Like it or not, sharing a home with someone else could expose some unexpected differences and cause conflicts or worse, a falling out between long-time friends.
There are several factors that could cause conflicts, especially when living under one roof and it would be wise if you can take steps to avoid it and live in harmony with your housemate.
Agree to compromise
The best way to prevent future conflicts or disagreements is by taking the time to discuss personal matters with your future housemate.
Plan ahead and prepare for a time to have a sincere conversation talk about each of your lifestyles, habits, routines, and preferences to see if you can come to a compromise agreement regarding your living conditions in your proposed home situation.
It can be in the form of an interview or informal dialogue, but what’s important is to emphasise the nature of the meeting to avoid possible conflicts or misunderstandings when sharing a house or apartment.
Shared contractual responsibilities
Whenever possible, convince all parties to sign the lease contract for awareness of your shared responsibilities and rights. This also means shared accountability in terms of caring and handling the property, as well as possible liabilities when it happens.
Rental payment sharing
Shared mortgage or rent payments can be a pain, so it would be wise to discuss splitting the payment costs and come to an agreement before signing the lease contract. You can figure it out such as measuring the respective floor area that each party will be occupying and calculating the area based on the total rental or mortgage payment or base it on property perks that are available in your selected and occupied living space.
This can be done by rationing utility bills such as water, heating, air-conditioning, internet, etc. which is something to seriously consider for your home sharing arrangement. This also includes who pays the bills and when, since payments are made as a whole based on property and not based on the number of people residing.
One good way to do so is to calculate the bills and divide them among each of you and designate housemates with payment schedules each to avoid disconnections or surcharges from the service provider for late or neglected payments.
Household responsibilities and chores
Surveys show that major and annoying problems with home-sharing are the cleaning and household chores. Address this beforehand to avoid getting into conflict with housemates.
Create a weekly cleaning roster that delegates tasks equally and everyone gets their fair share of work.
Should you or any of your housemates may be too busy and have little spare time, setting up a regular fund to pay for a home cleaning service can be a good option.
Keep your things and mess in your occupied space and maintaining or cleaning up after is totally up to you.
“Clean as you go” is a great policy for common areas and to never leave personal things scattered around which could eventually be a cause for concern among housemates.
Kitchen and food
Like your household chores, schedule each one with their share of the grocery shopping, cooking, and dishwashing. You can set aside a grocery fund with everyone contributing their share for the groceries and kitchen needs.
Mutual respect and communication
Always observe mutual respect among housemates and open communication is critical to help resolve conflicts and avoid getting into trouble with each one sharing your living space.
Common and private areas
It can be a visit from family or friends, a work-from-home conference, or a social call, it is critical to set expectations and create guidelines for it to avoid problems. Remember that your housemate may not share your perspectives such as visitors or friends coming to visit unannounced so keeping everyone informed or respecting their privacy is important.
The same with pets, since not everyone shares your passion for pets, so make sure that is addressed from the start and establish a compromise that can be mutually beneficial for all parties.
So, when planning to share a home with a family member or a friend, remember these simple yet practical tips to avoid getting into conflict and have a happy and harmonious relationship with your housemates.