by Ed Firmin
Posted on Tuesday, November 24th, 2015 at 10:00
So you’ve made up your mind who you are going to live with, but before you go property hunting, I would advise that you all sit down together to agree what you want from a property, and how you all envisage living together.
You probably want to have the meeting in a relaxed atmosphere, so it could be a pub or coffee shop, but somewhere you can all hear and be heard.
Schedule this meeting with plenty of notice, so that you all have a chance to think about what you want to discuss. It might be worth appointing a chair person to run the meeting, so they can ensure that the conversation stays on track and everyone gets their say. Ask all attendees to give anything they want to add to the agenda to the chairperson well before the meeting, so they will be sure that it will be raised during it.
What kinds of things should you be discussing?
I would recommend that you write down a list of things that you want from a property, and schedule it into three lists; essential, would like, and not needed. So this would include things like, internet, being on a bus route, cycle storage etc.
Then it’s probably wise to discuss budgets, how much you can all realistically afford to spend on rent. I would plan it all out, so you really have a full picture of what you need to fork out for.
Then think about how it’s going to work, will you have a rota for cleaning? Who is going to be responsible for paying the bills? Who’s going to set up the bills in the first place? Are bills included in the rent? Are you all going to chip in for food, or keep everything separate? What things do you want to buy for the house together?
Then I would draw up a list of rules that you all agree to abide by, permission needed from the others if someone wants to stay over, no parties unless you all agree, no loud music after midnight, etc. Then it would be wise putting a penalty system in place for people that break those rules, whether that be monetary or chores based etc.
Having open, honest and frank discussions at the beginning will ensure that you are all likely to stay friendly with each other at the end of the year, less arguments and less probability that someone isn’t happy.
Then once you move in, I would advise that once a month, you all get together, even if it’s just for half an hour, to discuss how you are all getting along together, and bring any issues out into the open.
If you want to take a look at the properties that we’ve got available at the moment for next year, please get in touch, and we can have a chat about what you’re looking for.