Sharing a home with someone is a big deal. You may have had flatmates at university, but what you want from a flatmate is often different once you have finished studying.
Living in the city can be particularly costly and finding the right flatmates will not only be a great way to make new friends, but it will also help you out financially.
What to look for in a flatmate
You may have a long list of desirable flatmate traits, but you should also be realistic. These are some of the most important:
- Tidiness: A messy flatmate can be exhausting and you may end up cleaning up after them. If you are absolutely sure you want to live with this person, discuss hiring a cleaner in advance.
- Organisation: You need to trust your flatmate to pay a bill if you ask, to buy more toilet roll if they're out shopping.
- Respect: Your personal items are precious to you, and sharing can mean people borrowing, sometimes without asking first.
- Patience: A flatmate with a short fuse can be difficult to deal with.
- Communication: This is vital, being able to have difficult conversations about cleanliness or money is highly likely when living together, so an approachable flatmate will be very valuable.
Meet them before you sign the contract
This seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people move in without any idea of who they’ll be living with. There’s no definite way to be sure what someone is like to live with, but you can take steps to get to know them before moving in.
Bills, bills, bills
Discuss how you are going to split the bills in advance. The clearer things are at the very beginning, the better. Are you splitting the costs down the middle, or is the person with the bigger room paying more of the rent? How are you going to pay for the bills? Who is responsible for the council tax and what happens is someone moves out?
These things fall under the 'fees' section, but being able to discuss these matters clearly and simply is very important and will tell you a lot about the people you are renting with.
Moving into a house share? What to look out for:
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Go beyond just asking what they do for a living. Ask what they do for fun, how often they’re in the house, and if they socialise together. All of this will add to the general atmosphere in the property and will help you decide whether or not you want to live with them.
How well is the house being looked after?
Be observant when viewing a property. If the bin is overflowing and there are dirty pots in the kitchen, it might not be for you if you like things to be clean and tidy.