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18/03/2020 | Be a tenant

How to successfully live with your flatmate?

How to successfully live with your flatmate?

This is more than just a fashion: living with a flatmate is often a necessity in cities where tenancy rates grow sharply. Are you ready to live with a flatmate? Here is some advice to help you live with your friends in peace, so that they stay friends, or with strangers to make them become your friends!

 Main advantages of living together as flatmates

– Certainly, sharing the costs: rent, power, water, the Internet, as well as other taxes and levies stipulated in the tenancy agreement. Expenses related to minor problems with water or power system, unless they are the responsibility of the Landlord, can also be shared, and if you buy together, the monthly expenses will be lower.

– One can have a bigger apartment where every flatmate can have one’s own room and can use common areas, common housing services, or a garden, if this is a house.

– Living with the others you may become friends with, particularly if you are afraid of being lonely or come to an unknown city. If you are a loner or an individualist, think twice before you decide to live with someone else.

Some thoughts before you make your decision

Living with a flatmate is not reserved for students, regardless if they are “broke” or not. This can also be a solution for working people, single parents, and even seniors. Before you make your decision, think about this way of living because, apart from financial benefits, there are always certain limitations regarding lifestyle, particularly in the case of a large apartment shared by three or four, or sometimes even more people. Keywords for flatmates are tolerance, respect, compromise, communication, and sharing.

Meeting your future flatmates and talking is necessary to determine the rules to be acknowledged and accepted still before you start living together. Setting the rules in a prior conversation acts as a precaution against future inconveniences, and mitigates potential sources of conflicts, such as sharing chores or cleaning the apartment. This can also assure the compatibility of lifestyles among the flatmates.

For example, if you don’t smoke, it would be hard for you to live with a smoker and the other way round. If you don’t like animals in your apartment, will you sustain the presence of your flatmate’s cat, dog, or hamster? If you like the quiet, and your flatmate throws parties every night, there is a risk of tension escalating quickly.

Remember to carefully think of the location of the apartment. The atmosphere at your shared apartment can be nice, but if it is far from public transport, this may also cause some problems.

Tenancy agreement in the case of apartment sharing

Basically, tenancy agreement is one for all tenants. Each and every one of them is listed in the agreement and must sign it. The agreement constitutes a shared responsibility of co-tenants with respect to the landlord. In other words, if the rent is not paid for any reason, the landlord may request payment from just one co-tenant. If one of the co-tenants wishes to leave the apartment, however, such a co-tenant may ask the landlord for individual withdrawal from the agreement. In the event of such a withdrawal, all tenants must agree thereto.

Another possibility, perhaps more interesting and simpler to flatmates, is to conclude several agreements with individual persons. In such a case, a tenancy agreement for a room is signed, with the assured possibility of using common areas. In such a case, every flatmate pays one’s own rent to the landlord. If one of the flatmates fails to pay the rent, this will not affect the situation of the others. In the event of a conflict or any other reason, you may leave the apartment without the need to arrange it with the others.

To establish and maintain good relations

– One must define the chore schedule: What must be done? By whom? When? Think of dividing the tasks so that the most unpleasant works are not always done by the same person/people.

– Keep the common areas clean, and keep order in your room.

– If the rooms are not identical: have different areas, have more or less light, or less place to store things, it is worth trying to find a fair agreement who is to occupy which room.

– It would be best if everyone furnished their own room. One should avoid buying furniture together unless the situation is exceptional.

– You should define who will be responsible for paying the bills, even if the amount is shared. What to do if someone is absent for a longer time? Will he or she have to pay for water, power, the Internet?

– It is worth thinking of a common budget for joint parties or purchases.

– If one of the flatmates fails to pay the rent or pays it with a delay, depending on the type of tenancy, ask in advance about the decisions to be made.

– Respect everyone’s privacy and requirements (study, sleep, etc.). It will be hard to live with someone throwing parties often if you have to study or get up early.

– One must organise a way for storing food in the fridge and cupboards. Plan how you will organise your meals: together regularly, or everyone cooking for themselves? Decide whether and how to do the shopping together. One also mustn’t use the flatmate’s food without one’s consent.

– In the event of a conflict, do not let it escalate. Something really bothers you? Talk about it. Communication is the key to successful living together. 

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