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Why Cohabition Is Bad News For Your House-share

Why Cohabition Is Bad News For Your House-share
Sharing a house with friends can be great fun. But what do you do when a house-mate’sgirlfriend or boyfriend takes advantage of your welcome by staying over nearly all the time or even full time? As well as being illegal, it can seriously spoil the friendly shared house atmosphere! As we’ve seen through our long history as letting agents in Derby, cohabiting can lead to other tenants feeling used and invaded. Often, even when the house-mates share their doubts, nothing gets done.This can lead toarguments between tenants and even the break-up of a happy house-share! It can also cause issues withrent payments being delayed or not paid at all and could end with legal action being taken.

Signs that one of your housemates is cohabiting:
  • Their partner moves more and more clothes/belongings into the shared house
  • An extra key is cut for the front door and for the bedroom door
  • Their partner seems to be there all the time and has his/her own toothbrush and shampoo in the bathroom!
  • They shower daily and helps themselves to tea/coffee/bread/washing powder
  • They turn the heating up and down at will and have post delivered to the house
  • They might make offers to pay for increased consumption of utilities/broadband speed.
What you can do
There’s no doubt that this is a challenging issue for people in rented properties, but don’t worry, there are steps you can take:
Get the rules right
Right at the beginning of the tenancy, discuss and agree your house rules. These could be along the following lines:
  • The length of time partners stay over - the norm is a maximum of one weekend per month, unless agreed otherwise
  • A washing up rota
  • Cleaning communal areas – hoovering, cleaning floors, dusting, baths/showers/toilets
  • Taking out litter bins and bringing them back in
  • Noise limits both quantity and times
  • Paying for utilities and reading meters
  • Parties – when, how many, informing the neighbours and cleaning up afterwards
  • Parking
  • Calling house meetings to discuss any problems.
Be open about the issue
If you don’t have specific house rules, make sure you get the problem out into the open and discuss it as soon as possible. Our many years of experience in property lettings has shown us that this issue will not go away of its own accord!
See it as an opportunity
From this discussion, take the opportunity to lead on to other house rules. If any of the subjects mentioned above haven’t been discussed, it is very likely that there are other areas of conflict!
Ask your letting agent for help
If this doesn’t resolve the problem, give your letting agent a call! At Blue i, we’re happy to provide personalised support for our tenants where necessary and arrange a meeting at the property.
Remember, cohabiting is illegal and isdirectly in conflict with most tenancy agreements. Not only that, but it can put a great house-share at risk. A good letting agent should help you resolve the cohabitation problem if it’s causing conflict in your shared house.
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