‘1. I need you to be out of the flat on weekdays during normal working hours (9-5) because I work from home 5 days a week and I need the place to myself. If you have a proper job, this shouldn’t be a problem.
‘Students who go to university on random days for a few hours or stay at home all day long and chill out unfortunately can’t live here. I’m not fussy about the weekdays, I just want to know you have somewhere to be Mon to Fri from the morning until late afternoon.
‘2. My new flatmate has to be a quiet and considerate person. Which means you should use the door handles rather than push the doors to slam, and try to behave quietly, especially when it’s late or early in the morning so as not to disturb others.
‘I am not looking for a ‘bull in a China shop’ kind of flatmate. I don’t want you to always be running around, throwing things around. And I expect your guests to act [respectfully] when here. Both me and the other flatmate are quiet and rather gentle people.
‘3. I used to have this flatmate who was on Skype for 2-3 hours everyday (5 hours on weekends). I won’t have that. This is a quiet building in general, and I usually read or watch something in the evenings, and the other flatmate has to study.
‘So I don’t want to hear noise coming from your room constantly. It doesn’t matter if you talk on skype/phone ‘quietly’ (or so you think). I won’t tell you for how long you’re allowed to talk a day, it’s nonsense, if you need to call someone just do it. But you should know if you use the phone a lot everyday or don’t.
‘People who don’t, don’t cause me problems. As soon as someone starts interpreting my words to suit themselves, the problems begin. So you need to be sure about this before you move in.
‘If you don’t use the phone but listen to podcasts for hours instead – it’s the same thing. If you’re watching movies without headphones or sports or listen to music, it’s still the same thing. If you’re laughing out loud until after 11pm or sleep with the radio on – still the same thing. My previous flatmates always used headphones or they managed to keep the volume at such a level that the noise didn’t disturb the other flatmates. Basically, I’d like you to use common sense. You’re living with other people who want to be able to rest and sleep, and do whatever they need to do after a long, noisy day.
‘4. This isn’t a very sociable house. We don’t do parties and we don’t really have time to cook together or watch TV together, mainly because people always have different schedules and they’re busy.
‘But I expect my flatmates to be friendly towards each other, which means sneaking around behind each other’s backs is NOT fine. You can be shy and introverted but a ‘how are you’ and a chat sometimes is just good manners.
‘If that’s too much of a bother for you and you barely know your current flatmates names, you aren’t the right person for this flat. This is a home, not a hotel, there are no strangers here.
‘5. I want my new flatmate to be someone who has friends, who goes out to see places, does things like sports etc. if you spend all your free time hanging around the house, streaming TV shows and talking on the phone for hours, we’re not gonna like each other. When I’m not working in my part-time job, my life revolves around my laptop when I work at home because I’m a very busy person.
‘But I don’t want my new flatmate to assume that just because I spend so much time here, it’s OK for them to do the same. That’s why you definitely need a full-time job, and if you’re doing some interesting things with your life as well, that’s even better (also because then we’ll have something to talk about when we run into each other).
‘6. We have a cleaning rota that you need to follow. Every week you’ll be cleaning the bathroom, the kitchen or the floor. Sometimes you might forget or you might not have time – it’s fine, you can do some extra cleaning another week to help the other flatmates.
‘But I don’t tolerate people who just don’t care and who make faces at me when I remind them what they’re supposed to do. There are some rules we all need to follow. This is not a student’s dorm, it’s not a hotel where you only sleep for a while, no, it’s a place where you live. So you need to care and show some interest in what’s going on here, and simply act like a mature and civilzed person.
‘If you’ve been living with your buddies in a place where everybody does what they want – I don’t call this experience in flatsharing. That’s like a bunch of frat boys living on a campus and it’s not enough for me.
‘7. If you have to run to the toilet 15 times a day or every 15 minutes, don’t move in here. If you say you don’t spend much time in the bathroom because you don’t take long showers but then you sit on the toilet several times a day (like the flatmate who’s moving out), and only your morning bathroom runs take almost one hour in total, this definitely isn’t the place for you.
‘If all you eat is canned beans and cooked lentils and drink beer, you’re not my kind of flatmate. I need someone a little more sophisticated here. In the mornings I need everyone to try to hurry up with their bathroom routine.
‘No one’s going to wait for half an hour or wake up much earlier just to be able to take a shower. And certainly don’t want you to be running around the house for 2 hours at 6am like it’s the middle of the day. I prefer that people get up, get ready for work quickly and head out. If you do wake up early every morning, please try not to wake us up.
‘8. There’s no cooking in this flat before 8.30am and after 11pm. Occasionally I will allow it, and you can also make some porridge or use the microwave.
‘But anything that requires pots and pans and a lot of washing up afterwards is not allowed – and if it smells so much that it wakes everyone else up – it’s also not ok. If you prepare proper work lunches at home, you’ll have to make them the previous day.
‘I don’t like people spending a lot of time cooking in general. If you ONLY eat cooked/fried meals because you don’t know how to make a sandwich, and you hang around the kitchen for hours a day (and I do mean HOURS) or spend weekends preparing elaborate meals baking etc. This isn’t the place for you.
‘People usually want to cook after work and don’t want to wait forever til your done with your meal. Again please use common sense, we don’t usually have any problems regarding this.
‘9. Everyone’s expected to clean up after themselves in the kitchen and the bathroom as well. I don’t want to have to point out that the toilet needs to be flushed every time, the bathtub needs to be rinsed of hair, and the dirty dishes need to be washed sooner rather than later, especially those that aren’t yours and that are used by the other flatmates regularly. I won’t tolerate dishes lying in the sink for 2 days.
‘10. Regarding guests, I don’t want to constantly see your friends hanging around the flat. If you have guests 3 times a week, it’s too much. Sometimes you may have a guest coming over for the weekend or a few days – that’s fine as long as it’s not every month, although it also depends on what kind of flatmate you are and who your friends are.
‘But there are gazillions of places in London where you can socialize, and the flat is for the flatmates. Boyfriends and girlfriends are OK as long as they’re not sleeping here 3-4 times a week because that means that half the time we’d have a fourth person living with us, and in that case they should be paying the rent like everyone else, if you must see your partner that often, you should live with them, not with us.
‘If you’re bringing guests home, especially in the middle of the night, it’s important that you act responsibly. We don’t know who you are, or who they are, so you have to think about everyone’s safety. If something get stolen or you endanger other flatmates in any way, the landlord will throw you out immediately.
‘12. As for alcohol, drugs, and other such things, I don’t really want to see people here ‘under the influence’. Beer, wine etc. in responsible amounts are obviously fine, we’re all adults here, but apart from that I don’t want any crazy stuff here.
‘I’m responsible for the flat before the landlord and I have a responsibility towards my flatmates as well to keep them safe.
‘Please, be sure that of we both have an understanding about the above points we won’t have any problems. I’m quite easy-going and I ‘live and let live’.
‘I get that everyone has to adapt to something when living with strangers but if we get some things right from the start, I’m sure you’ll enjoy living here.
‘If what I’ve written works for you let me know when you’d like to come for a viewing. Take care. ‘