How to achieve a happy flatmate relationship

Rules for flatmates

Having a happy flatmate relationship takes some time and organizational skills. It is a small community and you want everyone to be content and avoid any unnecessary fallouts. Finding flatmates who are on the same level as yourself is the first step to achieving this. The second would be sitting down with everyone, discuss any issues and set some ground rules. There’s probably no harm if the rules are broken every now and then. But as long as everyone is clear about the boundaries and follows the agreed on rules most of the time, you should run a happy flatmate relationship. Here are some things you should probably talk about:

 

Cleaning

 

What people do with their own rooms is their business. But shared spaces should be kept neat and clean at all times by all flatmates. Unless you’ve all decided to outsource this to professional cleaners, set up a cleaning schedule. If everyone knows when it’s their time to vacuum or clean the bathroom, it will be easier to avoid a conflict.

 

Refrigerator

 

In order to avoid any “who ate my favorite yogurt?” incidents, decide which fridge shelf belongs to which flatmate. This way you all have your own zones and other flatmates are not allowed to take food from other shelves. It’s also easier to see if any items are approaching the expiration date and consume them sooner rather than later.

 

Bathroom times

If there’s just one bathroom in your house, it could be a good idea to set bathroom times according to your work schedule. Decide how much morning bathroom time should be allocated per person. It’s easier to avoid frustration if there’s a schedule everyone follows.

 

Visitors

Everyone is probably going to have friends stay over or family visiting. But in order to prevent arguments, you could set some visitor rules as well. E.g. have a board in the hallway to announce a visitor is coming.

If you have unannounced visitors, make sure they don’t walk around the apartment in their underwear. If there’s something that could potentially annoy you, let that be known. For example, the partner of your flatmate who basically moved in, but doesn’t pay the rent. That is not a visitor, it’s a flatmate. So pitch in on the water bill.

 

Shared costs

When it comes to the shared costs make sure the bill is split equally and everyone regularly puts in their share. Dedicate one person (the most organized one) to collect the bills, make a sheet with all the breakdowns and show it to your flatmates. If everyone sees the numbers, they can’t argue with them. And if there’s a mistake, more people will notice it faster.

 

Saving system

In order to keep the maintenance bills as low as possible, make sure everyone agrees on switching unused appliances and lights off and not wasting water.

If you’re a very organized and saving-prone team, you could even agree on sharing things. This can be anything from a smoothie maker to a car. If you only need it for occasional trips, you could all buy one together and make a schedule for when it’s used.