Be informed

News & Media

How to live with a flatmate

7 Aug 13

If you are living in a rental property, there is a good chance you share it with one or more flatmates.

Some will feel like a match made in heaven - they do their dishes, keep the living room tidy and are fast asleep by ten o'clock.

Meanwhile, others may make you want to go crawling back to your parents' place, vowing to never leave that safe haven again.

Here are some real estate tips you can keep in mind no matter who you flat with, to ensure a happy living environment for all involved.

Talk, talk, talk

When you're living with someone else, no matter how close or distant you are, open and honest communication is an absolute requirement.

If you have a particular issue with a flatmate - whether it's because their showers take too long or they're not doing their fair share of the housework - take the time to discuss it with them.

Likewise, encourage them to bring forth any issues they may have with you.

Whatever you do, don't bottle it up and try to resolve everything yourself!

Respect each other's preferences

Even if it’s your best friend, you'll never find a flatmate who is exactly the same as you.

Different people have different perceptions of what is acceptable. This includes things such as noise levels, how many friends you can invite over at a time, and even what you can cook at home.

When starting out with a new flatmate, make sure you both agree on some house rules, to reduce the risk of conflict later on.

Keep on top of your finances

Money can be a tricky issue to bring up, even when you have a good relationship with your flatmate.

Make sure that allocations for costs such as rent, utilities and household items are evenly spread, and devise an effective system for managing them. For example, you could agree to have the rent automatically debited from your bank accounts.