C5 - Having a Flatmate

A flatmate is someone you share your home with on a more-or-less equal footing. If you are in rental accommodation, there may be restrictions on the number of people who can live there, and so you may not be able to have a flatmate.

You may arrange for your flatmate to have a furnished room. However, you will need to clear all the existing personal belongings out of the room, leaving them with a bed, desk, chair, wardrobe and dresser.

If they have their own furniture, you will need to find somewhere else to put the room's original belongings.

Your flatmate should be able to lock their bedroom door for their own privacy, and they should be able to access and leave your house at any time, so they will need their own house key. Also, clear them some space in your kitchen cupboards and fridge so they can store their own food.

If the flatmate does not have their own bathroom, you'll have to share bathrooms. Make sure you settle on some agreements about this, such as, how the cost of supplies (eg, toilet paper, soap, cleaning products) and cleaning will be shared. Before anyone moves in, decide how you wish to share common areas in your house. Also, clarify if any parts of your house or any of your possessions are 'off limits' before your flatmate agrees to move in.

It may be best not to let your flatmate store any of their things in other parts of your house (eg, your garage, even if it's empty) because you do not want to be responsible for their possessions if they move out and leave things behind or if there is an accident that damages their possessions.

There are some questions you can ask prospective flatmates that will help you find the right sort of person for you and your living arrangements. These questions include:

  1. What's your definition of 'clean'?
  2. Do you ever work from home?
  3. Do you expect to have any overnight guests?
  4. How much do you plan to cook?
  5. How do you feel about sharing a bathroom?
  6. Do you need internet access?
  7. Do you smoke or drink?
  8. Do you have a car?

Pros

Cons

What do I need in order to take this option?

Could this option limit my future choices?

It is important to have a clearly defined exit strategy so that you can make changes in future if you wish.

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