It is not uncommon for owners of Brisbane apartments to have flatmates. Sharing your home with a stranger have lots of advantages. You get to have company, you halve your household expenses, share household chores, have somebody to look after your pets or plants while you’re, and you can even find a lifetime friend. Getting a flatmate will increase your cashflow and mitigate mortgage payments.
However, there are also pitfalls on sharing your home with other people. Personality clash, unfit lifestyles and schedules, and a lot of things can give you more problems than you can manage. The key to getting the best of having a flatmate is on finding and choosing the perfect flatmate for you.
First step is to know yourself. The most popular girl or the funniest guy in your office would seem to be the perfect housemate. Not so. Just because they can get along with almost anybody and everybody doesn’t mean they can get along with you. Know your personality, your traits, and your lifestyle. Do you enjoy constant chatter or silent companionship? Do you prefer sleeping in on weekends or cleaning the house with loud music blasting?
Find a person who will complement your personality. You don’t necessarily have to be the same. If you hate cooking, you might consider having somebody who likes to cook. Are you a travel bug? A homebody can keep your home clean and looked after even when you’re away.
Second is to discuss your living arrangements. Once you’ve shortlisted people or applicants to be your flatmate, discuss with each of them the living arrangements you prefer. You can hear their preferences and deliberate if you can make adjustments. But remember, they can always find another apartment in Brisbane looking for a boarder or housemate, but you cannot leave your home. Do not compromise on things that are important to you.
Be specific. Indicate which rooms or areas that you reserve for yourself. Can your new housemate decorate your home? Can they bring in pets? Can they smoke in the house? Do you expect them to bring in their own china and bedding? Can he or she use your home computer?
Discuss the level of cleanliness and propriety you expect. Is shouting okay with you? Who cleans the bathroom if you are sharing? Who takes out the trash? What state of undress is indecent for you? Can they bring in their friends? How many? How often? If you’re a person who’s laid back in tidiness, you might freak out with somebody who will frown every time they see your coffee mug at the sink.
Third is to open up everything about money. How much rent or lease are you charging? Do you need any deposits? How do you deal with utility bills, food, and other household expenses? How about the unexpected costs like broken window or carpet cleaning? When do you expect your flatmate to pay you? Have everything in writing and signed lease agreement.
Conduct a background check. If possible, get to know some of his or her friends. Check his or her social media accounts to get an idea of his or her personality and if they are telling the truth. What’s the job of your prospect flatmate and how much is he or she making? Ask for references, ask why he or she needs a new home? Any previous flatmate they can provide as reference? Note how often they move from one home to another. Be wary of people who can’t seem to stay in one place for long.
It’s not a bad idea to invite the person to spend the weekend with you. See how you get along. They could be trying to show their best side, but try to look beyond the pleasantries and determine who they really are. Also, expect them to be trying to get to know you. Instead of faking things, it would serve you best if you will be upfront and honest. Then you can both decide if you’ve found the perfect flatmate to share your apartment with.