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So you’re moving into a new house or flat, with roommates you don’t know. What should you do to make sure that you can concentrate on having fun and getting on with your life, without having to deal with daily issues?

The first step is to talk through everyone’s expectations in advance about the nuts and bolts of living together. From knowing whose name is on the lease and who pays what and when, to making sure that everyone knows what’s acceptable when it comes to doing the dishes and inviting friends over, talking these things through will make everything simpler in the long run. It’s well worth a couple of hours getting to know each other’s foibles.

Top Tips for Successful House Shares

Here are Bowes Mitchell’s top tips on how to successfully share a new home with people you don’t yet know.

Set up bank transfers to cover the monthly outgoings which are your responsibility, and keep a written note of what’s been agreed when it comes to making payments.

Agree how the household chores are going to be divided. From cooking and washing up to cleaning the toilet, you want to know what’s expected of you, so that there aren’t any nasty shocks when you realise that no-one is maintaining a hygienic standard of living. If you’re going to share food for evening meals, for example, what’s included in this and where is communal food, such as pasta and tinned goods, stored? Make sure that it doesn’t get used for individual purposes, and confirm whose responsibility is it to restock.

Keep as much of your stuff in your room as possible. Be clever with storage, so that your personal belongings don’t spill out into communal spaces. Security can be an issue too with people coming in and out of your home that you don’t know, so have some lockable storage in your room for high value items.