Daily Archives: January 9, 2021

10 Rules for Share House Harmony

Regardless of whether you know your flatmates or not, when you put a group of people under the same roof you’re undoubtedly going to find things start to annoy you. Creating a happy share house doesn’t just happen. It takes good communication, trust and tolerance. Here are 10 proven tips on how to achieve it.

Before you move in

Before you move in with someone, it’s a good idea to sit down and have an honest talk about your routines and lifestyles. If the potential flat mate is a morning person but you’re more a night owl, then perhaps it isn’t going to work. Or you may find that your potential flat mate loves to throw spontaneous parties and have loads of friends around all the time, but you prefer your home to be a sanctuary for quiet time, then again perhaps this isn’t going to be the ideal place for you.

Treat this process as an interview and try and find someone who has something in common with you. Of course if you’re moving in with friends you already know a lot about them but talking about their routines is still important as everyone has their quirks.

Signing the lease

Make sure all tenants sign the lease. If everyone’s signature is on the lease it means you have equal rights to the property and therefore equal liability. You’ll find your flat mates will be more aware of treating the property with respect, the rent will be paid on time and the property will be looked after if they are jointly liable.

Paying the rent

Figuring out how to split the rent can be challenging, but when living with roommates it is an important process to go through before your sign the lease. Here are 2 solutions to make this process as fair as possible and to help reduce any arguments. Make sure you work this out before you move in.

Divide the square meterage

This is an easy and fair way to split to rent. To get an accurate breakdown, take the square meterage of each bedroom and divide by the total square meterage of the property. This gives you the percentage of space that each room occupies. Then take each individual percentage and apply it to the total cost of rent. This helps breaks down the cost according to percentage of total space occupied.
Who has the most perks

Consider what each person gets for the rent – is it fair? For instance, if someone has an ensuite, built in cupboards, balconies, windows, then they should pay extra. You can assign a cost to each amenity and add that to an evenly divided room price.

Be clear about payment methods, due dates and where bonds will be held.

Paying the bills

One of the main points of conflict when sharing a house with roommates is rationing the utility bills and internet bills, because really, no one wants a slice. It is recommended to assign the responsibility to one of the co-tenants as soon as you move in. This doesn’t mean they pay the entire bill, but rather are responsible for paying the bill on time.

Generally, you should divide the expenses such as gas, electricity, internet and water equally among yourselves, before paying the bill. We buy ugly houses in York PA

It can get difficult when usage is uneven, for instance one roommate has an electric blanket they never turn off or another who steadfastly streams re-runs of Star Wars each and every day. If that is the case, it is worth coming to an agreement to ensure they pay extra for their habits.

Undoubtedly saving money is a priority for you all so discuss ways you can conserve household energy plus this also has the added advantage of helping the environment.

Cleaning and Chores

According to a realestate.com.au survey, flat mates get most annoyed if the people they are sharing with don’t clean up. This IS very annoying so to ensure this doesn’t become an issue:

Create a weekly cleaning roster so everyone does their fair share. Perhaps split the roster by common rooms; living room, kitchen, bathroom or by job; taking the garbage out, dusting, vacuuming, cleaning the toilet, etc;
A good idea is to create a house hold kitty and spend it on a cleaner once a week, a fortnight or month. This will ensure your home gets a good clean up on a regular basis… Plus there is nothing nicer than coming home to a sparkling clean home;
Keep mess to your own room – what you do in there is up to you. It’s also a good idea to keep your door closed so people don’t have to walk past and see the chaos in your room;
Always clean up after yourself in communal areas;
Don’t leave your things lying around in communal areas for weeks.

Food and cooking

Discuss how you flat mates want to manage the food and cooking. Do you want to pool your funds and buy food that everyone shares, or do you want to buy your own food and have dedicated shelves in the fridge and pantry cupboard to keep your food. If this is the case (which is the normal scenario), if you eat your flat mates last yoghurt make sure you tell them and replace it.

In addition, it may be good idea to discuss a cooking roster so you all aren’t trying to cook a stir fry at the same time!

On-going communication and respect

Communication is key especially when you are living together – it is important to discuss any issues or perceived issues straight away. Any unresolved or unstated problems can simmer and eventually become volatile.

Respecting each other and your differences is really important and treat your flat mates you’d like to be treated.

Visitors, parties and communal areas

A lot of people love a party and having guests to stay over, but nobody likes to feel constantly outnumbered in their own home. Make sure you set some ground rules such as a maximum number of nights guests can stay over, or the guest sleeps in their hosts bedroom. It is also a good idea to discuss and agree whether you want your place to become a regular party place or whether you want to limit this to once a quarter or even once a year.

When it comes to communal areas make sure you are respectful of the communal space. Clean up after yourself, don’t leave your items lying around and create a bathroom roster. And if you or your friend accidently breaks your housemate’s favourite ornament, make sure you tell them, apologise and replace it immediately.

Pets

Before bringing a furry or slippery pet into the house, make sure you have discussed this with your flat mates. Some people have allergies to certain animals or simply just don’t like them, so give them the option before bringing your little friend into the home.

Also keep in mind if the pet is yours, it is your responsibility to feed and look after the animal and most importantly clean up after it.

Create some house traditions

The best share houses have a sense of community and belonging, in other words they have fun together. This could be as easy as setting a regular night each week aside as a ‘family meal night’ when you rotate the cooking and grocery shopping. Everyone should put in to the kitty and make an effort to be home on that night. Other suggestions include, movie and popcorn night at home, local pub trivia night, cocktail tasting night, Sunday brunch, themed dinners, or perhaps roll your sleeves up and create a veggie garden in some pots or in the garden if you have one.

Getting everyone together gives you a chance to connect and chat about your lives and create a bond outside the fact you just share a roof.

Whilst you’ll undoubtedly have to compromise here and there hopefully this list helps you create the perfect share house harmony.

Rent a home

What does the 6-month moratorium on evictions mean for tenants?

The 6-month moratorium means safety and security for tenants. These restrictions were originally due to end on 15 October 2020, but they have been extended until 26 March 2021.

It prevents landlords from evicting people unable to pay rent due to financial distress as a result of the COVID-19 environment. If you have exhausted all financial relief subsidies and are still falling short, you will still have the comfort of knowing that your home is safe no matter what.

However, this doesn’t mean that late rental payments won’t have to be paid after the moratorium ends. This is why it is crucial to always communicate with your property manager if you are (at risk of) facing hardship. This way, you will be able to work on finding a solution together and prevent the situation from becoming critical after the moratorium ends.

My work arrangement has changed. What options are available to alleviate the stress of making rental payments?

First of all, remember that the 6-month moratorium will prevent you from being evicted, so you will always have a home during this difficult time. These restrictions were originally due to end on 15 October 2020, but they have been extended until 26 March 2021.

The Government has announced that people and businesses can apply for wage subsidies to assist those affected by the coronavirus crisis. You should look at and make enquiries on:

  • Income support for individuals
  • Payments to support households
  • Reducing social security deeming rates

However, if you are still worrying or in a position where you cannot pay the rent, get in touch as soon as possible with your property manager. Together, you will be able to explore the options and work on a plan. By being transparent and communicating early on about your financial distress, you will manage to bypass potential issues before they arise.

If you show good faith and because this situation is unprecedented, most landlords should be willing to compromise. If they can afford it, some might even be ready to negotiate a temporary rental reduction to help you get through this tough time.

What does the 6-month moratorium on evictions mean for landlords?

The whole concept of the moratorium is about keeping people safe and secure during this unprecedented time. These restrictions were originally due to end on 15 October 2020, but they have been extended until 26 March 2021.

Due to different legislations, each state and territory will respond with their specifics. Still, there are many government subsidies available to tenants to help them pay their rent.

If you are a landlord with tenants having exhausted all those avenues and coming to you with a plan, we suggest that you:

Get in touch with your insurer and enquire about rental default cover. Be aware that, as of now, any insurance company still accepting new policies, is likely to have removed the section covering rental defaults. Seek independent advice.
Speak with your financial advisor or accountant
Contact your mortgage provider to discuss your options

If you are confused or unsure about what to do, and if you are renting your investment property through a real estate agency, then get in touch with your property manager. It is his role to help and guide you to navigate this COVID-19 crisis.

How can I secure tenants during this economic downturn?

Even during the lockdown, your property manager will look to secure tenants by organising virtual home viewings, with online tenancy applications and electronic lease signing.

To make sure your property is chosen against the competition, review the rent prices asked for the nearby, similar properties for lease and ensure that your online presence is a standout. You and your property manager can look to use all the available resources such as virtual tours, professional photos, virtual staging, floorplans, etc. Also make sure to write a catchy, descriptive copy for your listing.

Put yourself in the shoes of potential renters looking to find a new home from the comfort of their couch and browsing through properties. You need to make sure that the experience they will get from your listing is as informative and lifelike as it can be.

How can potential tenants inspect my property?

If you are trying to rent your investment property, your property manager has the option to conduct open homes and viewings by private appointments or organise group inspections. During these the in-person inspections, all government social distancing and hygiene regulations must be followed.

However, the easiest and safest way to find new tenants is to offer virtual tours of your property or organise live viewings. Your property manager may use platforms such as Virtual Tour Creator or video communication apps and software such as FaceTime, WhatsApp, Zoom or Facebook and Instagram live.

What is going to happen with routine rental inspections?

Property managers are now used to conduct virtual inspections using tools such as FaceTime, WhatsApp, Zoom, etc. If they require a closer review of such or such feature or aspect of the property, they can request photos to be emailed to them.

We started conducting routine inspections virtually with tenants who were self-isolating. It has proven to be a great experience. It is also an opportunity for tenants to ask any question or discuss any worry they might have about the property or their situation during this unprecedented time.