10 Top Tips for Sharing a House (and making it out alive)

Written by Ellen Holcombe

10 Top Tips for Sharing a House (and making it out alive)"

So, you’re sharing a house with other human beings? A bunch of human beings who aren’t your family. Follow our top tips to help you win at living in a shared house.

1 - Pick rooms before moving in.
Avoid running through the house on moving day screaming ‘dibs’ by picking rooms before actually moving in. Throw names into a hat or have a game (or three) of rock, paper, scissors to settle it fairly.

2 - Create an inventory.
Some houses come with an inventory form for you to fill in, but if yours doesn’t, make your own. Take photos of any pre-existing damage to the house and furniture to avoid losing your deposit when you leave.

3 - Take meter readings.
Find your gas, electric, and water meters right away. Not everyone has a water meter, some people don’t have gas, but everyone will have an electric meter. Take meter readings and submit them to your current supplier straight away. To find out who your current suppliers are, click here.

4 - Sort your bills ASAP.
Nothing ruins moving day like realising you don’t have broadband sorted. Plus, you’re responsible for paying bills from your tenancy start date, whether you’ve moved in or not. Ignoring your bills will come back and bite you in the derrière when you’ve racked up a load of debt with the current supplier. Sort your bills ASAP and start paying in the summer to build up credit to cover higher usage in the winter.

5 - Do your bit.
Share the load when it comes to cleaning your gaff. It’ll help keep the peace and make sure your house is actually liveable. Nobody wants mold and rats, right?

6 - Know your landlord’s fees.
Make sure you ask your landlord for their list of fees for things like lost keys, repairs, and even un-removed Blu-tack. The last thing you want is to find out that these things have rinsed your deposit when you move out.

7 - Don’t be the milk thief.
Stolen food is a touchy subject even between the best of pals. Unless you can replace it immediately or ask your mate’s permission to devour their leftover pizza or last drop of milk, step away from the grub.

8 - Stay secure.
A student house is a goldmine for burglars. Be vigilant and always lock your doors and windows. If you’ve got a house alarm, use it! The last thing you want to return to find your house broken into and your precious laptop missing.

9 - Get some earplugs.
Living in a shared house can result in some seriously LOUD NOISES. At all hours. Get yourself some earplugs (you might be able to grab some for free at your fresher’s fair) to make sure you sleep like a baby the night before a deadline or exam.

10 - Sort your council tax.
Students are exempt from paying council tax (hurrah!), but you have to actually register as a student with your local council. You can usually print an exemption form through your university online portal, but if not, head to your local council’s website. All you have to do is fill in a form, post it off, and say ‘goodbye’ to council tax. Check out our post on Council Tax for Students

Want to know a hassle free way to sort your shared bills?

Shared bills are a faff. Join Split The Bills and we’ll look after them for you and split them evenly between you and your housemates.

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  • Only pay for what you use
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