» Home | Advantages of sharing | How it works| House Rule | Registration | Contact us | Links
Additional Information

Consideration (if you are the new Flatmate) People may be a little territorial or just have their own way of doing things, don't move in and expect that your way is the only way. In time, your habits and preferences will amalgamate and changes will occur naturally or by discussion.
Follow examples or verbalise a desire to change the system, Don't just do it your way. Don't move furniture, everything goes back to where it was found as it was found. Write phone messages down if they are left for your Flatmate. Don't give information about your Flatmate to callers that you do not know. Leave messages for your Flatmate if you will be away.

Advise your friends or visitors in regard to what is not communal property. They must respect the house rules, they do not get access to your Flatmates parking bay, CD collection or food. If friends are staying overnight, discuss it with your Flatmate first. No one wants to find a stranger in the bathroom in the morning. Be very Security conscious, if you are the last to leave the house, check all windows and doors are locked.
Turn off lights, put out the cat. Replace bread, milk etc. if you emptied them. Don't leave it for shopping day.
Consideration (if you are the original Flatmate) You are now sharing your home, in many ways the final decision will be yours, but, you will still need to talk things through with your Flatmate. No one will want to live as a guest and you must consider your home is now also the home of your Flatmate.

Initially you will need to encourage your Flatmate to feel at home and allow compromises and changes to occur. Be clear about what is communal property and what is not, You may be happy to share your T.V, Washing machine, Stereo, Pots and Pans, Furniture etc, but you may not wish to share your Computer, Clothes, Cosmetics and Gym equipment, be clear up front, rather than annoyed because your Flatmate didn't realize. Be discreet and don't offer personal infomation about your Flatmate unless you are sure it's O.K. Be friendly not intrusive, Respect space / privacy.

Call, if not home as expected. Do an inventory prior to Flatmate moving in, Name labels on CDs or other items which may become mixed up like kitchen utensils. Walk around your home and photograph as much of your belongings as you can, keep a record of serial numbers and makes of expensive items.
Keep a record and receipts for any item bought as co-purchase. Don't invite your parents or friend to stay without your Flatmate agreeing. Your new flatmate is now at home, they are not a visitor and homeowners need to consider their rights.

Personal Space. Walking around common areas in a towel or naked is not on! Stereo and T.V. volume needs to be considered. Use headphones or keep a T.V. in your bedroom if there is conflict. Appreciate a quiet mood is not a bad mood. A closed bedroom door means "Stay out" Never enter your Flatmates bedroom if they are not at home and always knock if they are. Allow your Flatmate to gently arrive home, don't act like an excited puppy waiting to pounce as soon as they enter. Most people need time to relax and settle when they first come in from work.

Your Flatmate's visitors may be friendly, but understand, that they also need their own time together. Don't jump in and take over or intrude, allow Flatmates time alone together with their friends. Some people like their own stuff. It may be "my chair" or "my cup" or my "parking spot" Big Mistakes; don't fall in love with your Flatmate, don't even pretend to yourself, that you are having a secret de-facto relationship. If an attraction becomes obvious it must be discussed and unless it is agreed that it is reciprocal then "move out". Someone (and it could be you) is going to be hurt in a big way.

The problems here are many and the outcome will only be tragic. If a relationship may evolve then move out and date. Don't fall in love with your Flatmates best friend. Don't assume that your new Flatmate does not smoke dope, fall down drunk or turn into a Casanova every weekend. Ask the big questions up front.
Don't confuse genders! Your Female Flatmate is not your Wife. Many men assume that women must have a "cleaning, cooking, shopping and nurturing Hormone?" Your Male Flatmate is not your Husband.
Many women assume that men love to buy them dinner out and mow lawns and fix cars. Shared accommodation is not about Gender. It is about Fairness, Respect and Consideration. Flatmates should never be put in a position that compromises anyone's trust or safety.
House Rules

Sharing your home will include many "House Rules" which have more to do with consideration and lifestyle issues, than with laws.

Many shared accommodation disputes have to do with people not respecting or considering each others personal boundaries, home standards or personality conflicts. The best way to avoid problems later is to solve potential problems before they exist. (this is good advise on all levels of life) Many people expect others to have the same moral and ethical levels as themselves. Sometimes, what may be considered common sense or just good manners is not automatically put in place by another.

Lifestyle differences may also create conflict in a living arrangement. Shared Accommodation should be viewed as a business arrangement and not just a domestic arrangement. In most cases your new Flatmate will be a total stranger and the guidelines discussed and agreed upon before moving in together, will allow both parties to set the ground rules and hopefully avoid misunderstandings or differing interpretations later

Chores
Different people have different ideas about what is clean and tidy. Some people still think that chores only mean cleaning up their own mess. Although most people will wash a dish and empty a bin, it should be set out that one person is not the "Mother" of the other. Cooking, Shopping, Stove and Bathroom cleaning, Vacuuming, Window and Mirror cleaning, Verandah sweeping, Garden weeding, Fridge defrosting etc. are all chores of the home and the sharing of chores means equal responsibility.

Fair is fair and unless both parties can agree on who does what and when, then, rather than create resentment and arguments, it would be much easier to hire a cleaner at least once per month to do the general cleaning and then just work out the rest.

Kitchens and Bathrooms should always be kept Clean and Hygienic and should be wiped or rinsed over every time they are used. Never leave your pubic hairs and toothpaste spit for your Flatmate to clean up. Rinse the basin after a shave, clear the toilet bowl, and hang towels.

If you really can't clean up the kitchen before you leave the house, then at the very least rinse off the cups or dishes and wipe down the worktop. Use the same cup or glass every time, so you don't end up with 20 cups in the sink.



» Home | Advantages of sharing | How it works| House Rule | Registration | Contact us | Links