With the coronavirus (COVID-19) escalating at an alarming rate people are being forced to avoid public spaces, self-isolate and stay at home.
But with the majority of young professionals and students renting shared accommodation, how do they self-isolate when they share a kitchen, bathroom and communal space with their housemates?
Living in a house share or flatshare can be a challenging experience at the best of times due to people having different quirks, habits and standards. But when you throw COVID-19 into the mix, then things can start to get a little bit more complicated!
By taking the right approach you and those you live with can house share safely and effectively during this troubling time, and who knows, maybe get to know each other better.
Here are some tips on how to manage your house share effectively...
General hygiene standards
First things first, it's good practice to maintain basic hygiene standards in order to minimise infection and combat the virus.
The NHS has recently published guidelines on how to stay safe living in self-isolation. From washing your hands to disposing of household waste, the guidance provides step-by-step instructions on how to protect yourself from COVID-19.
Pull your weight
Whether you're living in a student house in Liverpool or a flatshare with friends in the city centre, it has never been so important to share household tasks. To avoid animosity during this already tumultuous time, picking up even the smallest tasks around the house can make a big difference!
Taking out the bins and wiping down kitchen surfaces can become irritating if you feel like you're the only one doing them. It's often a good idea to create a rota for cleaning and important tasks - this will ensure everyone does their bit!
With so much uncertainty surrounding the economy right now, it's understandable that this is a difficult conversation to have with your fellow housemates.
As a tenant, there are a lot of regular costs you need to think about, from rent to council tax. One of the best ways to manage household finances is to make sure bill responsibilities are split fairly. This can often mean one tenant taking responsibility for collecting everyone's rent, whilst another housemate sorts the internet and so on. This reduces the stress of payments and means everyone is accountable in their own way.
There are a number of practical solutions to ease the bill-splitting process including setting up a standing order or shared bank account. These processes are particularly handy if you're a student living in a rented flat or house with five or more renters.
Sharing is caring
During these terribly tough times, it's important to support one another as much as possible. This might mean sharing possessions, food, drinks and toiletries (toilet roll included). By organising a split shop which takes care of these items, you reduce the risk of running out of essentials when you need them the most! And it means one housemate doesn't have to continually pay for things that are being used communally.
Respect your housemates' privacy
When stressful situations like these arise people want their own privacy and space to process what's happening. It's imperative that their wishes are respected - having a mutual understanding between housemates is the first step towards creating a relaxed living environment.
Another thing to consider is bathroom sharing, you'll need to adjust to everyone's new routines and work out what's best for everyone.
This extends to not hogging the living room or kitchen for hours on end or playing loud music when your housemates are working from home.
Fortunately, we're more connected than ever before with communication apps such as WhatsApp and Snapchat. This trend should extend to your house share too.
As well as keeping up-to-date on bills and other house related issues, the group message can be used to share updates on one another's health and wellbeing. This is particularly handy for those who have the virus and are self-isolating in one room without human contact.
Marshall Property is happy to help
We appreciate that the upcoming days, weeks and months are an uncertain time for everybody! As one of the best estate agents in Liverpool, we are doing everything we can to support our customers.
We hope this has given tenants of house shares and flatshares some reassurance on living in self-isolation. Here at Marshall Property Liverpool lettings, our team of property experts are on hand to answer any questions, please get in touch if you need our assistance!