Accommodation is a major cost that puts pressure on most household budgets, and the most common way of spreading that cost around is to share space in your home with other people. If you are offering to share with a relative or long-term friend, you already know a lot about them, their ability to pay the rent and to be a responsible housemate.
House Sharing with Strangers can be Rewarding
Often though, sharing arrangements involve rental properties and total strangers. The fact that these arrangements usually work out well for everyone is testimony to the inherent goodwill in most people. Lifetime friendships and many romantic relationships are often forged in these circumstances. However, there are other times when things begin well but deteriorate quickly.
Check the Legal Issues First
If you are already renting a property and need some help with the rent, there are a few things to know before you invite someone else to share. You have already signed an agreement that sets out the terms and conditions of the tenancy. If you sublet without first securing the approval of the lessor, you may be in breach of that agreement.
Tenant is Responsible for any Nuisance or Illegal Activity
We cannot give any guarantees here that approval would or would not be given as every case is different. If Bunbury Real Estate was managing the property, we would contact our lessor for approval. If that was given, we would advise our tenants that they are responsible for anyone they allow onto the premises. They must make sure that anyone there does not create a nuisance for neighbours, or use the premises for anything illegal.
Select Housemates Carefully
We would also suggest that they treat the search for a housemate like a job interview. For security, arrange to meet applicants somewhere public like a park or café. Spend some time with the different applicants, as you are assessing if they will fit into your home environment.
Get some background information by asking specific questions. Do they smoke, for example, or play their music loud? Do they have any pets who need to be included, how much space do they need for their possessions; do they cook or entertain friends?
Very Important – Check References for a Positive Sharing Experience
Our most important requirement would be to get references from other tenancies or share houses they have occupied. These documents are easy to fake, so take that next step and make personal contact with the referees. This could prevent all sorts of problems.
What you want is a reliable, easy-going person to help with expenses, not a lazy troublemaker. When the people who share your rental are compatible, you will have no trouble with your property manager, and there will be more money in your pocket at the end of the month.