Shared living appeals for so many reasons, it:
- Is often the first step out of living at home
- Offers more affordability with split rent and bills
- Allows renters to move into desirable locations without too great a financial burden
- Caters for people who don’t want to live alone and people who are new to areas
While living with flatmates can start off well meaning, the combined experiences and expectations of several strangers – and even friends – in a single home can create conflict.
The living standards of a studying student can vary from that of a full-time worker to that of a fly-in-fly-out contractor. Even between lifelong friends it isn’t always easy keeping everyone happy.
So how can you avoid passive aggressive notes and full-out war with your flatmates?
Start how you plan to finish
If you are in any position to make decisions on living arrangements, we recommend making it clear during the interview process what is expected of housemates by way of housekeeping.
If you expect bathrooms to be scrubbed every week, say so. If there’s a roster of chores, say so.
Being upfront at the start means that you’re less likely to encounter embarrassing or intrusive situations – it also means that you can eliminate candidates who have a very different expectation of their living standards.
Make it clear what is expected
One way to keep housemates feeling comfortable with the equitable division of tasks is to use a roster.
First, list the tasks that have to happen regularly, then rotate the chores through your housemates in turn. This means that most housemates won’t get stuck with the same irritating chore over and over again – it also encourages flatmates to proactively swap and share tasks if they know they won’t be around at the time.
Separate and conquer
If getting flatmates to share tasks and responsibilities is difficult, sometimes it can work to encourage flatmates to keep mess to just their rooms.
This means that they only need to pick up after themselves in the communal areas – such as the lounge and kitchen.
Some people prefer the convenience of tidying the same area week-in and week-out. This means that it might be easier to rely on one person to vacuum all the floors rather than waiting on all your flatmates to assemble to do their jobs.
Get professional help
By far the easiest way to negotiate living with flatmates is to pitch in equal share to organise a regular cleaner.
A professional house cleaner will not only take care of the tasks you need doing; they’ll do an outstanding job in next to no time! The other great part is that you can vary the service to suit your needs. Have a housemate leaving? Organise a thorough clean of their empty room in time for the newcomer. Have a property inspection coming up? Arrange a deep clean before the property manager arrives.
In short, you’ll be able to focus on what you enjoy doing most without feeling bad about your flatmates.
Avoid the stress that living with housemates can bring and arrange for regular domestic cleaners to do the chores you hate.