Top 5 Tips to Avoid a House Share Nightmare

Sharing a house will be one of the lasting memories you have of your time at university. Make sure that memory isn’t a hellish one with our simple tips on avoiding a house share nightmare.

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Choosing housemates: When you’ve got the opportunity to move into a share house, it’s easy to get side-tracked by finding an awesome property, but don’t do anything until you’ve found some awesome housemates. Usually, when you lease a house it’s for a whole year and this can be a very long time to live with people you clash with.

Even with great mates, you’re likely clash at some point but choose your battles wisely – if someone keeps eating your bread, it’s annoying but bearable. Someone who never chips in for their share of the bills however, is a different kettle of fish.

Don’t agree to live with someone because they’re hot, have an Xbox or a car, and make a personal pact not to date any of them. Sharing with couples can be fraught with problems; the public smooching, the rows, the asking you to take sides. Think very carefully before you move in with a couple, or become one of them.

Bills and Cleaning: That guy who is brilliant company in lectures or the student bar might be fun, but if he can’t manage his money, you might end up footing his share of the bills. Only share with people who have an income and are organised enough to pay their way. Sorting money out each month is one of the biggest causes of house disputes, closely followed by the cleaning.

Everyone has different standards of cleanliness and the state of the communal kitchen or bathroom are usually the first places where tempers fray. Try and find housemates with a similar attitude to housework as you. You could always try and cobble together a cleaning rota, but what do you do if someone doesn’t stick to it? Take their pocket money? Ground them? Manage your expectations and clean up after yourself.

House Rules: Before you settle in, get together and agree some house rules, not only for the cleaning and the bills, but for visitors and noise too. When you stumble half asleep to the bathroom in the night, it can be disconcerting to bump into a total stranger on the landing. If you love Artic Monkeys and the guy or girl in the next room loves Peter Andre (some people are just odd like that) a sound system war will quickly shred your nerves. Decide between you what is acceptable and stick to it.

Prepare to Share: When you share a house, you need to be prepared to share the TV, the bathroom, the cooker and whether you like it or not, some of your secrets too. Manners and a little discretion cost nothing; soundproofing your walls however, is expensive.

Letting Agents: Use one that’s recommended by your University or your friends. There are plenty of private landlords out there who are interested in your rent payments and nothing more. Houses have problems, heating breaks down, mice move in and roofs leak – it happens. A reliable landlord like Pickard Propertiesunderstand that all manner of things that can go wrong and help you to fix it.

Now you know what to do, you can make sure your house share is a happy one!

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