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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.