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Starting the process of moving out can be equal parts exciting and overwhelming. After all, when it comes to entering the property market, there are so many roads that renters or buyers can walk down.
For some, moving into a share house makes the most sense. Being able to share the financial burden with other housemates can ease a lot of pressure. Similarly, being surrounded by other people can ease feelings of loneliness that people often feel when they first move out.
While moving into a share house presents as a great opportunity, it is worth remembering that there are logistical and practical considerations to take into account. By having all the information on the table before signing a lease, you can save a lot of stress and heart ache.
Consideration #1: The details of the rental agreement
When moving into a share house, it can be tempting to let existing housemates be responsible for the lease and handling the rent money. However, it’s vital to look at and understand the rental agreement.
This way, you can be protected if things were to go wrong with your new housemates. Importantly, having an understanding of the rental agreement will also help you understand your inherent rights as a renter.
In a practical sense, this may help you in terms of repairs and maintenance. If you don’t read the lease, you may pay for repairs in your room that are actually covered under the terms of the lease.
It’s also worth familiarizing yourself with the terms of the lease in order to understand any limitations associated with the lease such as rules around pets. Importantly, the lease will also outline pertinent information surrounding the bond and when exactly rent is due.
Consideration #2: Dividing household duties
A home requires maintenance. Whether it be loading the dishwasher or cleaning the bathroom sink, there are many duties to perform on any given day. To avoid festering resentments, those living in a share house should give consideration to a chores list.
By dividing up household duties like grocery shopping, taking the bins out and vacuuming, every member in the share house is actively contributing. This helps to keep a nice home and to keep the peace between housemates.
When creating a list of chores it can be easy to have everyone keep the same jobs. However, some household duties are a lot more involved than others. That’s why it’s only fair to have a changing list of duties.
Consideration #3: Sharing personal items
Everybody has precious possessions and it’s safe to assume that this is the case for people living in share houses too. To ensure that everyone gets along, it’s wise to sit down and talk about what possessions are out of bounds and what possessions can be shared.
These possessions could range from things like guitars and bath towels to boxes of cereal and DVD collections. While talking about all these items might seem time consuming and tedious, it can save a lot of fights in the long run.
This conversation can also be a source of friction. Especially if other house members are sharing their belongings while one person remains hesitant. While this might be frustrating, it’s easier to keep the peace now than have a falling out over an empty milk carton in the fridge.
Consideration #4: Calculating expenses
Keeping a house running requires an ongoing financial commitment. There will always be electricity, gas, water and even grocery bills that need to be paid. Additionally, in this modern age, those moving into a share house may need to change their internet plan or provider.
When it comes to calculating the expenses of each member in the share house, costs can be divided in a variety of ways. For example, if one housemate works from home as a graphic designer downloading and uploading huge files and playing online games, they will use up more internet than a book lover who spends their day at work.
In this instance, it might be wise to have people pay for what they actually use, rather than just splitting the bill evenly amongst housemates. If this seems like too much work, then every housemate needs to agree that they are comfortable with splitting all bills equally.
Moving into a share house is an exciting life step. The opportunity to live independently and yet with a group of housemates can be very rewarding. Living with companions not only helps ease financial pressures, but also the social pressures often associated with moving out.
However, before there can be movie or game nights, certain practicalities need to be considered. Otherwise, relationships between housemates can quickly become tenuous or fractured.
To ensure that all housemates can co-exist, make sure to have the hard conversations, this way, every person in the house will know what will and won’t work. By taking the time to lay the groundwork in the early days, moving into a share house can be very rewarding.