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A Housemate’s Story

27 May 2010 Stuart Zullo 0 Comment

Living in share-houses with friends or even strangers is nothing new in rental housing. Group households account for 13% and 14% respectively for Casula and Liverpool according to stats on myrp.com.au.

Who are the parties involved with share-housing? Well there are the landlords – the owners of the property; the managing agents – generally a real estate rental department; and the tenants – a group of people sharing the rights and responsibilities of renting the property.
Today I’m going to focus on the tenants: the housemates.
If you’ve ever shared accommodation with friends for a long period of time, you’ll know that there are some common courtesies that you need to be mindful of to ensure a happy and healthy relationship is maintained throughout the duration of the living arrangement.
The bathroom, kitchen, lounge and parking can be contentious issues if ground rules aren’t set from the beginning. How are you going to arrange the cooking? Do it yourself or share responsibilities? Who get’s to park their car undercover and when? What are the boundaries for sharing the bathroom, laundry and TV remote? Who is responsible for cleaning what areas of the house and when?
When the bills start rolling in for phone, electricity, internet, gas etc, there can be arguments over who’s used what and who owes for their share? The important thing to do here is at the start of the tenancy; decide what fair use is, and the expected sharing of the bill payments.
Is it equal shares no matter what? Or do some things get used more by some people than others, and therefore are to be covered more by the higher users? Again, the ground rules here should be agreed upon to avoid issues in the long term.
These are just some of the things you need to think about when you’re moving into a share-house or group living arrangement, whether it is with friends you’ve known forever or people you don’t know at all.

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