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House rules to roommate agreements: A guide to life as a flatmate

Whether moving in with people you already know or with complete strangers, flatmate life can be a great experience, but also sometimes a messy one if you’re not careful as living in close quarters can often lead to the odd argument. However, if you follow our tips, you’ll be living in harmony.

Set house rules

By setting house rules right at the beginning, everyone is on the same page from day one regarding what is expected of themselves and each other. These can include who does which chores, how the rent and bills are split, when everything needs to be paid by and the do’s and don’ts of the flat. When setting house rules, we recommend you sign a roommate agreement so that everything is understood, clear and you have a legal back-up if your flatmate decides to not pay their rent on time.

Signing a roommate agreement is an especially good idea if you don’t know the person, or people, you’re moving in with beforehand, as you don’t know how reliable they are with payments or if they avoid cleaning at all costs.

Pay your rent and bills on time

There’s nothing that causes friction between flatmates more than late rent payments and unpaid bills. While you may have already included it in a roommate agreement, make sure you stick to it if you want to keep getting on with your flatmate.

Respect other people’s privacy

No one wants a flatmate who barges into their room unannounced and without asking. If someone is in their room with the door closed, knock before going in. Even if you get on like a house on fire, everyone is entitled to a bit of peace and quiet and some personal space.

Clean up after yourself

Doing the dishes and cleaning the flat might not be everyone’s favourite thing to do but, unfortunately, these things have to be done. Organising a chore rota can be a good way to ensure that no one is left to do everything, but tidying as you go along and not leaving a mess in any communal spaces will always be appreciated by those you live with.


Communication is key when living with other people. If your flatmate is doing something you’re unhappy with, tell them rather than leaving passive aggressive post-it notes on the kitchen table or giving them the silent treatment. By talking it out, you’re much more likely to find a compromise and maintain a pleasant home environment, rather than feeling like you need to avoid each other.

If you’re looking for somewhere to live and some new flatmates to go along with it, why not check out the accommodation available on Roomlala

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