Sharing housing - How to make it work

Sharing housing - How to make it work

Moving in with housemates can be an excellent way to cut living costs, but it brings its own set of challenges. Read our practical advice for sharing a home and being well prepared before you move.

Know your own needs – and voice them

Everyone has different likes and dislikes when it comes to house rules, and when you move in with someone new you need to know your own sticking points. Some people hate dirty dishes, for others wearing shoes in the house is a problem. The only way to make sure everyone is accommodated is to sit down and share and manage your pet peeves beforehand.

Discuss buying and borrowing

Before you move into your new place, work out what basics you'll need and who is responsible for them. You'll probably want to to buy a few essentials and there's no point both turning up with a brand new toaster and no cutlery. You should also both discuss how comfortable you are with sharing or borrowing each other's possessions, so the parameters are set before someone damages or breaks the other’s belongings.

Find out whether they've shared before

Learning how to compromise and happily coexist can take some getting used to, so it's good to know whether your prospective housemate has shared before and what their experiences have been. Find out whether they've had problems living with other people in the past to see what's important to them and always ask for references (if they aren’t a friend or someone you know well).

Respect shared spaces and private ones

One of the hardest things about sharing with new housemates is working out where their personal boundaries are and how to respect them. While you should expect to share certain living areas, you should also be aware of giving each other plenty of personal space. This can be anything from staying out of each other's bedrooms to taking it in turns to vacate the living room.

Agree on bills and expenses

Work out your expected bills and expenses ahead of time and agree who will be paying what. We can help you get organised when it comes to your energy bill before you've even moved in. Compare energy plans to find out how much your energy bills could cost for your suburb and organise your connection before you move in.