Tips for Sharing a House

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Sharing a house? – Here are 6 Tips Before Signing a Lease.

Agree on everything BEFORE signing the lease. Many tenants decide to share accommodation with a friend or colleague after viewing some properties that are just out of financial reach. Suddenly, the thought that halving the rent with someone could mean you can afford a more desirable property.

This is often a rushed decision that can lead to many arguments. To help decide if sharing is for you, we have developed these few questions to ask yourself and your future flatmate.

    1. How will rent be split? 

This may seem like a straight-forward answer being 50/50 but what if there is only 1 car accommodation and the other car is on the street? What if there is an ensuite for 1 bedroom but not the other?  Decide who pays for what portion of the rent before starting a lease. Remember that if rent falls behind, all tenants will be notified and breached – not just the one who didn’t pay.

    1. How will bills be split?

Once again can be 50/50 but always best to agree first – preferably in writing. Decide if all names will be on the utilities or just one person as a main contact.

    1. Cleaning roster?

While many new tenants often groan about a roster, agreeing on who will be responsible for cleaning each room and when, will help when an argument ensues over the mouldy bathroom! Your Property Manager will not be impressed if cleaning is not completed regularly. This may affect your rental history.

    1. Who is responsible for cooking and groceries?

Once again, a roster for this can be quite helpful. Often, it’s not practical to just cook for 1 person so a shared menu and grocery list can cut costs. Make a list at the start of each week and decide together. Household basics should all be split evenly but “extras” such as those chocolates you must have should be paid for separately.

    1. What furniture is needed?

This can sometimes depend on the house but talk about this before moving in. There is no need for 2 fridges, 2 lounges or 2 tables. Decide who brings what and make a list of who owns it.

    1. House rules

Decide on house rules at the start. These could include: no smoking, no friends over past 10pm, no wet towels on the floor, anything that can cause arguments should be discussed beforehand.

Once you have discussed these items, write them down and sign the agreement.

While it may not be an enforceable document it will help to mediate any problems if they arise in the future.

Don’t forget that a lease is a binding agreement. Once you both sign, you have a contract to live together for the duration of the lease. If it doesn’t work out or you simply can’t agree, you will need to speak to your property manager. Breaking a lease can be quite costly and could cost you more than you think.

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