Tips for Sydney Students Moving Into a Share House For the First Time

Like many students who are studying in Sydney, you’ve decided to move into a share house to meet new people and cut costs. Moving out of home the first time is an exciting step towards independence, but when a group of first time renters move out together, things can get real messy real quick if everyone isn’t on the same page. For this reason, we’ve put together a quick guide for first time Sydney renters to make your share house experience has fun and rewarding as you always dreamed of it being.


You can’t pick your family, but you can definitely pick your housemates. Don’t be afraid to be particular when it comes to the people that you are going to be sharing your home with. You don’t know someone until you live with them. Moving in with old or new friends can put a strain on your relationship as you discover just how different you are. If you do choose to move in with a mate, lean towards someone you have travelled with without conflict or you have spent a lot of time around them at their place. Once you have a good judge of they treat their own space, you can make a decision whether or not they’re compatible with you.

Alternatively, you can move in with strangers. Not complete strangers but other students from around Sydney who are looking for a room, like you. Gumtree, Flatemate Finder and Flatmates.com.au all have daily listings for rooms available all throughout Sydney and is free to advertise if you want to organise your own place. For a more informed decision, you can turn to Facebook. There are numerous ‘Sydney housemate’ type groups that exist to accommodate students and young professionals to advertise spare rooms. By taking a look at people’s Facebook profile, you can get a good idea of if they share your interests.

Things to look for / ask in interviews before you move in with someone:

  • 1. Rental history – Is it their first time renting? Do they have references?
  • 2. Are they working? Can they prove they have the ability to pay rent every week?
  • 3. What’s their schedule? Will a bartender who gets home at 5am everyday throw off your schedule?
  • 4. Are they single? Do you want to live with a couple?
  • 5. Do you enjoy having company? Do you want this to be the party house or a sanctuary?

Apart from these basic questions, feel free to ask whatever question you feel is important, rather than waiting until they’ve moved in and it’s too late. While it’s important to maintain a certain standard of living, don’t be afraid of people with different lifestyles. Judging people too soon or being overly picky could leave those spare rooms empty for a long time.

Rental Payments and Bills

Ideally, rent and utility bills should be split evenly between all housemates. This may not be the case if someone has a bigger room or their own bathroom. Use common sense in these situations and make a decision that everyone can agree upon. If you are having trouble coming to an agreement of something as simple as dividing rent evenly, then you may have picked the wrong housemate, so be sure to discuss this beforehand to avoid awkward conflicts. Pay the extra cost for an unlimited internet plan to be split evenly. The last thing you want to be doing is arguing over internet usage at the end of every month.

A lot of students that live together set up scheduled payments on a weekly basis for rent, with an extra amount for utilities attached to the first weeks rent every month. By doing so, you eliminate any room for error or excuses. With everyone on the same payment schedule you’ll avoid awkward arguments about money and keep your landlord happy.

Cleaning, Chores and Cooking

Everyone’s definition of ‘clean’ is different and can be almost non-existent for some people. A dirty dish can go un-noticed by some while freaking out others. The best way to combat a messy apartment is to set clear guidelines of what’s acceptable and what’s not. Have a house meeting and decide on whose responsible for each task, whether it be bin night, vacuuming the lounge room or watering the plants, you should be on a weekly rotation to ensure that no one feels hard done by with their chores.

In regards to cleaning, everyone takes care of their own mess, no matter the size, as soon as possible. No one wants to see dirty dishes on the coffee table or old laundry left scattered in the bathroom. Some people are messier than others, if you come across house mates that are a bit careless, bring up your issues politely rather than being confrontational, just let them know how it affects yourself and the others in the nicest way possible. If need be, give them a hand, they may be used to having their parents cleaning the place and legitimately not know how.

When it comes to cooking and food in general, only eat what’s yours. If you see a stir fry sitting on the stove that looks too big for your house mate, don’t just help yourself, it could be their weeks lunch or dinner. Unless they’ve said otherwise, don’t eat or drink your house mate’s things.
If you arrange nights for house dinners, be sure that when it’s your turn to cook, that you’re cooking. Keep the night free and take care of your responsibility. As trivial as it may be, it sets the bar for your house mates and shows a good deal of respect, which is vital when you’re living with people you don’t know extremely well.

Parties and Having Friends Over

Whether you’re bringing home a date or inviting an old mate over for a few beers or dinner, it’s important to give your house mates some notice. Even if you don’t need a certain area of the house to entertain, by letting everyone know your plans to have company prevents them from walking into a room full of strangers in their own home.

When it comes to partners, be sure to control the amount of time they spend at your place before you talk it over with your house mates. When you only have one shower it can get on peoples nerves, even if their only over a few nights a week.
It should go without saying, but plan all parties well in advance with your roommates to give them a chance to make sure they don’t have any exams around the time, and so they can invite their own friends as well. Take their needs into consideration and be flexible with dates, while arranging a rough kick-off time and a suitable time to wrap it up.

At the end of the day, it’s all about communication. No matter what the issue is, it can usually be completely avoided by just having a conversation beforehand. By screening your possible house mates and asking the right questions, you should be able to find some like-minded people that will become a big part of your university life.

If you’re moving house in Sydney and need a prompt and affordable removalist that suits all budgets, Palmers Relocation have you covered. Our fixed price moving solutions are perfect for the Sydney student to get their furniture and belongings from A to B as quick and as cost effectively as possible. For more information and a free quote, give us a call now on 1300 363 916 or contact us online.