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Avoiding Arguments With Your Flatmates

Note: due to the effects of COVID-19, some of the information on this page might not currently apply.

Before it's too late, find some time to set out some guidelines for how your flatshare will work. You won't regret it. Here's our short and handy guide to happy flatsharing.

The 3 Cs

Find a time to sit down and come to a decision on how to handle the three big Cs - Cooking, Cleaning and Costs.


Are you going to cook together and share a food budget or go your own way and have your own shelves in the fridge? Whichever you decide, try not to blur the rules. If you're cooking separately, then hands off that cheese that you didn't buy, unless you've asked nicely!


Cleaning can cause major heartache. Over two thirds of people we polled had fallen out with a housemate about cleaning. One SpareRoom colleague was driven to distraction by a flatmate at University who left food on the kitchen top in layers like sedimentary rock, with the early layers turning into fuzzy blue splodges before long. Talking about it definitely helps, as does finding a compromise where you agree to split the chores and take responsibility for your own washing up. If all else fails, it may be necessary to pay for a cleaner on a regular basis and split the costs.


Lastly, there are going to be some shared costs for your house or flat, however much you want to live independently. From the utility bills to the small things like loo roll and washing up liquid, it pays to be organized and sensible about splitting the costs. Get direct debits set up for the utilities, and ensure that you don't leave it too late to pay back any flatmates who've shelled out on your behalf. You wouldnâ??t want to be chasing them for their share if you'd laid out would you?

To make things really simple, you could sign up with Glide, an energy and telecoms supplier created especially for people in shared houses. Each tenant is billed separately for their share, and it's a fixed monthly rate, which helps you to budget. Find out more about Glide.

Leaving notes

If there are any issues that cause problems, try to avoid leaving notes around the house. This is unlikely to resolve anything as, even with the best of intentions, your tone can be misinterpreted. Best to sit down over coffee and talk it through.

Friends or not?

Not every flatshare leads the occupants to becoming best buddies. Sometimes it's just a practical arrangement for sharing costs and having a reasonable place to live. Even if you don't get on, it pays to be civil or you'll be looking for a new place on SpareRoom again before too long! Even if you get on like a house on fire, remember to give each other some space, to avoid a claustrophobic atmosphere.

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