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Living in a HMO for the first time

When moving into an HMO, you need to be cautious that you will be living with other people. Even though you don’t need to be best friends with the people you live with, you will be living with them. With that in mind, you will want to reduce the level of conflict and awkwardness – we’ve put together some tips on how to make it smooth sailing for you and your fellow tenant.

Splitting the fridge out  

To avoid arguments about who is using the most space in the fridge or to avoid people eating your food, most HMOs will split out the shelves in the fridge so every room has their own shelf. That way, everyone has their own space and can’t accuse of someone of using all the space up. If there is anything surplus space, the house could decide to have it for shared sauces, drinks or as an overflow area.

Set of Keys

House chores

 As you live in a shared house, there will be some communal spaces such as the kitchen and living room. In these areas, it’s best to keep them tidy as much as possible. You could make a house chore timetable where everyone completes a task or two once a week to keep on top of the housework.   

Alternatively, you could decide together to keep on top of the tidying and cleaning and not have anything written in writing. Or you could all share the costs of hiring a cleaner.

Being loud and disruptive

No one is expecting you to be as quiet as a mouse and not make any noise but its good to be considerate of others. If you’ve just got in for a night out for example, try not to wake anyone else as they may have work the following day.

Additionally, if it’s the middle of the day, try not to have your television in your room on the loudest volume as people may be working from home or sleeping because they work night shifts.  

You wouldn’t be happy if someone was disturbing you so try and think of others.

Report maintenance issues as soon as possible

Any issues that you may have, you will need to report them to your landlord or letting agent. We suggest it’s best to stay on top of issues that you may have and report them as soon as you see them.

If the issue isn’t very important, it’s best to still report it so the landlord is aware and will be able to get onto it as soon as possible. A minor issue can turn into a majority issue and most of the time when it does, it’s because it wasn’t reported when it was a smaller issue.

Don’t hog facilities

How frustrating would it be after a long week of work, you want to put your work clothes in the wash, clean your bedding and give your outfit for the weekend a quick wash but someone has left all their clothes in the washing machine?

Well remember that feeling and try not to do it with the people that you live with. Especially if the HMO that you live with only has one machine, it’s best to try and not hog the machine when others may want to use it.

 To avoid this issue, you can: 

  • Set a timer for when your stuff is due to finish so you can take it as soon as you can
  • Put a wash on overnight and collect your things first thing in the morning
  • Create a ‘queue’ at the machine – If someone sees that there is stuff in the machine, they can add their name to a list to whoever gets to use it next and this will avoid arguments about who was there first etc
  • Leave your basket at the machine and if someone sees that your stuff is finished, they can put it in your basket and they can get started on their stuff 

Not hogging facilities go further than just washing machines, be considerate when using any shared facilities in the house.

These are just some of our tips on how to make your time living in an HMO as ‘drama free’ as possible and to avoid conflict with your fellow tenants.  Do you have any tips to share? If you do, let us know on our Facebook or Instagram accounts and we’ll share them.