monthly.
Besides bills, many things will need to be shared evenly amongst the household, including the small costs of things, like bin liners, cleaning products and toilet rolls. You may need to share responsibilities such as general cleaning, changing the bins or deep cleaning jobs. Although it is always good to practice clean as you go, establishing a cleaning rota might be a smart idea to ensure everyone gets a fair amount of responsibilities and knows what and when to clean.
Storage spaces should be shared equally amongst the housemates in communal areas. Whether it's allocating each housemate a shelf in the fridge to having a dedicated cupboard for each person, all storage space should be fairly distributed.
Living with others means people will want to do things at the same time, from showering to cooking to washing clothes. It is necessary to determine specific times when each person can do certain tasks to avoid chaos and confusion.
Make sure everyone is on the same page from the beginning to avoid any conflict. Decide upon a few basic house rules from the start, for example, washing up as you go, not being too noisy after certain times and determining rules on other people coming into the house.
Having a way people can share important information or communicate things to the entire house is a great way to stay on top of things. Setting a group chat or a noticeboard will make things simpler, more organised and encourage conversation.
One of the great things about living in a house share is everyone's diversity. Different values, beliefs and personalities could cause tension and disagreements between people. Accept peoples differences and make compromises, maybe take the opportunity to learn about people's backgrounds and cultures.
Make an effort with the people you live with, socialise when you are indoors and find common interests between you. Be respectful of everyone and make sure you communicate things that are bothering you. Be open and honest to avoid tension.
People love the social aspect of co-living and enjoy how they are designed with community in mind. Co-living also has added benefits such as all-inclusive monthly bills, members events, communal co-living spaces such as gyms or pools, sometimes they even have added perks such as local discounts. It avoids the hassle of having to research your flatmates or sort out splitting bills. It's fast becoming a popular choice in larger cities and could be what you are looking for.