Image: Big Brother Facebook Page. Housemates paradise, yet play your cards right.
Some people have no choice in relation to this situation, while for others, having a housemate (or a few) in your home is the ultimate choice. Personally, in a shared household situation, I'd only live with family or a partner/significant other, and never with friends or complete strangers. It's all a personal preference. Some of you love your own space, while for other people, you'd do anything to land yourself on Big Brother, from one extreme to another. This article is also dedicated to those friends of mine, who seek advice on what to look for when choosing a right housemate to live with in a shared accommodation situation, or vice versa.
There are a few things to consider, and be upfront about when you initially meet with your potential housemate/s, to when an agreement is signed before those shiny keys get handed over to you.
To share or not to share. Respect each others space if you do decide to share and care.
1. Who to live with
Many people choose to live with a couple as opposed to single people, as couples usually do things together, such as cooking and the laundry, while with multiple, single housemates, frustration can arise when queueing up for a shower and so on. Some people also opt to live with flight attendants for two reasons. Firstly, they're (usually) away from home a lot, and secondly their background checks to perform such roles are extensive. Other preferences include gender, whether or not someone smokes, or whether or not they are a student or a shift worker. Know what you want on the onset.
Three can be a crowd, or it might be good company.
2. Ask many questions
Do not sound overly inquisitive, yet when meeting with your potential housemate, not only ask them about their work, but also about their hobbies and interests. If you're someone who needs some quality shut eye, an all party animal may not be the right person to live with. What about logistics such as food and cleaning: does each member of the household have to clean the house on a weekly basis, or does everyone chip in for a home cleaner? Also how often does the rent need to be paid, and how?
3. Background checks
If you're hunting for a housemate, you should ask for references. There was a friend of mine who accepted someone, and this person was a couple of months behind on the rent, and asked to borrow her towels and sheets to name. Naturally, tensions would arise in such situations. If done right, some of your housemates will lead into strong, valuable friendships.
Great friendships come at the back of share rentals.
4. Set boundaries
This applies to your toiletries and food items in particular. There are many people who tend to use their housemates make up and other items on a whim. Be clear on which items in the home are out of bounds, and which items your housemate can use freely.
Be clear on what your housemates can touch or not touch. Your items that is.
Open and honest communication is best. It will take a bit of time for both parties to adjust to the new living situation at hand. All the best with the search for your new housemate/s.
Clean up after yourselves in shared households people.