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Staying with housemates: Survival guide 101

Written by Kyler Chua, December 2016

Rent

Ensure that you have your rent split equally. Discuss this before you set it. Changing the rent halfway through your stay is not advisable. Do keep one another informed in advance if you foresee yourself moving out or have to make change to your accommodation so your housemates have sufficient time to get replacement.

Communication

If a decision has been made on something that is shared between you and your housemates. I believe you would not wish to be left out. Create a whatsapp group with your housemates to ensure everyone has the first hand information on any updates.

If unsure, ask.

House rules

Everyone has different living habits. Have a set of rules ensures that nobody crosses the boundary. Some of the common ones are as follows:

  • Cleaning up after cooking

  • Refilling the toilet roll after it finishes

  • Ensure you flush the toilet after each use

  • Consult your housemate before bringing any friends over 

  • Consult your housemate before borrowing any items

  • Billing -  Who is in charge and how is the bill split

  • Quiet period as each one of us has different sleeping hours

  • Rules of using communal spaces (what should be left there, volume, etc)

  • Refrigerator - Ensure each one gets a shelf or space

  • House rules are man-made, if need be, “trash things out”, have a meeting to change the rules if need be. There is no one right way of doing things.

Roster

  • What are the shared household chores?

  • Who will do what?

  • When are each of the chores scheduled?

Get together day

Home is a place of sanctuary. The key to harmonious living is perhaps to have a bonding day. A few hours in a week spent doing things together. It can be over a meal, going out to do something fun, do groceries together, or just chilling out. 

Compromise

Learning to compromise is still the biggest key to living harmoniously. Sometimes rather than thinking what has been done, think about how to resolve it instead. Saying is easy, doing is hard, that I know. I have been there done that to know that it can be tough. Good luck and enjoy the experience!

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