Tips for living with house mates.
Here is to new beginings.
A lot of fun may come from moving in with housemates! Maybe you just finished your senior year and want to continue your education or enter the workforce so you may gain experience living away from home. You’ll have someone to talk to and share chores and expenses with when you live with roommates. However, before settling in with housemates, make sure everyone agrees on how to divide rent, expenses, and maintenance.
The property and the kind of agreements you have with your housemates over issues like power usage, water rates, and who has the master bedroom or their ensuite, for example, will determine how the costs are divided.
Here are some issues you should address before considering housing sharing with possible housemates.
- Who should be listed on the tenancy agreement?
The answer is that everyone who intends to occupy the property should bear equal responsibility for the Tenancy.
Make sure you all submit applications and sign the tenancy agreement when renting a shared home. As the Tenancy Agreement is a formal document, this will ensure that everyone is fully responsible for the rental throughout the Tenancy and, most crucially, when it is time to end the Tenancy.
- Work out how much rent will each person pay?
The best way to split rent and make sure payments can be tracked among roommates is to open a joint account into which each person deposits their rent before setting up a direct deposit to the agency. This will prevent discrepancies if one housemate claims to have paid but has not.
The method of determining how much rent each housemate must pay will vary depending on how the property is configured and which housemate has access to which bedrooms and facilities. One of the lesser bedrooms with a common bathroom could be less expensive than the master bedroom with an ensuite. However, if there is just one garage space, you can decide to allow the roommate with the smaller room to leave their car parked there. You could agree to pay equal rent in this situation. Everything here relies on the home and the amenities that each roommate will use.
Ultimately you will want to decide all these details before committing to a rental agreement to ensure that everyone is happy.
- Put in writing how you’ll share the rent.
Do the same with how you will divide the rent now that your lease is on paper. Once a decision is made, it becomes more official so that everyone is clear as to who is responsible for what and when.
- Talk about the Bills
It’s challenging to monitor individual utility usage within a building. For this reason, the majority of roommates will concur to evenly divide expenses like internet and energy. However, before you decide to divide things equally, make sure you talk to your housemates about their usage.
You may decide that the housemate with air conditioning will pay a bigger share of the power bill, for instance, if one of the bedrooms in your apartment has air conditioning and your roommate wants it on every night in the summer. It all comes down to reaching a reasonable arrangement depending on how power and the internet are typically used by each party.
- Discuss additional expenses
Depending on how your house is set up and everyone’s preferences, the cost for other things like essential foods and shared items like cleaning products could also be split among housemates.
Some people prefer to have a shared fund for necessities like milk, butter, and bread, whilst other households prefer to go their separate ways. To ensure that everyone is satisfied with how prices are divided for shared things, it is recommended to have a brief talk upfront to find out your housemate’s preferences.
- Begin to live!
Even though discussing how to divide costs and rent can be a little awkward, being clear upfront about how you’ll run the property will help reduce the likelihood of future conflicts.
Get the most out of your time living with housemates!
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Please keep in mind that this post is not intended to provide financial or legal advice. Before making any decisions for yourself, please speak with your expert financial and legal advisors.