C&G’s Guide to Harmonious Sharehousing

Commonly favoured by students and young professionals embarking on unknown career paths, sharehousing is now becoming more and more popular in older generations, too. In today’s blog, C&G share our top tips on establishing a harmonious shared living arrangement at any age.

All Sign the Lease

If everyone is a signatory on the lease, you all share equal responsibility for care, damage and bond return issues. Having unregistered sub-leasers may not only be in breach of your tenancy agreement, but may see tenants causing significant damage to the property and walking away with no responsibility. Commit to all signing the lease, and making the necessary changes if tenants change to ensure you’re all held accountable.

Split Bills

Utilities, internet, even loo roll – all costs should be split fairly. Try to be an adult about these conversations, and weigh up whether it’s worth fighting over small change. Even if you hardly watch the TV or don’t use much water, often it’s worth just splitting it equally and being done with it. House harmony is surely more valuable than a few extra bucks.

 For splitting costs, you could set up a joint account, a spare change jar for ad hoc items, or use handy apps like Beem It or Splitwise.

Roster the Chores Fairly

It’s one thing to throw together a roster, but to come up with a plan that’ll actually work is another. Sit down together over dinner and look at everyone’s schedule to allocate chores that best suit everyone. If one of you works evenings, they might be best suited to vacuuming during the day. If one of you works long office hours, cleaning the kitchen might not be for them, as they won’t be home at peak meal times.

 Be considerate of each other and try to make a roster everyone is happy with.

 Be Respectful of Schedules

Both on and off roster, respect each other’s schedules. A nurse on night shift isn’t going to be too pleased about parties going until the early hours, while a student might not be able to appreciate Friday nights in the same way as the 9-5-ers. Consider what’s best for everyone when making plans.

Encourage Open Communication

Having a group chat that can be used to discuss issues before they arise can prevent unnecessary conflict. Try not to get too hung up on requests from housemates in the chat – unless they’re unreasonable. Putting your sensitivities aside for the benefit of the house will be infinitely valuable.

 Set Rules Around Visitors and Couch Surfers

Some groups may be more than happy to have visitors stay on the couch every now and again, but when days become weeks, it can impinge upon others’ lifestyles – and even begin to add up financially. Some housemates choose to have a visitor jar, where visitors contribute $5 a night to utilities, or perhaps each of you are allowed a set number of visitor nights per month. Find a rule that works for everyone to avoid exploitation of couch privileges.


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