How to choose the perfect housemates for shared housing
January 26, 2022
For many reasons, you may find yourself in a position where you are considering shared housing. Whether you’re a student moving from halls into your first privately rented property, or a working professional moving to a new city, shared housing is an excellent way to save money on rent, meet new friends and make great memories.
Statistically more of us than ever are living in shared housing, and that covers all ages from 18-50+ years old. A survey in 2015 showed that the number of house sharers rose by 186%, and last year flatshare website SpareRoom reported that searches for shared housing had increased five-fold over the past 10 years.
Despite being a popular option, choosing to live with friends, acquaintances and even strangers can of course come with its complications, and can be extremely daunting. We’ve gathered together a foolproof list of things to consider ahead of moving into shared housing, to help you find the perfect housemates, and not ruin your renting experience.
Schedule a meeting to hang out, sit and talk
Now, this may seem obvious. However, if you’re moving from overseas, using an app to meet new people in your house share, or in a rush to find shared housing, it can be easy to find yourself in a situation where you skip out on crucial chats before moving in. Make sure you put some time aside to sit down and talk about details, and if it’s easier this could even be done virtually over FaceTime.
Be honest about what it is you’re looking for in a housemate and shared housing
Honesty is the best policy, after all. Being misleading about your lifestyle and what you’d like in a house share (and vice versa) can lead to future tensions. Consider what your daily schedule looks like, and what you think will complement it in a housemate. For example, does your university course or job have a lot of contact hours that could be unsociable, or could someone who is working from home and leaving the heating and TV on all day lead to tensions over the bills at the end of the month? We recommend writing all of these points down to discuss.
Housekeeping, it’s not all fresh laundry…
Everyone’s idea of “clean” is very different. If you’re a bit of a germaphobe, you definitely won’t want to find yourself in shared housing where crusty dishes are left in the sink on the regular. Before committing to living together, try to establish what kind of a cleaner they are and see if a house cleaning schedule early on would avoid any awkwardness.
Consider your social life
This is particularly important for those studying at University, or in a demanding job. A conflict in social lives can cause stressful living situations. If you’re a social butterfly, find yourself regularly recovering from the freshers flu, and are looking for a more social house share, it’s probably best that you don’t live with people who never leave their rooms. When considering your housemates, ensure you ask lots of questions about how they spend their free time. Ask what their ideal day-to-day circumstances would be in the house. Are they looking for someone who they can make friends and have dinner with, or would they rather keep themselves to themselves?
Make sure they can pay their way
No one likes to have the money chat, but let’s face it, when it comes to living together it’s definitely the most important and stressful part of renting. It’s essential that you ensure that your potential housemates are able to pay their portion of the rent and bills before entering a contract together. This should all be confirmed through referencing checks, however, if you or other members of the house share are unemployed or studying, one way to alleviate this stress is to ensure there is a guarantor. If you’ve got concerns about members of your shared house paying their portion of the rent, Only My Share is also here to help you rent with confidence.
Our service ensures that you are only responsible for your portion of the rent. Only My Share’s guarantee means that if a housemate is unable to pay and the landlord pursues you, we can step in. This is perfect for shared housing with friends, and strangers and can help to reduce difficult conversations and the risks of you having the liability of someone else’s costs.
If you’re looking to enter a shared housing contract, find out more information about the Only My Share service by getting in touch today, or visiting our knowledge base here.