C&G’s Guide to Handling Share House Disputes

 

When multiple personalities come together in one home, conflicts can easily arise. In today’s blog, C&G share our top tips on handling disagreements in share houses, and what to do if you can’t reach common ground.

 

Why Disputes Arise

Disputes can arise for a number of reasons, but common disagreements stem from noise, finances or simply a clashing of personalities. The way we each like to live can vary from person to person, and living with someone can quickly expose your differences. For example, one tenant may work late shifts in a bar and happily stay up late into the night. Other tenants may work 9-5, and therefore not take too kindly to late night music or house guests.

 

Resolving Tenant Disputes

When a dispute arises in your share home, the first step should be to talk things through with everyone involved – in person. Modern technology means many tenants’ primary method of communication with each other is by shared messaging apps, but try to resolve disputes in person. Calling a house meeting means everyone can explain their side of the story.

 

If talking things through and making compromises doesn’t work, you may need to involve your property manager. If the issue relates to issues like noise or unpaid bills, they may be able to issue a warning to the relevant tenant, reminding them to respect the rental property and associated obligations. In more severe cases, the property manager may issue a notice to vacate.

 

As an absolute last resort, you have the option of legal action. In Victoria, VCAT can assist with tenant disputes that cannot be resolved. These proceedings can be time consuming and costly, so it’s always worth trying to handle the issue yourself first.

 

How to Avoid Share House Disputes

It’s true in this case that prevention is better than cure. Try to avoid house conflicts by implementing small measures early on to make sure everyone is pulling their weight. These may include:

●     A chores roster

●     Cost-sharing apps (like SplitWise)

●     Discuss your schedules and preferred way of living with friends before jumping into moving in together

●     Regular house meetings to allow every tenant to express any concerns before they escalate

 

Preventing issues before they arise is the best way to avoid ending up in a lengthy legal dispute. These questions from Flatmates.com can help you gauge whether or not a person is a good fit to live with you – try asking these before committing to cohabiting.

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