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House share! Never done it before..Etiquette?

128 replies

nurseye · 05/10/2022 13:10

What is a house share etiquette between young/mid professionals?
I am 41 and am training to be a physio. The only position available was over 180 miles away. Because its a part time position, I have now decided to House share whilst in this location. My days off I will be obviously commuting back home. Its 3-4 days per week.
I am a tad nervous..never houseshared before. I live with my partner and 4 year old but needs must and the cheapest place I found was a 5 bed with 4 other house mates (all professionals)

I have introduced myself on the WA group but wanting to form good relations, there may be times my partner comes up with our 4 year old. Do you think this will be OK? Is there an etiquette for guests? As she is after all a 4 year old lol.
I thunk I am just getting it generally OK to bring guests round? Do you need to book out the kitchen for instance ? Sounds silly but the kitchen is small, probably wouldn't fit more than 2 people in there. I know I will obviously find this out as I go along but wanting to make good impressions firstly before I start asking 101 questions.

Thank you.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

112 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
BonesOfWhatYouBelieve · 05/10/2022 14:02

The plan is only for a night no more. Its for the day I finish a bit earlier. Just because I know dd will miss me and its a chance to spend a day together and she isn't in nursery the next day meaning partner and her can set off when I go into work.

So you're planning to have her stay every week?

GasPanic · 05/10/2022 14:02

I lived in a professional house share for some years.

It really depends on the people and the house.

Generally shared houses are not set up for kids. For example stuff may get left around that they can hurt themselves with. It's not reasonable to expect people in a houseshare to look out for your child or suffer the consequences if say a cup of hot coffee has been perched precariously on an edge that your child accidentally tips over him/herself. You can't expect people to stop swearing, drinking, going outside smoking or any other stuff you might not want your child to see. In addition, if it is a shared house people might not want to come home of an evening to find a toddler running riot in the lounge.

I think provided you don't have your family up very often people would generally tolerate it. But I also think you have to ask yourself the question whether it would be a good place to actually bring your child.

People might be happy to see your kid and welcome her, others less so. It is just so variable depending on the vibe of the house. My suggestion would be to live up there for a few weeks and my guess is you would find out pretty soon whether it would be an environment that you would want to bring your child into and also whether your child would be welcomed into that environment.

If not, then you can always move. Normally 6 months I think ?

Cw112 · 05/10/2022 14:03

litlealligator · 05/10/2022 13:59

You can have a partner over to stay in a normal houseshare but it's not fair to expect to bring a 4 year old overnight into a shared house.

When I lived in a houseshare we would have had neices/nephews over to visit for babysitting maybe an overnight. It was never a problem and all the flatmates made lots of effort with them so depends on who your housemates are. I think the odd visit they won't mind but if its all the time they might feel like they can't let their own hair down. Just make an agreement with them and keep it in review and check in that it's still working for everyone now and then.

Foxglovers · 05/10/2022 14:06

i spent my twenties in various London houseshares and to be honest people had friends and partners staying over in their rooms all the time? I think if it’s in your room you don’t really need to ask. I’ve never come across someone doing it with a child before but I really can’t imagine anyone objecting to you having your daughter stay over! If anything I could imagine people trying to be more supportive to that? Unless it was some kind of east London party house full of 25 year olds. Most people are generally nice and would recognise you’re in a tricky situation and want to see your child (not to mention her wanting to see her mum!) good luck and hopefully they will all be supportive!

sponsabillaries · 05/10/2022 14:07

Based on what you have said it doesn't sound like it is going to be appropriate to have your child to stay. It's also really not fair on the child to put them through a 360 mile round trip regularly. What is the limitation on placements? Is it the university? Did you try approaching other more local placements directly?

HitsAndMrs · 05/10/2022 14:09

I also did the physio part time course. Other people on in my cohort used hotels as you can claim expenses back from uni. Is this not an option instead? Or an air b&b. I personally wouldn't want to house share and I would tell the uni that and see if there are any alternatives at a different time.

littlemissminor · 05/10/2022 14:10

having been in a house share of the same sort - kids staying would be an absolute no, especially if housemates work nights, a partner would be ok every now and again, but not as a routine as they slowly become another housemate but contribute nothing to the house

SunlightThroughTrees · 05/10/2022 14:14

I really wouldn’t have your DD and DH stay over at a five person house share; it’s really not the done thing in those kind of housing set ups. A girlfriend/boyfriend staying over once a week where you stay in your room and are not hogging the communal areas would be normal, but not a partner and child. Especially not a noisy four year old- not that there’s anything wrong with a noisy four year old!

The fact that some of your housemates work shifts makes it even more of a no no.

also, not what you were asking, but that would be a hell of a long way for a young child to have to travel each week.

Lysianthus · 05/10/2022 14:19

Completely off the point @nurseye but you are exactly the type of lodger I'd like. Weekdays only, I have another spare room too which would work for visiting child, and my weekends to myself. I'll keep dreaming! But perhaps that sort of setup might be better than a full on houseshare. It could end up being v expensive for you, shared bills etc when you're not actually there much.

FinallyHere · 05/10/2022 14:20

Generally visiting partners were expected to socialise with you in your bedrooms.

I agree with the above.

I am very worried about when partner and daughter come to stay as I do feel it will be very awkward and uncomfortable. 4 year old can be quite loud and boisterous.

I can see how you would be worried. Any house share might expect partners to visit (frequency to be agreed between the participants, and definite reminder to not hog the bathroom). A partner and child is beyond anything I've ever heard off.

Was this mentioned before you took the room? Id float the idea with all the others as quickly as decently possible and have a back up plan incase they don't take to the idea. I think I might veto the whole idea unless it was eg at the weekend when everyone else would be out.

MerryLeg · 05/10/2022 14:21

I’ve never house shared but I can’t imagine that your housemates will be too thrilled with a “loud and boisterous” four year old visiting once a week, especially if coming off a night shift.

Adding two additional people into a five-person household is a lot. Do you have an en-suite or will your housemates be expected to share with your boyfriend and child?

I’d really question if this is the best move for you.

Lindy2 · 05/10/2022 14:26

A relative lives in a house share. They're all amicable with each other but the communal lounge isn't really used very much. They tend to all stay in their rooms with the main area that they actually share just being the kitchen.

They're all young professionals and in and out for work and socialising. They just cook and stay in their own rooms when at the house.

I can't see how a regular 4 year old visitor would work in that type of scenario. Do you have enough space in your own room to accommodate your visitors and for them to sleep? I'm not sure the other residents and landlord would be OK with that every week.

Plantmum2047 · 05/10/2022 14:26

I've done loads of house shares. I would've discussed with the potential housemates about your partner and child visiting before I committed to moving in somewhere, other people won't have signed up to a child staying overnight and you mention she's loud etc which most 4 year olds are. It doesn't sound like it's a big place if there's one sofa and 5 housemates plus your partner and child. I'm sorry but I can't see how this is going to work. From a housemate point of view, I lived in a tiny flat with a couple and two friends the couple constantly had friends and family over and took over the kitchen which was tiny (we're talking couldn't have the fridge and the door open at the same time) and it annoyed everyone. I think you'd be better looking for air B&Bs or maybe living with one person I. E a live in landlord who is totally aware your child and partner are going to be there. How was the only job 180 miles away??

curiouscat1987 · 05/10/2022 14:26

Can I just point out if theres a live in landlord, its a lodger situation, not a houseshare, and the reason this is an important distinction is that any issues ultimately come down to what the landlord is happy with, i.e. its not a situation where you are all equal tenants and can have a democratic approach to things. I would suggest asking the landlord the policy on guests, in particular overnight guests. They may have some house rules they can share with you.

Also worth being aware that if you are a lodger rather than a tenant (which you will be in the landlord lives there), there is very little in the way of security and they can ask you to leave with very little notice. Double check what the contract says re notice periods etc! Good luck!

bigbluebus · 05/10/2022 14:30

The only way you'll know if your 4yo will be welcome us to ask tge other occupants. But if some work nights I can't see how they'd welcome a boisterous child in the house when they are trying to sleep in the daytime.

DameHelena · 05/10/2022 14:30

I think all this needs to be thrashed out as much as possible before you move in (disclaimer: obviously things will come up ad hoc, but you should nail down as much as you can in advance).
Explain to all the others what you've said here and ask all the questions about who can have whom to stay, how often, how cooking works etc. Work really hard to get to a consensus and to be sure everyone understands what's expected/permitted/OK.
Basically, IMO the only 'etiquette' is the one you work out with everyone involved.

StamppotAndGravy · 05/10/2022 14:39

You can't have a 4 year old stay! No way, that's completely out of order! Houseshares are for independent grownups, not families.

housemaus · 05/10/2022 14:51

I've lived in similar house shares - I wouldn't want a child visiting regularly, the occasional one-off (and they weren't running around communal areas) would be okay.

As PPs have said, whenever I've lived in a houseshare we tended to socialise in our rooms rather than the shared space - except the one which had 2 living rooms, one of which was kind of designated the 'Visitor Room', or you knew the other housemates were done watching TV/cooking/whatever for the evening and weren't wanting to use the space.

Particularly as it's a professional type house share, people will be expecting peace and quiet and e.g. a 4 year old having their tea in the kitchen wouldn't be appropriate, I'm sorry :(

kingtamponthefurred · 05/10/2022 15:32

I think it would be reasonable to have your child visit occasionally for a couple of hours during the daytime, but overnight stays would not be fair on anyone.

Rubywoo97 · 05/10/2022 15:34

I have been in flatshares previously with professionals/singles and if someone brought a child over (which they never did) it would not have gone down well and it would be highly inappropriate. I would hate to be living in a houseshare (already crammed in with strangers) and having one of those strangers bringing a screaming child around when everyone is chilling after work. Your poor flatmates will feel as though they can't relax in their own home and why should they? They are probably paying astronomical prices as it is. Even if they don't say it to your face, I can pretty much guarantee this will piss people off, I would be complaining to my landlord. Singles in their 20's in a flatshare do not want to be around a family with a child in their space. To be honest the whole set up sounds very weird, can you not go on a course closer to home? Or stay in an air bnb?

VivX · 05/10/2022 15:39

I used to house share - years ago, before children. 4-5 of us with a communal kitchen and living room.
Overnight visitors were pretty much limited to boyfriends (it was an all-female house) and they stayed mainly in the room of the person they were visiting, apart from passing pleasantries, or the occasional evening in the living room if nobody else wanted it.

From personal experience, no, I don't think you can have your 4yr old to stay overnight at all.
And if they were visiting for a couple of hours in the day/evening (eg before you went out somewhere), then they should plan on sticking to your own room and not the communal areas.

VickyEadieofThigh · 05/10/2022 15:42

Chaiandchocolate · 05/10/2022 13:28

I used to house share years ago and you need to be honest and upfront about visitors, check if it’s ok if they stay overnight, don’t allow your visitors to dominate the TV and lounge, hog the bathroom for ages or eat the housemates food. I’ve witnessed housemates allowing their visitors to do the above and it cheeses everyone off usually.

Other than that, just be a considerate person - be clean and tidy in communal areas, don’t hog the bathroom at peak times, and don’t play loud music or slam doors etc. Of course, you may find your housemates ignore all of that so it’s really the luck of the draw as to whether you are all on the same wavelength.

Also, when they stay, do not run up massive electricity bills cooking elaborate roast dinners for them (I house shared with a woman in 1983 who did just this when she started hacving her married father of 4 and his kids to stay EVERY feckin' weekend! We were on a coin meter and it was like feeding a bloody crocodile each weekend), or allow the partner to take very lengthy showers or deep baths... (see previous note in brackets).


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QuitWhileAhead · 05/10/2022 15:43

I'd really not want a 4 year old staying over if I was one of the other lodgers. 4 people in a 5 room is already busy enough.

pattihews · 05/10/2022 15:51

Why would your partner and 4-year-old do a 360-mile round trip to spend a few hours with you in a room in a shared house where they're unlikely to be very welcome and which is unlikely to be homely? That makes no sense at all to me.

I've had lodgers in the past and frankly I wouldn't have been thrilled if someone had wanted to bring a four-year-old home, even if only for a few hours and under supervision. I'd be anticipating crying and tantrums — your child won't understand what it's all about — and the last thing many people in an adult house share want is someone's child crying in another room.

If you really think this entire set-up, working so far away, is realistic I'd move in first, see how the place runs and check the temperature of your housemates. I wouldn't move in expecting them to welcome it.

JustAWeirdoWithNoName · 05/10/2022 15:53

Would your husband and child be staying on a weekly basis? If I were your housemate, I wouldn't be very happy about that, particularly if bills are split between everyone.

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