The Housemates' Guide to Happiness
A house is not always a home. Do your best to make it feel like one!
This page is meant to help you and your housemates agree on some simple principles at the beginning of your rental period to leave your relationship conflict-free and your time at home as enjoyable as possible.
Fill it in, print it out and stick it up on the fridge!
Agree between the tenants and the landlord what fair rents from each room should be.
Which Rooms should cost more?
When you've decided what the individual room rents should be, fill them in here:
|Housemate Names||Rent to pay|
Another important cost to remember is your deposit. This should be held by your landlord in a government backed tenancy deposit scheme. Any material damages to your home caused during your tenancy can be taken from this deposit. Make sure you also agree with your housemates that whoever causes the damage, or whoever’s friend/pet/partner/alien causes the damage is responsible. In the event of a party or a “blackout”, you should all agree to split any of the damages evenly.Your deposit should not be unreasonably held by your Landlord. If it is, please contact Generation Rent/legal charity/tenant protection group who will be able to help you better navigate the situation.
Utilities and Services
Fill out this section to keep a record of whose name is on what bill, how much the payment will be, and how it is paid. Fill these in later if you don't know what they are yet, or cross them out if they're included in the rent. Just make sure you've budgeted personally and as a group for the costs!
A key to your happiness at home is agreeing this all up front, trust us!
One of the best ways to stay happy is pretty obvious...avoid problems! When it comes to housemate conflicts, the most frequent causes mentioned in a survey of 18-40 year olds we carried out were:
- Lack of respect of common areas
- Lack of respect for other people’s belongings (don’t use their shampoo!)
- Money issues and splitting bills
- Lifestyle differenced
- Poor communication
- Too noisy
When it comes to resolving these conflicts, a face to face solution seems to be the most efficient. Setting up a house meeting and sending text messages were also mentioned.
Discuss if the housemates are happy to have people over late at night/early in the morning. If those visitors are or become “regulars”, then it also might make sense for them to contribute towards the costs of the "common items" or utility bills. Our survey found that once guests become regulars and start staying more than a couple of times a week, people expect them to start chipping in. However if housemates are away for extended periods of time, perhaps their split can be negotiated down. Of course, all this is only possible when discussed in advance and communicated openly from the outset!
Most importantly, check your lease to make sure owning a pet isn’t going to get you kicked out! Beyond that, make sure your housemates are ok with your pet dog/cat/alligator and don’t have any allergies or deep seated fears etc. If you have an especially messy pet, you should also think about how you’re going to deal with the cleaning and whether it makes sense for you contribute a little more time/money on that front than the other housemates. If the pet is owned by one person then that person should assume all responsibility on any damages caused by their pet. Again, this all should be discussed up front to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Agree on a rotation to include taking the trash/recycling out, mopping, scrubbing and vacuuming common areas, the kitchen and the bathroom. You may also consider hiring a cleaner to sort that all out for you. For rubbish and recycling collection, the council should give you a schedule of when the collection days are don’t forget to put the bins out on the right days!
If you don’t have a schedule, you can usually look it up on your council’s website: https://www.gov.uk/rubbishcollectionday
It does make sense from time to time, whether it’s spring or not, to do a bit of “spring cleaning”. So maybe put aside a few pounds each month to support getting a cleaner once in a while or after a particularly brilliant party! If you need some help quickly, check out the amazing apps and websites: Bizzby and Hassle.
Make a list of all the common items in the house that get used by everyone. All housemates and regular guests should chip in for these costs:
It’s really, really important to respect your housemates’ personal items we can’t tell you how many stories we have heard about this being a huge bug bear. DON’T TOUCH IT IF IT AIN’T YOURS and if you have to or you just really want to, another simple rule: JUST ASK. You’ll be amazed at how well things can go with your flatmates if you simply respect them, their things and your home together :)