It’s that time of year and, if you’ve just moved into a new student house share or a professional house share in Leeds with a bunch of people you don’t yet know, it’s time to get bonding!
You may not know each other very well right now but you soon will once you’ve dedicated some quality time to get to know each other. We may not be living in regular times right now, but living in a house share can still lead to you meeting friends for life.
On top of making an effort to spend time talking to each other, if you follow all of our tips below and create a housework rota that you all agree on, then you’re set up for a fantastic year of fun in your new digs.
So, how can you get to work on making friends with your housemates?
Pay your rent and bills on time
It should go without saying but, if you don’t have much experience in money management, this may not come naturally to you and is a lesson you need to learn quickly.
Always pay your rent and bills on time.
Not only will this prevent any issues regarding your house and utilities, but it will also earn the respect of your housemates.
Those who are late with rent or bill payments quickly become unpopular with their fellow housemates — especially when the other housemates have to cover the missing amount.
Here at Pickard Properties, we offer a range of bills inclusive student rental packages, which make budgeting for the monthly living essentials much simpler.
Make your housemates a cuppa
This tip may sound insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but it’s the little gestures in life that count the most. Every time you make yourself a drink or stick the kettle on, ask if anyone nearby would like a drink too.
Also, consider extending the offer to everyone in the house — a nice cuppa and a chat could coax your less outgoing housemates out from their bedrooms!
Clean up after yourself
This is an important tip and includes anything from cleaning the kitchen work surfaces after cooking to replacing the loo roll when it’s finished and binning empty toiletries in the bathroom.
Do what you want in your own space (although, we’d recommend you keep that clean and tidy too) but always keep in mind that the rest of the house is shared and it’ll be better for everyone if you all tidy up after yourselves.
Dazzle them with your cooking
If you can bake delicious brownies or cook a to-die-for spag bol, then you know what to do! Food may be the language of love, but it’s also the language of friendship.
If you don’t have any recipes up your sleeve, browse these student recipes for inspiration.
Why not arrange an evening where you cook for all your housemates? If everyone is keen, you could dedicate one day per week to one of you preparing a meal for the entire household.
If it’s too tricky to get everyone together at once or nobody else wants to cook, just whip up the occasional batch of cookies or muffins and leave a note next to them telling everyone to help themselves. You’ll soon be the most popular housemate!
Always remember to clean up after yourself though — otherwise, you’ll become the housemate from Hell!
Arrange some fun outside of the house
While you might find yourselves lounging in front of the TV together quite often, make an effort to see each other outside of the house, too.
Your housemates are bound to appreciate it if you take the initiative to arrange a day or night out for everyone.
Check when everyone is free beforehand and make sure it’s an activity everyone will enjoy.
Respect personal space
While time together is essential, time apart is also. Depending on where they fall on the introvert/extrovert scale, people require varying amounts of alone time to recharge their batteries and therefore be ready for some socialising.
Take the time to learn how much personal space each of your housemates requires and respect it. If they’re happy chilling in their bedroom all weekend, leave them be; they’ll soon be recharged and ready to socialise again.
Likewise, if you need some space, make sure to communicate that to your housemates or get yourself out of the house — to the gym, the cinema, or to have a wander around the shops.
Don’t let your partner overstay their welcome
When a group of adults live together, it is to be expected that partners will come and go — whether they’re hookups or more long-term relationships.
If you have someone staying over in your room every other night — be it different people or the same one — then resentment will start building in the house.
After all, it is only the housemates paying the rent and bills, yet someone else is using the water, gas and electric. Not to mention hogging the bathroom when paying tenants need it!
We wrote a whole blog article about this issue, which you can read here. In short, we’d recommend agreeing on a plan for this eventuality early on in your tenancy and, for example, deciding that partners may only stay over two nights per week.
Be respectful of friends and family
You are bound to meet your housemates’ family and friends over time and, while you might not love everyone you meet, you must be polite and respectful to all of them.
Your housemate probably knows that his brother is annoying — he doesn’t need you pointing it out! Another housemate might have a pushy mother — again, it’s not your battle, so leave it be.
Unless, of course, your roomie comes to you wanting to chat about a friend or family member — in which case, listen and support them as best you can, but remain respectful. You don’t want to insult someone’s best mate or girlfriend, only for them to make up the next day!
In summary, say hello when a visitor comes over, offer to make everyone a drink, and then give them some space unless you are specially invited to join them.
Overall, if you always keep in mind that whatever you do in the house impacts everyone else, you won’t go far wrong. Be kind, open and supportive, and you should receive the same in return.
Don’t worry if you don’t end up becoming best mates with your housemates though — not everyone will, and that’s fine. Just keep it friendly and respectful, and you’ll get along well.
If you need some inspiration for activities, we recently wrote a blog article entitled Eight fun ways to get to know your housemates.