Flatmate house rules: What’s reasonable?

Every successful house share is based upon a good level of respect and understanding – but what’s an acceptable request when it comes to making house rules?

No one wants passive aggressive lists of what they can and can’t do, but a house share without some basic ground rules can soon result in anarchy.

If you don’t want to rub your housemate up the wrong way with unreasonable requests, acasa has got you covered. In this blog post we discuss what’s reasonable when it comes to setting house rules. Read on to find out more.


If your house share has one rule in place, it should be respect for one another. Respect for your personal space and belongings needs to be established from day one. In a house share everyone is paying money to live there and, as such, has equal say about the day-to-day running of the house.

From making clear that helping yourself to other peoples food is definitely not okay and setting boundaries between communal and personal space, respect is the fundamental ground rule that every shared house should have in place.


We’ve all heard horror stories about housemates that refuse to clean their dishes, leaving the sink overflowing with plates that are growing cultures. And we’ve all heard these stories about the poor individuals that had to clean up after them.

No house sharer should be forced to do more than their bit of the house work. Creating and implementing a cleaning rota is definitely a reasonable action to take. If you all agree on something that’s written in black and white, lazy housemates are left without a leg to stand on.

A cleaning rota can include tasks like:

  • Hoovering
  • Mopping
  • Cleaning the kitchen
  • Cleaning the bathroom
  • Dusting
  • Emptying the bins

With a cleaning rota, everyone knows what they’re meant to do and when—no excuses.


When the only thing that’s got you through the day is the thought of getting tucked up in bed for an early night, the last thing you want is to be rudely awoken by booming music, loud laughter or, worse, an unannounced house party.

Putting rules in place when it comes to noise is always reasonable, and is something that will benefit everyone at some point.

The commonly agreed quiet times for shared houses are based on noise nuisance legislation, which states that a premises should avoid noise between the hours of 11pm and 7am.

You might have exceptions to this rule now and again, such as for special occasions like birthday parties, which is fine. The important thing is to make housemates aware well in advance and be considerate at all times.


If there’s an argument between housemates that’s not about cleaning, respect or noise levels, you can guarantee that it’s about bills. That’s because a houseshare isn’t just about sharing space, it’s also about divvying up things like gas, water, and electric fees.

But this becomes difficult when one housemates takes longer showers, and another has a tendency to crank the heating up a couple of degrees without consulting others first.

Even the happiest of houses can turn sour when it comes to working out who pays what for utilities. Having set rules in place that clearly state who needs to pay for what is one of the best ways to avoid finance-related arguments.

Whether your house agrees to pay equal for all the utility bills, or splits them based on individual usage, having a system in place is without a doubt worthwhile.

If you’re moving into a houseshare, or you’re already in one, setting rules is essential. But more important is to devise reasonable requests that everyone can agree on and abide by. Using our tips for setting reasonable rules will ensure your house stays happy and runs smoothly.

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