Living with others can be tough, but nothing helps avoid those awkward conversations quite like a set of rules for your living space. Setting clear unit guidelines and expectations early on can take a lot of stress out of your living situation, and avoid problems down the road.
Here are some suggestions to get started:
Quiet hours & noise
Each building has official quiet hours, but these only apply to common areas. Since everyone in the unit has unique schedules and you’re lucky enough to have a washer/dryer in unit, it’s a good idea to establish your unit’s quiet hours as a group so nobody is being kept up late at night or woken up too early each morning.
Cleaning is often a pain-point in housemate relationships, as everyone has a different level of cleanliness they are used to. Instead of constructing a stack of dirty dishes so high it would make the Salesforce tower self-conscious, it’s good to set up a cleaning schedule so that one person doesn’t feel as if the burden falls solely on them. Groups often opt in for a monthly cleaning service to decrease the burden in the common areas, and avoid the unwelcome passive aggressive group text messages we’re all familiar with. We’re happy to recommend a service if you’re interested.
HomeShare has a guest policy of 1 overnight guest a week, as outlined in your service agreement. We have this rule so that housemates never feel responsible for individuals who are not contributing to unit rent or utilities. If your housemates give the ok for a guest to stay over longer than one night feel free to do so, but always make sure everyone is on the same page and agrees beforehand. We recommend establishing your own units unique rules for overnight guests as a group so that housemates are never taken by surprise. Be sure to lock your door each time you leave the unit, as a door left open for welcomed guest can result in an unwelcome one.
Each person has a different temperature that they are comfortable with, and common areas only have one thermostat. Rather than shiver uncomfortably all night, it’s a good idea to find out what temperature everyone prefers during the evening. If you have some different answers try taking an average of the different temperatures to find a nice middle ground.
What you can do to the unit
This space is your home, and you should be able to make it your own! However, don’t forget that any permanent modifications such as drilling or painting make it difficult for you to return the unit to the condition it was when you moved in. You will be billed for any fixes that must be made upon your move-out, which will impact your deposit return, so try to avoid anything that will cause lasting damage or chipping paint.
Tell us how YOU live
Each unit has their own take on solving common problems with unique house rules. Leave us a comment below on some of the special traditions your unit has!