Tips for Living in a Shared London Apartment

Some of my closest friendships were made in the shared apartment that I chose for my student housing. London flat sharing experiences give you a chance to spend your time abroad with people from all over the world, so I have come up with some tips that will help you live with them in harmony.

Sharing your living space with people you have never met before can be a success if you all take just a little time to work out some ground rules.

It’s All About Communication

At times we all forget the importance of communication in healthy relationships. It’s amazing how much easier it is to share your space and to enjoy time with your flatmates if you set up some easy ways to communicate. As you’re probably coming here to improve your language skills, this will also be a good way to practise speaking and writing English!

In my apartment we set up a WhatsApp group so that we could easily notify each other of things like ‘we need more milk’ or ‘I’m coming back late tonight so don’t worry’, etc.

If your schedules permit you should also try to organise a regular evening together for discussing any of the practical issues that could help you all enjoy the time together in your student housing. London life is exciting but it’s important to have a calm, friendly place to retreat to at the end of the day.

What Should You Share?

I know you’ll be paying individually for your rent, but there are other expenses that will arise from living here. It will save a lot of money if you and your flatmates share these costs.

We set up a shared cupboard in the kitchen, and we all contributed money to buy basic items like sugar, cleaning supplies and toilet paper. These were all stored in our shared cupboard so that it was clear which items were for the group and which were personal.

There are some useful apps like Splitwise and Venmo which make it really easy to track expenses and everyone’s contributions.

Privacy and a Sense of Space

Just because you are living with other people doesn’t mean that you can’t expect any privacy in your student housing. London’s apartments don’t usually have a spare room so make sure that you and your flatmates have agreed on rules for hosting visitors. To maintain a sense of space you might want to agree that visitors cannot spend more than a night on the sofa in the common spaces.

You will of course have your own bedroom so when you need time to yourself there will always be a place to go.

Communal Spaces: The Living Room, Kitchen & Bathroom

Everyone has their own opinion about acceptable levels of cleanliness and tidiness. When I shared an apartment we made a list of the chores and a rota so that everyone would take their turn. This is good for jobs like taking out the rubbish and any cleaning duties if you don’t have a cleaner.

It’s also important that you remember to be considerate. Wash up your dishes after you have finished your meal, don’t leave hairs in the bathroom sink and tidy up your belongings in the living room if there is one.

I have found that taking these few steps at the beginning of the semester helps everyone feel comfortable in the shared space. And when we all feel comfortable together we open ourselves to building friendships with the people that we meet in our student housing. London is an even better city when you can experience it with a friend!

Britannia Student Services has a team that is committed to helping students like Carolina find the best accommodation option for their time studying in London. Send us an enquiry so that we can help pick the shared apartment, Hall of Residence or homestay that’s right for you.

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