Maintaining your Tenancy
Friends- Getting your first place is exciting and it is great to be able to have friends around, but you need to remember that one of the most common reasons that young people lose their rental properties is because of their friend’s behaviour.
Here are some tips to dealing with friends and problem behaviours:
- DON’T hand out your address to just anybody. When you give your address to a trusted friend, make sure they know not to share it with anyone.
- ASK your friends to leave, if you feel that their behaviour is going to cause you to lose your property.
- CALL the police if your friends won’t leave.
- MIX with friends outside of your home. This could include meeting your friends elsewhere so they don’t have to come and pick you up from home.
- KEEP and emergency accommodation number handy, for friends that arrive with nowhere else to go and want to stay with you. Just because your friends need a bed, it is not your responsibility to meet that need.
Sharing a house is great for saving on rental costs and having live-in company.
Ask anyone who has shared a house and you will soon learn that there can be some downsides to co-tenancies.
Here are some tips on what to be aware of when thinking about sharing your home:
- Time & Rent talk about how long you will be sharing for and how much rent is to be paid, how often and what does the rent cover (Power, gas, electricity)?
- Bond & Bills Is there a bond to paid? and how are bills paid?
- Food & Cleaning Is everyone responsible for their buying their own food or is a weekly shop done. Is there a kitty for items such as toilet paper, bread & milk? Is there a roster for the cleaning?
- Friends/Partners Can people stay over and how often?
- Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking What are the limits around boundaries and use? Can you smoke inside or outside?
- Lifestyle Issues Are their rules around different lifestyles? Such as working nights, loud music, study?
No matter how compatible you are with your housemates, things will sometimes go wrong, here are tips on what can go wrong and how to resolve these issues :
- *People staying over – * this needs to be negotiated with all people sharing the house
- Not paying bills on time
- Eating other people’s food in the house
- Cleaning – not sharing chores
- Not respecting each other’s space and privacy
- NOISE – planning parties without checking with your housemates
What you can do to reduce conflict in the house:
- Respect each other and people’s privacy and space
- Pull your weight with regard to chores
- Be conscious of your level of noise and be aware of annoying habits
- Don’t talk about the person you may have conflict with, with other housemates Make a time to talk calmly and clearly about any issues that you may have and try to reach a compromise or solution that suits you both
Personal Safety & Security
Here are some tips to enhance your personal safety & security:
- If coming home alone-look behind you. Don’t go into your home if you are being followed; go to a friend’s/neighbours house instead.
- Don‘t get sucked in by salespeople that come to your door and don’t give out personal information i.e. that you live alone, when you are usually out of the house
- Don’t leave messages/money on the door for friends (e.g. messages that the keys are in a certain place)
- Close your blinds so people can’t see through the house
- Be careful of how involved you become with neighbours-get to know them well before inviting them into your home
- Be careful about how much personal information you give out about yourself to others
- Make sure your smoke alarms are working and that you know where the fire escapes are in case of an emergency
- If someone is trying to break in while you are at home, call 000 and tell the police your location and what is happening. Give clear instructions and call a trusted neighbour to let them know what is happening
- Put important numbers, such as the police and friends /family in the speed dial on your phone
- NEVER leave hot oil or cooking pots on the stove unattended
- NEVER mix electricity and water. Radios and hairdryers in the bathroom are dangerous and can cause electrocution. Don’t let cords dangle in wet basins
Budgeting and paying bills
The person named on the bill is ultimately responsible for the payment of the bill. In a shared house bills can often cause a lot of stress.
Here are some tips to avoid that hassle:
- Collect the money or put the money into a kitty on a weekly basis
- Try to get the bills to come in as often as possible (smaller bills are easier to pay)
- Pay bills before they arrive through up from payment options at post offices (e.g. budget cards)
Cooking and cleaning
When in a share house situation you may find that a roster is useful. This way everyone knows whose turn it is do things and arguments can be avoided. If you prefer to take a more flexible approach, remember;
- Cleaning a house is not optional. It is important that everyone is clear about what is expected of them when it comes to tidying up
- Living in a happy house is living with people who have similar standards when it comes to cleanliness
- Cleaning up as you go and being responsible for your own mess is important
- Take turns in cooking during the week and make a rule that whoever cooks does not have to do the dishes
For advice on support during your tenancy and on how to end your tenancy TASWA is a fantastic service for tenants in Western Australia.
TAS provides free quality legal advice and information to residential tenants across WA through the Tenants Advice Line (for tenants only).
TAS telephone advice line workers receive extensive in-house training and are closely supervised by a Solicitor.
Metro Area (08) 9221 0088
Weekdays, 8.30am – 3.30pm
Country (Freecall) 1800 621 888
Weekdays, 1.00pm – 3.30pm