We all want happy housemates, and that starts with you - follow these simple steps to be the best housemate you can be, and help to build great relationships in your accommodation:
Clean up after yourself
Cleanliness is the first habit you should adopt if you want to create a good living environment. Your flatmates don’t always want to be the ones to sort the rubbish/recycling, wash the dishes or scrub the bathroom, so be sure you do your fair share!
Whilst many buildings in University accommodation do have a basic cleaning service, for communal areas we still need your help keeping standards up.
Wash your dishes promptly
Keeping the kitchen and common areas clean is a must, and a big part of it is always washing your dishes. That way, when your flatmates need to use the kitchen they won’t run into a pile of your dirty plates.
Leaving the washing up for several days is not acceptable and causes tensions. Try to wash up within a few hours after use wherever possible.
Don’t leave cooking unattended. Stay in the kitchen whilst you are cooking and don’t wander off to your room or further afield. Unattended cooking is a fire safety hazard and setting off fire/smoke alarms by burning your food will not make you popular with flatmates.
It’s useful to make a cleaning schedule for the communal areas early on - split up the jobs so everyone does a little bit of work; this will avoid arguments in the future, and will make your flat a nicer place to live in.
Keep the noise to a minimum
Learning how to be a good flatmate includes monitoring your noise production. You and your flatmates may have different sleep schedules, so you should respect them by not interrupting their slumber. Noise disputes do not always start with large parties - within a shared flat, loud voices in conversation or doors slamming can carry along a corridor and cause disturbance later at night when people are trying to sleep.
Remember there are noise curfews after which noise should be kept to a minimum. For most accommodation this is 11.30pm, for dedicated quiet accommodation the curfew is 10pm. During exam and revision periods the guidance is stricter – noise should be kept to a minimum at all times.
Be respectful when hosting guests
You may love your significant other, but that doesn’t mean your flatmates do too. Be respectful when having guests over, especially overnight guests. Discuss the ground rules that will make you comfortable. Remember that when having guests inside your accommodation, you are responsible for their behaviour too.
Having guests over to cook together too frequently can cause frustration as well - bear this in mind when hosting. There are rules in place within your accommodation contract about overnight guests, so make sure you are aware of them
Share your kitchenware
To save costs and make your house feel more like a home, you can pool resource and share some kitchenware. Don’t turn up at move in with all your kitchenware, sorting this post arrival with flatmates can be an icebreaker and save some space in communal areas, as well as saving a few pennies.
Open communication is the key to developing a harmonious relationship. Don’t wallow silently in frustration - let your flatmate know what bothers you. Of course, you shouldn’t start a screaming match, just gently let them know you aren’t happy with certain behaviours, and how this makes you feel.
Conversely, ask your flatmate if they are comfortable with your habits. If they mention an issue, be open to compromise.
Respect each others' choices
At the University of Bath, we support your right to choose how you drink. You may find that some of your flatmates have a different approach to alcohol to you, so we’d recommend discussing your options and being mindful of individual preferences.
There’s a great range of alcohol-free drink choices available across campus; you can find out more about mindful drinking on our Set Your Own Volume webpage.
Spend time together
Getting along with your housemates can make the world of difference to how you feel about your living space. Watching a movie or hosting a games night on a Friday night, or sitting down and eating dinner together once a week can make your accommodation really feel like a home.
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