What About a Share House?
A share house is a money-saving alternative to renting your own place. When you share a house, your bills, rent and possibly food costs will be much lower and, if the house is already established, you don't have to worry about buying things like a couch, fridge, TV etc.
Choosing Good Housemates
Moving in with friends or siblings can be fun, but it can sometimes result in conflict and a loss of friendship. Think carefully about the type of person suited to your routines and personality.
Ask friends who have lived in share houses, or consult a counsellor, youth worker or a relative. Everyone's got a "housemates from hell" story, so think carefully and hopefully you won't end up with one!
If things do get hairy, though, there are things you can do - check out our When Things Go Wrong page for ideas for managing disputes.
Set Some Guidelines
Every share house is different, but there are some guidelines that can steer even the friendliest house through potential conflict:
- Issue or ask for a receipt when you pay or collect the rent
- Spread responsibility for bill payment - remember that the person named on the account is ultimately responsible for unpaid amounts and this may affect their future credit rating
- Know and respect the routines in your house
- Learn to make deals and compromises
- Respect each other's privacy
- Don't spring surprises such as a new puppy or paint job without housemate consensus
- Where possible, deal with problems through face-to-face communication
Our Living in a share house page has some tips and ideas to help make sharing with your flatmates a great experience.
Tenant's Union Victoria - Publications
Although the Tenant's Union can't help out in share house disputes, they provide fact sheets on a range of tenancy issues, including shared households.
Consumer Affairs Victoria - Renting
Comprehensive renting guides in different languages for rented premises, caravan parks and rooming houses. Fact sheets targeting specific issues such making a decision to rent; payments; tenancy problems and bonds.
Reach Out! - All About Managing Money
Advice on managing money and bills in a share house, and more general advice on planning to move out and balance work, education and moving out of home.