What housemates want from sharing

House Sharing

The secret ingredients to successful house sharing

Why is it that some people have a great experience sharing and manage to make friends for life whilst others just seem to attract the worst housemates and find themselves unhappy, moving from one place to the next? There’s always a bit of luck involved, no doubt, in finding like-minded people you get on with. Nevertheless, there are certain behaviours we can all adopt to make sure we have the best chances of making living together a success and bringing out the best in ourselves and our housemates.

We ask housemates for their tips for successful sharing when they sign up to Cohabitas so that others can benefit from their advice, especially from people who have been sharing successfully for many years.

Here is what they (you!) told us:

Be kind, considerate and respectful

Sounds too obvious? Maybe, but we all know that it takes effort and a bit of willpower to keep up good behaviours over time and once the new house-share honeymoon is over.

“Respect and kindness create trust, and trust is essential when living together.”

Helen from Manchester

It’s important we give people space and time when they need it, and not be intrusive when the other person needs some alone-time. This also includes being open-minded and non-judgemental about personal choices and being there for your housemates when they need your support.

“Establish common values, respect each other’s views even if they differ.”

Annie from Oxfordshire

Clean up after yourself

Whilst our student days with messy kitchens and dirty bathrooms are thankfully gone, many successful sharers have found that cleaning up after yourself immediately and as you get on with your day seems to be key for success. Don’t leave it for later and let things pile up.

“If possible, share the cost of a cleaner because it will free up so much of your time and avoid unnecessary conflicts. It certainly helps to make it a positive experience.”

Mark from London

If you enjoy having meals together, take turns to cook for the group or your housemate. Another idea might be to purchase a few personal items that make your shared space feel more personal, such as your own bath mat or toiletries.

House Sharing Advice from our community

Communicate & compromise

It might feel a little uncomfortable to admit that you need half an hour in the morning before you want to engage in any sort of conversation – but it’s worth agreeing these things as soon as you start living together. Your housemates will probably be glad to be able to share their own peculiarities without holding back, and you might even have a laugh about it together.

“Be clear about boundaries, quirks, likes and dislikes of others, marking and respecting territories.”

Toni from Bristol

Don’t forget to agree a guest policy as this can often cause frustration and unspoken resentment. Once you’ve agreed the ground rules you can check in from time to time, to make sure everyone is happy with the arrangements.

Honesty & a good sense of humour

Let’s face it – things won’t always go exactly the way we like – your housemates will have different ways of doing things, the boiler might break, you will have different opinions. If it’s something you really cannot live with – tell them openly, with kindness and respect. For anything else, especially if there is nothing you can do about it, let it go and tackle it with a sense of humour – which is probably great life advice in general!

A big thank you to our community for generously sharing their tips and advice. If you haven’t already, head to your listing and add your own tips for sharing and take a look at what other housemates suggest.

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