Intro to Share Housing

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Sharing a house is a money-saving alternative to renting your own place. When you share a house, you'll be able to split bills, rent and possibly food costs. If the share house you move into is already established, there's the added benefit of not having to worry about buying things like a couch, a fridge, TV etc.

Choosing good housemates

Moving in with friends or family can be fun, but new living arrangements and new responsibilities can sometimes create tension. Not all your mates will make excellent housemates, and just because you've lived with family members before doesn't mean things will go smoothly in a share house.

Think carefully about the type of person you could live with. Ask for advice from friends or family who've lived in share houses before. Everyone's got a "housemate from hell" story, but if you choose carefully, hopefully you won't end up with one too!

Sometimes you don't have much choice over housemates, especially if you're moving into an established sharehouse. All you've got to go on is your own impressions, but if you think carefully, that should be enough.

Check out our Finding a Housemate and Choosing a Housemate pages for more advice.

If things do get hairy, there are things you can do - check out our Sharehousing: When Things Go Wrong page for ideas for some tips.

Set some guidelines

Every share house is different, but here are some basic guidelines that can steer even the friendliest house through potential conflict:

  • Respect the routines in your house
  • Learn to compromise
  • Respect each other's privacy
  • Don't spring surprises (like a new puppy or paint job) on your housemates
  • When you pay (or collect) the rent, ask for (or give out) a receipt - it helps avoid confusion about who's paid and who hasn't
  • Share responsibility for bills, but remember the person whose name is on the bill is responsible for unpaid amounts
  • Whenever possible, deal with your problems through face-to-face communication

Our 5 Tips for Living In a Share House page has some more tips and ideas to help make sharing with your flatmates a great experience.

Links

Reach Out! - All About Managing Money
Advice about on managing money and bills in a share house, plus general advice on moving out and balancing work/education.

Tenants Union of Victoria - Student Housing
Download a range of fact sheets about renting and sharehousing, including how to find and apply for a rental house, and how to keep the "mates" in "housemates".

Consumer Affairs Victoria - Renting
Information about renting, including advice on paying rent and bonds, and how to deal with tenancy problems.