Problems with housemates or falling out are one of the single biggest source of housing enquires to The Advice Centre. To help avoid potential housemate problems, we advise the following:
- Take time to get to know the people youâ€™re about to enter a binding legal contract with
- Do your lifestyles clash? Do your personalities align? Are they too messy? You canâ€™t live with everyone: you may have friends from halls, from your course and from all over the place. Itâ€™s difficult choosing but be realistic, who will it be easier to live with for a whole year?
- Before you decide to live together, socialise a few times as a group. See what your future housemates are like in different social situations. Are they talkative with you? Do they respond well to challenging situations?
- Smaller groups of housemates (3-4) allow for better communication, as well as fewer cliques and fewer visitors.
- Think before living with people with whom you have intimate relationship. A year is a long time, and you canâ€™t guarantee you will stay in relationships for the length of your contract. Living with an ex is probably a situation youâ€™d prefer to avoidâ€¦
If the stress of looking for a house is causing problems in the group, what will it be like living together? As long as you havenâ€™t signed a contract, itâ€™s not too late to change housemates. Donâ€™t be afraid of speaking out now, rather than suffer later.
Being a good neighbour is not only virtuous it also can be of benefit for you â€“ who is going to keep an eye on your house when you go home for the Christmas holidays?
As well as studying at University you are also part of a wider community; a street, a neighbourhood and an entire city. To be a part of that community:
- Introduce yourself to your neighbours
- Remind yourself of your contractual obligations regarding noise and any shared areas (most Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreements will have a clauses)
- Find out when the bins are collected
- If you are suffering from noisy neighbours take appropriate action by contacting Environmental Health