Living in a flatshare is a great way to meet new people and save money on living expenses. However, some tenants have had problems with their flatmates such as space invasions, noisy nights, messy situations, and more. You can avoid all of these problems by meeting with your flatmates and laying out some rules on paper. Lay out the rules together and have everyone involved sign the agreement.
Safety should be number one on the agreement. It’s vital for everyone. Flatmates must lock the doors when leaving the property, even if it is just down the street. If you open a window make sure it is locked when you close it. Protect your house keys. Don’t let others borrow them. It is way too easy to make copies.
2. Food and Drinks
Everyone buys their own food and drinks and labels them. If it’s not labeled; it’s up for grabs. That will ensure flatmates label their food and drinks. Assign refrigerator shelves, cupboards and drawers in the kitchen for each mate. Yes, you should put this in the agreement too. It’s hard to argue about something you agreed to earlier with your own signature.
Set a noise curfew for everyone in the apartment. Generally, 10 at night is a good time. A noise curfew means that no loud noise will be made after the agreed upon time. This includes loud music, loud guests, etc. Agree upon a time and write it in the agreement.
There are two general types of space in a flatshare: public and private. Public areas are usually the kitchen, living room and bathroom. If you make a mess clean it up right away. Flatmates should not have to clean up after each other. It’s inconvenient and annoying. All public areas need to be kept clean. Private areas should also be kept clean. Filth can lead to pest problems that no one wants. Chores will also need to be outlined in the flatmate agreement. Write down who will do what and when. General chores include dusting, vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, and washing dishes.
Flatmates need to respect each other’s space. Designate the apartment’s space for each flatmate. What is not designated is public space. A flatmate should use her own space and no more.
It would be wise to invest in an attorney to have a professional meeting with you and your flatmates, and to have him write up the contract for you. Your contract will be in writing, signed and written by an attorney so you and your flatmates can enjoy your stay together.