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Recent Buying Selling Lifestyle Investor Tenants

Are you a good housemate?

Written by Ashley Blake
The old saying, “you don’t truly know someone until you live with them” couldn’t be closer to the truth. Naturally you just assumed your mate with the perfectly groomed beard who’s dress sense is always on point would be a neat and tidy housemate right? Wrong! Little Johnny has no clue or manners for that matter and doesn’t even know what housemate etiquette is! He’s never been taught and never really needed to know, but you have just reached boiling point and all his naughty little habits are about to change!

We do however need to cut new housemates a little bit of slack sometimes, as they are new to the world of sharing and may not know where they stand on certain issues. Once they have a read of our Do’s and Don’ts it will be as clear as day and you can go on living happily with your buddy!
• A simple one but one of the most important, maintain a level of cleanliness. If you’re coming from a house where your parents did the cleaning up – forget about it – it’s in the past.
This is the real world and you’ve got a responsibility to clean up after yourself in the kitchen, bathroom, living space and bedroom.
In fact, it’s kind of the opposite of the parental home in that no one really cares if you “tidy your room” – but leave the communal spaces a mess and your housemates will be livid.

• Be diligent with your payments. Don’t be that friend who pays their rent late, or asks to continually borrow money off other housemates for rent. This will rub thin very quickly and you will find, many housemates won’t put up with it for long. Be organised with your money and with what payments occur on what days.

• Treat the property with respect. You all want to get your bond money back, so you collectively have a responsibly to maintain the house in the best possible condition.

Treat the items in the house with respect too, even if they do belong to a housemate.
As well as the actual bricks and mortar, you need to pay extra respect to all the furniture and appliances in it, because they don’t necessarily belong to you.

You might be used to putting your feet on the couch, but is it still your couch? If the answer’s no, then you need to check with the owner first. It may seem petty, but when it comes to other people’s property, you can’t afford to be lax.

• Help yourself to what’s not yours. Many cooks love sharing their food – seeing other people enjoy their creations is part of the joy. But not everyone feels this way, especially those on a budget.
If there’s a big batch of Bolognese cooling on the stove, don’t assume it’s up for grabs. Your housemate may be planning to get at least five or six freezer portions out of it.

If they do intend on sharing their food with you, your housemates will let you know. If they haven’t mentioned anything, don’t help yourself to their food.

• Adopt honorary housemates. If you’ve got a boyfriend/girlfriend that is constantly staying over – taking long showers and helping themselves to the milk – you may want to set out some ground rules.
If they’re not paying any rent your fellow housemates may end up resenting both you and your other half. Living with a couple may not be something they want to do.
If you’re not sure whether your guests are overstepping the line, just ask. If it is bothering them, your housemates will breathe a sigh of relief that they didn’t have to be the ones to awkwardly bring it up, and if it isn’t at least you’ve covered your bases and shown some initiative.

To most of us the above may seem like common sense and something that just comes naturally, but for people who have always lived at home with their parents or with people who don’t share the same respect for belongings as you do it may come as a shock! Sitting down with a new housemate before they move in and going through you Do’s and Don’t can help prevent so many problems down the track and is something that you should definitely take the time out to do.

SOURCE – Article based on a blog from

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