What makes a good flatmate?

The young ones is not how we flatshare today

When sharing a home in a flat share or house share, then finding the right flatmates (or housemates) is one of the main things you need to think about.

When you’re younger, maybe at college or university, you tend to fall into groups easily because everyone you know wants to experience living away from home for the first time. These groups don’t always work out of course, but as it’s the first time for most people then it doesn’t matter so much and you can change groups or find new flatmates easily enough.

But when you’re older you not only have to work a bit harder to find flatmates (that’s where Cohabitas aims to help) but you also have more experience of flat sharing or in some cases of living in a family home. In short, you’ve acquired better knowledge about your own likes and dislikes and you want to avoid living through previously unpleasant experiences.

Whether it is your flatmates’ tendency to leave washing up and kitchen tidying until the weekend, or finding the shower or wash basin has not been rinsed, there is always something that will irritate you.

You cannot expect to find flatmates who are perfect

So this is the key point – there is always something! You cannot expect to find flatmates who are perfect and will never do anything that irritates you, but you can reduce the odds by thinking about what is important to you and then considering this in the hunt for a home and especially in flatmate selection process.

What makes a good flatmate for one person is completely different from one person to another. At Cohabitas we try to get some basic indicators for you (we’re thinking a short video might be best way and will try that out soon) but nothing can make up for a real conversation. At first maybe its an online conversation using our messaging platform, but as soon as you feel able, a face-to-face conversation is needed.

The best way to organise this, especially if you are shy or uncertain about who’s out there, is to attend a house mates meeting organised by Cohabitas. At these informal get togethers, often around visiting something together to break the ice, there will be 4 or 5 other people also interested in sharing… and also a bit shy! You can invite your prospective flatmate or mates to these events, or you can set up your own group in the area where you are looking. These groups can be advertised for free within the site.

Last but not least, you can get advice from other sharers. One of the things we’ve come across recently which we really like is a great video by Annamarie from Sharing Housing. She has a great video explaining what to look out for when considering sharing, as well as a book and an online guide. We recommend viewing this ahead of reviewing your Cohabitas flatmate profile and editing it to reflect your sharing preferences.

So the key message is don’t expect your flatmates to be perfect, but do think about what you are looking for and be sure to look at and to ask other people about some of the little things that matter to you!

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