If you decide to move into an already established share house, it’s a good idea to ask friends if they know of any places as well as checking on websites and local notice boards. In most cases, phone numbers will be given in share accommodation ads so you can phone to make initial enquiries and check that the room is still available. On the phone, ask the essential questions from your list of needs and wants. If you like the sound of a place, you’ll then need to go round to meet the housemates and check out the room.
When looking at your room, take time to check that it is comfortable and has everything you need. It is a good idea to draw up a list of needs and wants beforehand so you don’t miss anything and take a friend who can ask the questions you might forget.
When you meet the housemates, it is a good idea to ask questions about the household and how it is run. Some of these questions may sound very picky but it’s the only way to decide whether you really are compatible with the rest of the household. And it’s always better to find out the worst now rather than later.
You should also ask about the legal arrangements in the house. Is your name going to be on the lease? If not, who is on the lease? Who will you be paying bond and rent to? Who deals with the landlord? See The Legal Situation for more information.
After the interview
After the interview, the people in the house will usually tell you they’ll be in touch: if they never ring back, it’s a good indication that you weren’t high on the compatibility rating. Just keep looking, you’ll find something! Consider each offer carefully. If you accept, then you will need to make your moving plans and get your money organised. See Moving in for more information.
Sample questions to ask potential housemates
- Does everyone buy their food together and if so, how much do they put into the kitty every week?
- What foods do they like/not like? Is it a vegetarian household?
- What are the arrangements with phone, electricity, gas and the internet?
- What do the other housemates do? Are they students, workers, or travellers?
- Do people smoke in the house?
- Is there a cleaning roster?
- Is it ok to have friends/partners over?
- Do they like Justin Bieber, Coldplay, the Beatles or Debussy?
- Is anyone religious/anti-religion?
- Do people mind loud music?
- What are the neighbours like?
- Is the landlord/real estate agent ok?
- What are people’s viewpoints on sexuality?