Top tips for living harmoniously
We appreciate that living in a shared house can be tough, whether you know the people already or not. There will inevitably be a few issues along the way, so use these tips to prevent problems from arising:
Communicate in person
Arrange flat meetings rather than communicating via group message.
Talk about security
Everyone has equal responsibility to keep the house safe so make sure you lock windows and doors before leaving for the day, even if you think someone is in.
Study habits and times
Be considerate of each other’s space and need for privacy at certain times.
Some of you may be up and out to lectures before 7am, whilst others may prefer to lie in till lunch time. Preferences vary, so be considerate of each other’s routines
Discuss each other’s social lives and whether/when pre drinks are acceptable. Make sure you make time to socialise as housemates.
Discuss cleaning and cleaning standards. You are responsible for your own room, but it may be worth creating a cleaning rota for communal areas, which is flexible and fits around everyone’s timetables. Also discuss taking the bins out and when the bin bags are expected to be changed.
Having friends over
Is this acceptable? Are people allowed to stay, if so for how long? Have this discussion as housemates.
Kitchen and utilities
Make sure kitchen storage (cupboards and fridge/freezer) are allocated fairly. Will you be sharing cutlery and crockery, or each having your own? Talk about washing up and expectations as to when this will be done.
Will you share basic items such as milk, tea, coffee, toilet roll, washing up liquid? Will you take it in turns to replace or have a house kitty?
Do not waste resources
Your bills may or may not be included in your rent, but it is important to look after the environment. Turn plug sockets, lights and heaters off in unoccupied rooms, this will save you from wasting money in the long run.
Be respectful of noise, as many houses are terraces, so noise can travel fairly easily. Generally you should keep noise down after 11pm and if you can be heard from outside, you are being too loud. Discuss with flatmates and neighbours if you are planning on having a gathering/party.
If you are living in university accommodation (including third party) and you are struggling with shared living, then please get in touch with the Student Mentor Scheme. The Student Mentors are students themselves, and can give you advice on any problems you are experiencing to help you move forward.
We would advise that you meet with a Student Mentor and explain any concerns and discuss how you would like to overcome this.
There are a number of different ways that they can support you including helping you to complete a Shared Living Agreement or facilitating a flat mediation.
A Shared Living Agreement
Is a useful tool to start discussion and make an agreement on the tips listed above. For students living privately here is a more generic template you can use xxxx
A flat mediation
Is a safe place for everyone to express their concerns and address any issues before they escalate. A Mentor will be present to help the discussion move forward and look at ways at resolving the issue. Mediations are designed to help ease the problem. To arrange a mediation, please contact Student Mentor Scheme
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