It’s that time of the year again. Students are getting ready for the new academic year at Australia’s fourth oldest university. In a city with a very low rental vacancy rate, it’s making more and more sense for students to decide to share a rental when they are lucky enough to find one. However, Baxton Property Management in Hobart points out that getting shared accommodation to work harmoniously can be as much of a learning curve, and involve as much preparation and determination, as getting ready for the University of Tasmania exams.
Shared accommodation can be very difficult. Personality clashes, lack of consideration for others, strange habits or behaviour, extra add-ons in the form of romantic partners… the list of possible problems that can arise is seemingly endless. But is that any different from any other form of interaction with other people in a close environment?
Roommates from Hades
Checking out forums and websites on-line could be enough to give you sleepless nights for the duration of your lease, or decide to move out right now. For instance, how are you to know you are not going to end up like the tenant described on one such forum, who systematically broke the necks of two generations of his own pet rats while high on drugs?
On the one hand, the answer to that is to read these forums, so that you know what might happen. But be sure to also read the positive posts so you’ll realise that that that sort of situation seldom occurs. Far more likely are the situations that develop in any shared situation, including what may have happened now and then in the family home you may just have left. Clashes of interest, lack of co-operation, entitlement, and misguided judgment of roles and entitlements are the main problems. Good companionship and friendships could also develop.
How to Choose a Roommate
The only way to deal with this is to keep your wits about you, and do thorough screenings of prospective co-tenants. Bear in mind that there are bad housemates and good ones, and, in between, there are normal, friendly and co-operative people who can end up not only making your shared home experience pleasant, but could become lifelong friends.
Unfortunately, making the latter scenario your prime aim in choosing someone to share your rental home with you, can make you lose out on the first. Check out everything you can, including references, before making a choice. If possible, meet for coffee or lunch so you can get a feeling about the person and whether you think you can share your home time and space with them.
What Are the Characteristics of a Good Housemate?
Is a house-mate a friend, a companion, a soul mate? No, and if they are that’s a bonus. You are looking for someone who pulls their weight. You want a housemate who pays their share of the rent regularly and on time, who plays their part in dealing with household chores, contributes to the food bill and helps keep their room and shared areas clean and tidy. You would also like them to respect your privacy and your belongings, be considerate of others when it comes to their lifestyle, and capable of adapting in order to fit in with others.
And for the shared-living relationship to work, whether it’s two people or four, everyone involved has to show at least the majority of those characteristics, including you. Because the tenant who doesn’t behave accordingly, can tumble the whole house of cards.
Managing the Agreement
With a century in collective experience, Baxton Property Management knows how difficult tenant selection can be, which is why they have developed an all-encompassing screening process for potential tenants. This is one of the reasons this Hobart-based company manages around a billion AUD in properties for investment property and private rental owners. To learn more about rental property, property management and other lifestyle-related subjects, visit the Baxton blog.
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