Room4Talk blog | The ultimate housemate etiquette

The ultimate housemate etiquette


Basic guide to help you become THE perfect housemate

Sharing an apartment means following a few rules, which can be implicit and unspoken or – if we are living with strict rule lovers – explicit, written down and even nailed to a door like Luther’s 95 Theses. Living in the same space means sharing a lot of moments, experiences and also responsibilities.

So, let’s go through the basic guide to becoming the perfect housemate!

  1. Respect every deadline, especially when it comes to paying the rent and the bills. If you have signed a contract, of course, it’s harder to miss the deadline without enraging your landlord. But subletting apartments is also very common, even if this is not really legal, and can be the best and easiest option for short term periods. If this is the case, your housemate(s) have a contract but you don’t. This is why you need to be very punctual, otherwise you will get them in trouble.
  2. Be clean and take care of communal spaces. First of all, it is a matter of respect towards your housemate(s): this is why you need to schedule the cleaning. Taking care of the apartment is also important in terms of the fixtures and fittings: neglecting these can cost you a lot of money when you leave the apartment (the landlord may keep some of the deposit)
  3. Warn your housemate(s) and the neighbors if you want to have friends over or have a party. Remember to ask for permission from your housemate(s). They might even want to invite their friends, too. The more the merrier! But your neighbors also need to be informed. Try to avoid parties during the week when people have to go to work the next day!
  4. Discuss openly with your housemate(s) what is allowed and what is not. Some people are happy to say what bothers them, while others are more tolerant or just shy. Being clear is the best way to avoid conflict, so always ask for permission – especially where more delicate topics are concerned, such as bringing someone home with you. This can actually make your housemate more likely to agree to your requests.
  5. Respect their privacy but be sociable, too. You need to find the right balance between privacy and moments to socialize together. Refer to point 4 and ask your housemates if they like spending time on their own or if they are more open to socializing with you, so you can go out together, talk to and rely on each other as friends. Don’t take it personally if they choose option 1. If you are all willing to become friends with each other, lucky you! You can pick moments, like eating dinner together and having a chat, or choose a day to spend time with your partners in crime.

Living alone can be satisfying, but sharing with someone can also be a great experience. We hope you’ll find someone to go home with and share your routine: it can be your new international housemate, your friend you have decided to move in with or even the love of your life. Having someone to rely on and share meals, problems and news with, is what we really need at the end of the day.