Download our guides Your Next Career Accommodation Money and banking Cost of living Visas Employment Health and safety Language Life in Australia Studying Getting around Travel Advertise

How to be a Great Housemate

This article is sponsored by BPAY

There are a lot of advantages when you are sharing accommodation with housemates. Firstly, rent is cheaper! Plus, you always have friends nearby to chat with over a drink or to split a pizza. Maybe you can cook feasts together, help each other with study or just hang out watching movies. On the other hand, some housemates are messy, inconsiderate and no fun at all to live with.

While we can’t force your housemates to behave, we can give you some tips to make sure you aren’t the difficult housemate that everyone else complains about. And if it’s your housemate who really is terrible, try printing out this article and sticking it to your fridge. Hopefully, they take the hint!

A few tips for housemate harmony

Pay all bills and rent on time

This is our number one tip! A housemate who needs to be chased every month for money that is owed is a big stress on other housemates.

Make sure you stick to your budget every month so you can pay your way. Using an online bill payment system like BPAY makes it super easy to pay bills securely. You can even schedule payments* so you don’t have to stress about payment due dates.

Clean up after yourself

Your housemates deserve to live in a tidy space without your mess everywhere. Wash up after meals, don’t leave clothes lying around and determine a cleaning schedule with your housemates for all communal space cleaning.

Hiring a cleaner can solve a lot of problems with everyone contributing evenly to the cost.

Respect private spaces

Understand the difference between communal and private spaces. Don’t enter your housemate’s bedroom without their permission.

Don’t treat the communal area as your private space. If you want a quiet space to study, then head to your room.

Don’t eat your housemate’s food

Just don’t! There is nothing worse than going to the fridge and finding out that your treats have been eaten by somebody else.

If you do use something, replace it straight away.

Stock up on essentials

Pick up milk, toilet paper and cleaning products whenever you are running low – running out of toilet paper is the worst.

If all housemates pay an extra $15-20 a month (collect it at rent time), you can make sure that everyone is contributing equally for all communal items needed.

Quiet time vs party time

Living with others means respecting their space and their schedule. If your housemate has a big assignment due tomorrow, then tonight is not the night for a loud party. Try to be extra quiet if you are home late and your housemate wakes up early.

Agree on a policy regarding guests and quiet times to avoid any disagreements in the future.

Take care of each other

Housemates can be like your new family – especially when you are far from home. Celebrate birthdays and holidays together, look after each other if someone isn’t feeling well, and be extra kind if you know someone is homesick or stressed.

Create some house traditions

Whether it is a communal feast on Sunday night, cricket in the park, a backyard barbecue, or PlayStation on a rainy day, set up some house traditions and include all your housemates.

Having fun with your housemates is the best part of living in a share house.

With BPAY you can pay your bills from the comfort of your home all within your secure online or mobile banking. BPAY, Australia’s way to bill pay.

® Registered to BPAY Pty Ltd (ABN 69 079 137 518). The BPAY Scheme is managed by BPAY Pty Ltd. BPAY Payments are offered by over 150 BPAY Scheme members. When you use BPAY the BPAY Scheme is paid fees relating to processing costs and BPAY Scheme membership. Contact your financial institution to see if it offers BPAY and to get the Product Disclosure Statement.  Any financial product advice provided by BPAY Pty Ltd is general advice only and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs.  Before acting on such advice, you should review the Product Disclosure Statement and consider whether BPAY is appropriate for your personal circumstances.

*Scheduled payments are subject to systems and funds availability.

^BPAY is accessible anywhere and anytime you have access to your online, mobile or phone banking.