A flat share may be a new experience for you, especially if you are heading off to university. Living at home with mom and dad doesn’t quite teach you the necessary skills to live on your own with a roommate. It isn’t always possible to share a flat with a friend or acquaintance, and living with a complete stranger is common for people seeking to spread the cost of rent.
Unfortunately, sharing a kitchen, bathroom, and living room with a new person can have its problems. A flat share can be a culture shock for some that have never had to deal with a roommate before. Surviving a flat share is a skill, but not everyone can cope with living with another person.
Here are some key tips to remember when renting a flat that will keep both you and your roommate sane.
Choose your roommate carefully
You may not have the luxury of choosing your roommate. Students at university may be put together with other individuals without much thought. This can be difficult as you are unaware of the other person’s habits and lifestyle.
If you have the option to choose your roommate, it can save you plenty of headaches later on. The best flat mate isn’t always your best friend. You may find that living in the same space with your best friend ruins the chemistry the two of you have.
It is important that both roommates understand each other’s lifestyle. Living with someone who is up all night or comes in at all hours of the early morning may not suit your 9 to 5 job or going to school.
A bedroom becomes a special place when flat sharing. It allows each roommate to escape from the other or the communal areas of the flat. Having a private space can save a relationship and keep both flat mates from falling out.
When sharing a flat, you must respect your roommate’s privacy. Don’t go into their room without knocking and being welcomed in. It sounds simple to knock before entering your roommate’s room, but it can be something you are not used to living at your parent’s house.
Communicate for a perfect flat share
One of the most important aspects of any relationship is communication. You may not be close friends with your flat mate, but living together means you will see each other regularly. Good communication can keep the two of you on good terms. It can also prevent issues from coming up from time to time over problems with the living arrangements.
Modern technology makes it possible to communicate more easily than ever. A WhatsApp group is perfect for anyone with multiple housemates. Of course, the best way to sort any issues you have sharing a flat is to speak face to face. Major issues should always be communicated in face to face situations allowing all parties to understand the problems.
Hang out with each other
You may think that flat mates spend all of their time together when they are not at work or school. That isn’t always the case. Flat mates may become friends over time but often, still have their own friends. Spending time together, especially when first moving in together, can help build a relationship between flat mates.
New roommates can plan a few different events such as a film or video game night to get to know each other. You could even plan a small party allowing a few friends to come over and meet each other. There are even more activities new flat mates can enjoy such as playing mini-golf, going to the cinema, or even just hanging out at the local pub.
Make rules for a perfect flat share
Sharing a flat isn’t always fun. To make the relationship and flat share work, however, you must come up with some rules to abide by. One of the biggest problems flat mates have is with cleaning. Oftentimes, cleaning the house can drive a wedge between people in a flat share.
The easiest way to avoid problems is by creating a list of cleaning chores for each person. Each flat mate will be responsible for certain areas of the accommodation. You may prefer to create a rota allowing each other to take turns completing chores. If rules are put in place from day one, you won’t have a problem later on.
Buying items for the flat
There is nothing worse than purchasing toilet paper only for your flat mate to use it all up. Even worse is when they don’t replace it. You may feel like you are paying for your roommate to live comfortably. This can be aggravating and another reason why communication is key.
Making lists of essential items needed for the flat is a great way to keep all parties pitching in. You may create a kitty that everyone contributes to with money. You can then use the house kitty money to get those important things like toilet paper.
Surviving a flat share can be difficult. It is a new experience and one that no schooling can train you for. These tips should help you survive your next flat share and come out better off when you move.