The do’s and dont’s of being a good flattie
Ah, flatmates. They never do their dishes, they drink your expensive organic OJ and their freeloading, six-nights-a-week slumber buddy is impressively oblivious of your increasingly less subtle hints that maybe they should start contributing to the flat’s expenses.
Yes, flatting is a rite of passage for many young Kiwis, and accounts for almost 1 in 10 rental household arrangements, according to official government figures However, learning to peacefully cohabitate with other humans is easier said than done, and flatting horror stories are ubiquitous.
Here at Pulse Energy, we want to do our part to put an end to the flatting nightmare. Here are some tips on becoming the perfect flatmate:
Do: Set up a flat group chat
How much is this month’s power bill? Has anyone seen my phone charger? Do we need toilet paper? The best way to keep everyone up to speed on what’s going on in the flat is to set up a group chat on your favourite messaging app. Having all your communication in one place is the perfect way to ensure everyone’s on the same page when it comes to flat bills, home maintenance, communal shopping, property inspections and more.
Don’t: Use all the hot water
Hopefully personal hygiene ranks highly on your daily to do list, but it’s important to be mindful of how much hot water you’re using - particularly if you’re sharing the house with a few people. Limiting your shower time not only ensures there’s enough hot water to go around, it’s also better for the environment as well as your bank account. As EECA Energywise noted, hot water heating is responsible for about 30 percent of the average household’s electricity costs, so reducing shower time could help you save big when it comes time to pay the bills.
Do: Disclose any heaters and electric blankets
Bill disagreements are one of the most common causes of flat disputes, so it’s important that you’re transparent about things that may impact the flat’s expenses. Electric heaters, for example, are an appealing way to quickly heat up your bedroom and other small spaces, but they’re not terribly efficient and can cost up 40 cents per unit of heat released, according to EECA Energywise. If you have to use one, let your flatmates know and offer to throw in a couple bucks extra against the power bill.
Don’t: Leave passive aggressive sticky notes all over the house
Nobody likes confrontation, but that doesn’t mean you should resort to using sticky notes as a means of communicating with your flatmates. It’s time to be an adult. Ditch the petty passive aggressive tactics, discuss things calmly face to face with your flatmates and work on coming to a resolution that everyone can agree on.
Do: Fulfil your cleaning duties
Newsflash: mum’s not around to clean up after you. Wash your dishes, don’t leave your stuff in shared spaces and keep your room looking - and smelling - fresh. If there’s a cleaning roster, make sure you’re proactive in fulfilling your duties and don’t wait for someone to remind you.
Don’t: Leave the lights on
Although light bulbs have become much more energy efficient in recent years, lighting still accounts for about 12 percent of the average household’s electricity bill, according to Consumer. Help your flat keep costs down by turning off the lights when you leave the room.
Do: Organise the parking situation
Unless you’re living on a huge block of land, there probably won’t be enough off-road parking to accommodate everyone’s cars. Instead of playing musical chairs with the parking, come up with a solution that meets everyone’s needs. This might involve creating a weekly or monthly parking schedule, or giving flatmates priority parking in exchange for slightly higher rent.
Don’t: Eat your flatmates’ food
Don’t do it. Enough said.
About to move into a new flat?
Check out our Student Offer - Cheap electricity and free Highlanders tickets for all the flatties - limited time only.
With the money you will save on power, you can put this towards other things - like a professional cleaning service!