Sharing A Student House

For those who do not know, I studied my Masters Degree at the University of the West of England (UWE), in Bristol. My first year in 2008 was HORRIBLE, and that is me putting it lightly. I shared a flat, off campus, with 4 other students I have never met before, and it was just a major disaster. We had issues about everything, from cleaning and maintaining the flat, to issues of having constant parties and noise making. I will never forget that year for all the wrong reasons.

University Days

(In my room in Bristol 2008. Gosh I looked so young).


I learnt a lot from my experience, and  I thought I should share some survival tips to anyone who might be thinking of sharing a student house or anyone going through the exact same issues I went through.

Here are my top 4 tips:

Share A Flat With Friends

Now this was not possible for me because I was an international student, so I didn’t really know anyone studying at Bristol, but if you have the opportunity to go to university with friends, just share a flat with them. It is a lot easier dealing with people you know than strangers. However, if you find yourself sharing a flat with people you don’t get on with, try to create a conducive atmpsohere for all by staying out of their way. Life is hard as it is already, don’t make it harder by having a row. The year does go by pretty quick, and you will be free to find some other place to rent.

Do Your Research

Do a through reasearch before you resume. My flat was in a block called The Hollies, and it was quite a distance from the main campus, which I didn’t know until I got to Bristol. It was a nightmare getting to classes on time in mornings, the buses were always late and it would have taken me hours to walk down. If I could go back in time, I would have gone for a flat closer to the main campus. Have a good look at the surrounding areas closest to your campus before you decide on where to stay.

University Bristol


Sort Out Cleaning Schedule

This should be one of the first things you sort out with your flat mates. Have a meeting and decide who does what and when, and have it pinned to the fridge or anywhere visible so everyone knows when it is their turn. You may have the extremely difficult and untidy people (like I had) who can’t be bothered to clean up after themselves, you could try having a word with them one on one or call a meeting and trash it as a group, or for your sanity, ignore them and clean up when you can if it bothers you that much. That was what I did, I moved out as soon as my lease was up, and moved into a flat with people of like minds, which takes us back to the first tip – Share A Flat With Friends.


There should be a free flow of communication to make any house sharing work. There should be regular meetings for general issues to be trashed out, problems can also be discussed before meetings if need be, it all depends on the rapport you have with your housemates, but it is best to discuss any concerns before it gets out of hand. Communication is vital for a peaceful student house sharing.

So there you have them, my top 4 tips for sharing a student house. Most of the issues I had with my housemates, I won’t have had them if I lived with my friends or people with like minds so I think that tip is the most important of all.

What are your thoughts? Do you have any tips to add?


*This is a collaborative post.






56 responses

  1. Such excellent advice for flatsharing at any age. Communication is so important – once that goes, it will all go wrong….

  2. A few good tips here, although I would have to completely disagree with the idea of staying out of other people’s way. I went to uni myself and there was always one person in the flat that kept themselves to themselves, and all it did was isolate them further from their flat mates! My sister is at uni and in her first year she had someone in her flat who basically ignored everyone else but also whined about the cleaning, whereas if they had taken the effort to get to know people then they probably would have just been able to ask nicely for the flat to be cleaned.

  3. It’s really difficult sharing with strangers. When I did the International program at Disney, my housemates were all different nationalities. This led to frictions. For example, I could never get the kitchen clean enough for my Japanese roommate no matter what I did. When I’d done the kitchen she’d do it again when it didn’t really need doing.

  4. I agree 100% on doing your research. I have never had to share a flat with anyone other than my husband, because due to my disabilities I was allocated an apartment for just me as a student. I even got to choose which complex I wanted to live in and that’s where I made a big mistake of selecting a complex in a distant neighborhood far from campus and where you had to cross a major road to get to the supermarket and such. Terrible for a blidn person like me, but all I knew was it’s a quiet neighborhood.

  5. Great tips/advice. I was looking to share a flat in my first year and I looked at two flats, one had mold and a toilet I’d only ever seen on TV shows and the other smelt like cats and was covered in hair. I’m glad I stayed at home because I’m able to have my own space and I know my mum won’t be having parties every night haha

  6. I never flat shared as a student, but I am now flat sharing as a young professional with another young professional here in Cologne. Would I do it again? Never. We are both of different backgrounds, I like a spotless house. When I cook, the kitchen has to be cleaned straight afterwards. When I sit comfortably on the sofa, I will tidy cushions and blankets after. My flatmate is different, she thinks it is acceptable to not clean to kitchen for three days after she cooked a home made curry. I could afford not to flat share, but the flat is only a few minutes walk from my work and I like the area. As I am only staying a year in Germany anyway, there was no point sorting out my own flat.

  7. Great tips, I would totally recommend sharing a house with friends. I lived in dorms for my first year and then we sorted out our next couple of years housing with friends – it was so much better

  8. These are really excellent tips – I have shared a lot during my student days and then travelling afterwards and it’s really important to get on with the people you live with otherwise it will be a disaster

    Laura x

  9. Perfect advice Stella! Ive never had to share a flat or house BUT I’ve always wanted to share a house with friends growing up – That would have been a madness LOL
    Did you heard about that blogger house that was going to happen… need to follow up on it, sounded like fun
    Charlotte x

  10. Pingback: How I Survived Culture Shock in England - fashionandstylepolice fashionandstylepolice

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