In every flatshare it is usually a good idea to establish some basic rules. These rules do not really have to be “rules” as such, more an agreement among roommates as to what behavior and activities are accepted. These house rules often included cleaning schedule and the use of shared areas.
Sometimes if you are new to an already established flatshare they will most likely have these rules in place and will simply tell you how they work. Other times all roommates will have to sit down over a meal or a cup of tea and discuss how they want their shared living situation to work. If this is the case for you the areas below are a few things we think are worth discussing.
Cleaning schedule– how do you take care of cleaning the shared areas? Do your flatshare have a cleaner? Would it be worth having a cleaner? How often do the common areas need cleaning? Whose responsibility is it and who will buy the cleaning products and equipment? This is usually quite easy to structure, and a rolling scheme addressing one person the responsibility of cleaning the shared areas each week seem to work well. Alternatively you agree that everyone jumps in and make an effort once a week. Your flatshare has to find and agree on the best way for everyone involved.
Visitors– what are the rules for visitors? Is everyone free to have visitors whenever they feel like? Do you need to ask permission if you have someone staying with you for a few days? Everyone has a different approach to this and it can very well be worth discussing with your roommates.
Other useful things to discuss can be grocery shopping, does everyone buy their own food or do you share something. Some flatshares have shared spices, oil etc. whereas in other flatshares there will be 3 bottles of olive oil sat next to each other. What about trash bags, toilet paper and detergent? Who is responsible for making sure those things are always available in the flat? How does everyone feel about parties? What noise level is everyone comfortable with and at what times? Are any specific guidelines or agreements needed for cooking, using the showers or occupying the telly?
These are little things that are not detrimental but still good to just have gone over with your fellow flatmates in order to have the happiest and most functional houseshare!