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Sharing a home
If you are renting, it can be cheaper to share a home with other people. These could be strangers, family members, friends or even your landlord if you are lodging.
It can take time to get used to sharing your home with other people. Everyone has their own habits and ways of doing things and a peaceful living environment might involve compromises by everyone in the house.
It can help to discuss what is expected of everyone at the start and lay down some ground rules that you all agree on. For example, you should consider:
- Who is responsible for cleaning the communal areas like the kitchen and bathroom?
- Will you have a cleaning rota to make sure everyone gets their fair share?
- Is everyone responsible for their own washing-up?
- How will the bills be split?
- Who is responsible for paying in the money?
- Whose name will be on the bills?
- How will general house items such as cleaning products, bin liners and toilet rolls be paid for?
- Who is responsible for buying them? Is there a rota?
- Should there be a house kitty that everyone pays into to cover costs for household items like these?
- Will everyone buy their own or will you share the costs?
- Will food items like milk, bread and tea or coffee be bought from the house kitty or individually?
- Can girlfriends/boyfriends stay the night?
- Can friends or family stay the night/weekend?
- Where will guests stay?
- No two people are the same and everyone will have different opinions on how things should be done. Listen to everyone's ideas and come up with a compromise together that everyone feels comfortable with
- Living with someone can be a brilliant experience, but it can also be intense and it is not unusual to argue with your housemates from time to time. Don't worry if you have had an argument. Try calmly talking to your housemate and discussing what caused the fight and how the problem can be resolved
- The most important thing about sharing a home is to respect the people you are living with. Everyone has the right to lead the life they want and have privacy in their own home. Treat your housemates as you want them to treat you
- Communication is key when sharing a home with other people. If something is bothering you, tell your housemates. It doesn't have to lead to an argument if you talk to them honestly and calmly. Try to understand their point-of-view as well
- If you are having problems sharing your home and can't talk to your housemates or family, you can call Meic for free and confidential help and support or visit the Citizens Advice Bureau for advice on your legal rights