How to find the right housemates for you

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When it comes to choosing where to live there’s a lot more to be considered than the house itself – good or bad housemates can make or break your student housing experience!

Living in student housing is very different at the moment compared to previous years. You’ll find yourself spending a lot more time with your housemates, possibly without any visits home, not attending lectures on campus and maybe not even being able to leave the house for part time work. You need to be absolutely sure that you can spend intense amounts of time with your housemates comfortably. 

Try to keep an open mind about who you live with. Remember you’re looking for someone to live with, not just hang out with. Being ‘a good laugh’ or liking the same things won’t make up for leaving hair in the sink or not paying their share of bills. Will they be a responsible housemate?

Who can put up with your moody moments, your need to have everything clean & tidy, or shocking sense of humour? Who are you comfortable with when you’re both tired? Often these make for the happiest house-shares.

Clubs and societies can be a good source of housemate potential, but they shouldn’t be the only reason to live with someone. Use these as a starting point to get to know that person better – grab a drink after your next practice or turn the conversation away from that interest to get a feel for them as a person overall.

Think about the people on your course, too. If you’re studying a notoriously intense subject like law, nursing or medicine, living with those who understand how stressful things can get might be a blessing (or at least guarantee you’ll have peace and quiet when you need to study).

Whether it’s keeping the noise down during deadlines and exams, having someone to chat through essay ideas, start the lectures at the same time, or simply motivate you to study when Netflix is calling, your perfect housemates might be beside you in your lecture.

Oh, and it goes without saying: don’t make any major decisions on a night out.

Don’t allow yourself to be pressured by the wants and needs of others. The number one priority is that you are comfortable. You’ll be paying rent like everyone else and it’s going to be your home too. Stand strong and don’t let others lead you into a living situation where you feel unsafe or unhappy. If they keep putting pressure on you, it might be a sign that you’re simply not compatible as housemates, or that this sort of thing could be a frequent occurrence if you live together. Don’t forget that you are likely to be signing a joint agreement, which is tricky to get out of when relationships break, unless there is a ‘break clause’ in the contract.

You can use the housemate matching quiz below to find out whether you are compatible with who you have chosen to live with: www.idealflatmate.co.uk/match.

Find out how else you can Rent Right with all our great advice in one place here: Rent Right.

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