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Sharing Is Caring – A Guide to Shared Renting

Moving into a new rental property can be stressful, but this is even more true when moving in with others, especially strangers. Before you move into your new home, there are several things you need to do, and once you’re in your new home, there are other things that should be taken care of. Shared renting is all about compromise and respect so let’s take a further look at some key points to get the best from your new home.

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With the proper boundaries and processes in place, a co-living space can be a great living arrangement. Below, we will look at what you need to do when moving into a shared rental property to make the process as smooth and simple as possible.

Practicalities: what to do when moving

Let’s start with the practical side of moving from one home to another.

Inspect the rental property

Before you and your housemates move anything into the co living apartment, inspect the property for missing items, damage, and any problems. Take photos of any issues and notify your landlord immediately. Check the incoming inventory inspection documents to ensure nothing has been left off and any issues and damage are noted. This is important because anything missing or damaged will be your responsibility once you take occupation.

Notify utility companies

In the weeks leading to your move, ensure you notify the utility companies you use that you’re moving. This includes your energy providers, local council, school, water supplier, and TV/internet provider. When you arrive at your new property, take readings and photos of the new metres. Connect your internet and TV and ensure your water, power, and gas are all working.

internet router people

Check the smoke alarms

Your landlord should do this step before you move in, but it is often missed. Most smoke alarms are hard-wired and have a button that you can press to check that the alarm works. This might seem like a hassle, but it’s a simple thing that can save lives and it’s worth ensuring it works correctly. If not, it is often simply batteries that need to be changed, which is easy enough to do.

Dealing with housemates

Once the practicalities have been seen with regard to the property itself, you and your housemate(s) need to sit down and create the ground rules. Here are a few areas to consider:

Communication, responsibilities, and expectations

Communication is key in any relationship, and this is critical when living with someone, no matter how familiar you are with each other. Discuss how expenses, including rent, utilities, and food, will be divided. Decide whether you’ll be cooking meals together or each doing your own thing and how cupboard and refrigerator space will be divided. 

Create a schedule for shared spaces: decide who will shower and when if the bathroom is shared. Consider each other’s work schedules and decide how your shared spaces will be divided — think about weekends and evenings and what to do if there is a conflict of timing between one housemate and another. If the property has a garage, how will this space be used, and where will each person park their vehicles?

Discussing these points before they become a problem can help avoid fights, disagreements, and misunderstandings.

Chores and cleaning

Living with other people can be challenging, especially when you have different ways of doing things. Create a list of responsibilities and chores and discuss who will do what and when. Discuss when the shared spaces should be cleaned and vacuumed, who will take out the trash, and which days each person will do the dishes.

Once the common spaces have been discussed, set ground rules for private spaces. Although your housemates won’t be sharing your room with you, each person should be responsible for keeping their space clean and tidy, and the required level of cleanliness and tidiness should be determined early.

house share cleaning

Get a whiteboard or pinboard where you can create a monthly schedule and everyone can see the chores at a glance. This will also give you a space to add your appointments and important dates so everyone is always up to date.

Create boundaries

Setting boundaries with your housemate(s) is one of the most vital steps to the success of co-living. As mentioned, discuss and create a schedule for the common spaces and respect those schedules. If you know your housemate is studying for a test or exam, respect their space and don’t disturb them unnecessarily.

If you’d like to invite friends or family to the house, give your housemate notice and check that this is convenient for them too. Don’t touch your housemate’s food or belongings without their permission, and ensure you follow the same rules.

When it comes to boundaries, the best advice is to treat your housemates how you want to be treated. If you wouldn’t like them to drink your milk or fold your laundry, don’t do that to them.


Living arrangements are a crucial consideration. The second important choice is whether or not to share your home with someone. There are many benefits to house sharing, but you need to get your house in order (pardon the pun) before doing so. Hopefully, this helpful guide has given you plenty of food for thought and will assist you when you decide to take the plunge.

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