FAQ: I’m about to live in a share house for the first time. Any tips?

Renting with other people is great for sharing costs, experiences and learning to live with others.

Because you will be sharing a lot of time with your housemates, it is important to choose people you think you get along with.

Check the student accommodation services at your university or college. They may have a list of other students looking for shared accommodation and can also offer you useful advice.

Plan your finances

Living on a student income is a challenge, especially if it is the first time you’ve lived away from home.

See the Live in Victoria website for detailed information on the cost of living in Melbourne and Victoria. Information on how to plan for expenses in Australia is available at Moneysmart.

Make a practical budget so you have enough money for your studies and to enjoy Melbourne. Get a general idea of what the cost of living in Australia is to work out your expected weekly costs.

Below are a few budgeting tips:

  • Add in the possibility of price rises and unexpected events
  • Don’t forget large yearly costs such as textbooks and course costs
  • Try to save some money towards medical or dental expenses
  • Think about what you want to see and do and what you might need

Online budget planners:

Pay on time

Paying rent, bills and other household expenses on time is the golden rule for a happy household.

Below are a few quick tips to managing these responsibilities:

  • Set up an automatic electronic funds transfer to pay rent and keep track online
  • Always get a receipt for any rent or bond you pay
  • Make sure to transfer the bond lodgement to your name if you’re moving in, to ensure bond will be transferred to you if you vacate the premises
  • Divide bills equally between all households members
  • Set aside money each week to cover bills, or arrange a pre-payment plan
  • Your landlord must give you a copy of water bill within three months of issue, with at least 21 days to pay the fee

Help out

Many households find creating a flexible roster for necessary tasks – like cooking or cleaning – is a useful way to allocated chores fairly and avoid disrupting domestic bliss.

Living with people who have similar ideas about domestic arrangements is ideal, but if a problem does arise, it’s always a good idea to discuss things before they get out of hand.

Be considerate

If friends or family plan to visit for an extended period of time, let housemates know in advance.

Keep noise to a minimum when you have guests over. Be mindful that you have an obligation under your residential tenancy agreement not to disturb neighbours or damage property.

Ask for help 

If you have an urgent situation and need help, remember to speak with our friendly staff at the Study Melbourne Student Centre.

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