Tips for Living in a Share House

Living in a share house can be a great way to save some cash and gain some independence. But moving in with other people is not always smooth sailing. Here we have some tips for renting in a share house successfully.

Finding a housemate

One relatively simple way to find housemates is reaching out to your inner circles and let them know you’re looking for a housemate. Another is using one of several Facebook groups which is set up to allow users to advertise for housemates.

Whether you’re planning to move in with someone you know, or with someone you’ve met online be sure to interview any potential housemates – this way you have some idea of who they are as people and what you’re signing onto.

Talk about their lifestyles, yours and their expectations regarding chores and cleanliness and how rents and bills will be split up. Make sure you’re on the same page before signing a lease.

Applying for a Rental Property

Applying for an advertised, vacant property as a group is generally the same process as it is for individuals. See here for tips on applying for a rental.

When applying for a property, being prepared is important. So be sure that all housemates have their applications ready to send once you’re sure the property is right for you all.

Dealing with Conflict

It’s common for some conflict to arise when living with multiple people, but that doesn’t mean this can’t be a fulfilling and enjoyable experience overall.

Establishing expectations and around bills, collecting rent, cleaning, noise and guests can go a long way towards living drama-free.

Some households establish a cleaning schedule, so housemates know their responsibilities when it comes to chores and split who pays which bills. This will prevent the burden from always falling on the same person.

Splitting Bills and Costs amongst Housemates

A huge part of living in a respectful household with housemates is splitting bills fairly.

If one housemate is responsible for rent because it’s debited from their account, the remaining housemates might set a reminder or automatic transfer to pay their share of the money by the due date.

This simple act could save tension and potential conflicts down the track.

When it comes to bills, some share houses set up each of the utilities under a different housemate, so the responsibility of collecting money for bills is shared.

Tensions can build when one housemate uses air-conditioning in their bedrooms while others are looking to save money on their electricity bill. But in a sharehouse, it's all about comprise - rather than refusing to allow your roommates to use their air conditioner - setting a house rule where 60 cents is put into a money jar for ever hour the air conditioner is on can help with this. Just be sure you're open to discuss and negotiate when it comes to utilities.

Several apps have also recently entered the market to enable splitting bills between housemates easier and faster. See a list of apps here.