Moving into a house-share is a rite of passage for Generation Rent, but one prospective flatmate has revealed just some of the pitfalls that living with strangers can present.
British Twitter user rxdaxn posted the lengthy list of rules a friend had been issued with after expressing an interest in a room to let in London being advertised on the Spare Room website.
Theyd received a lengthy reply from an existing tenant who warned that after having a couple of bad flatmates in the past theyd devised an extensive list of rules that any newcomer would be expected to follow – including being out of the house between 9am and 5pm every weekday, never cooking before 8.30pm or laughing out loud after 11.30pm.
The person advertising the vacancy had written in a message: Before you come for a viewing, I want to give you an idea of what I expect. I had a couple of bad flatmates this year and I dont want to waste your time and mine if you cant commit to certain things that are very important to me.
The list starts simply enough with staying quiet and keeping guests to a minimum, then states flatmates aren’t allowed to laugh “out loud after 11pm” or use the toilet “15 times a day”.
The screengrabs shared on Twitter racked up thousands of likes, with many users voicing their shock at the stringent rules.
An anonymous individual in search of a flatshare shared the unusual requests they received from a potential flatmate (file image)
As for the person who enquired after the flat, Rx said: “The person who wanted to have a visit just gave up on it.”- Press Association
The message the flat-hunter received included a detailed 11 point break down of the rules theyd be expected to follow, ruling out late night Skype calls and spending a lot of time cooking, and even using the toilet too much.
The mystery housemate was not identified in the post, and it is unknown whether they found somebody to fit their requirements.
According to its author – who described themselves as quite easygoing and “live and let live” – most of the house rules listed amounted to common sense.
One wrote: You live here its not a hotel, but you cant be here between 9-5 and no showers in the morning and no bathroom use and no cooking and NO FUN what the hell am I paying for then???
Another said: You have to be out of the house before 9am, but youre not allowed to cook before 8.30am. sounds reasonable.
Other Twitter users claimed they understood the list of rules as theyve previously had challenging flatshares.
A user speaking under the handle mellonicoley said: Have to admit I agreed with half the points and thats also why I live alone, used to have a flatmate who slammed doors all the time, drove me crazy! And I hated it when people hogged the kitchen, theyre not the only one who had to cook!
Another added: I admire his boldness in outright stating what were all afraid to say: that he wants a flatmate who pays rent and make him feel like he has friends but also functionally doesnt exist.
The current flatmate asked their new occupant to avoid cooking before 8:30am, take less than one hour in the bathroom and to follow a cleaning rota
Twitter users mocked the strict morning schedule requested by the current tenant which includes being out of the house by 9am on weekdays
Other Twitter users claimed they understood the strict list of rules as theyve previously experienced flatmates who cook and make noise at unsociable hours
1. I need you to be out of the flat on weekdays during normal working hours (9-5) because I work from home 5 days a week and I need the place to myself. If you have a proper job, this shouldnt be a problem.
Students who go to university on random days for a few hours or stay at home all day long and chill out unfortunately cant live here. Im not fussy about the weekdays, I just want to know you have somewhere to be Mon to Fri from the morning until late afternoon.
2. My new flatmate has to be a quiet and considerate person. Which means you should use the door handles rather than push the doors to slam, and try to behave quietly, especially when its late or early in the morning so as not to disturb others.
I am not looking for a bull in a China shop kind of flatmate. I dont want you to always be running around, throwing things around. And I expect your guests to act [respectfully] when here. Both me and the other flatmate are quiet and rather gentle people.
3. I used to have this flatmate who was on Skype for 2-3 hours everyday (5 hours on weekends). I wont have that. This is a quiet building in general, and I usually read or watch something in the evenings, and the other flatmate has to study.
So I dont want to hear noise coming from your room constantly. It doesnt matter if you talk on skype/phone quietly (or so you think). I wont tell you for how long youre allowed to talk a day, its nonsense, if you need to call someone just do it. But you should know if you use the phone a lot everyday or dont.
People who dont, dont cause me problems. As soon as someone starts interpreting my words to suit themselves, the problems begin. So you need to be sure about this before you move in.
If you dont use the phone but listen to podcasts for hours instead – its the same thing. If youre watching movies without headphones or sports or listen to music, its still the same thing. If youre laughing out loud until after 11pm or sleep with the radio on – still the same thing. My previous flatmates always used headphones or they managed to keep the volume at such a level that the noise didnt disturb the other flatmates. Basically, Id like you to use common sense. Youre living with other people who want to be able to rest and sleep, and do whatever they need to do after a long, noisy day.
4. This isnt a very sociable house. We dont do parties and we dont really have time to cook together or watch TV together, mainly because people always have different schedules and theyre busy.
But I expect my flatmates to be friendly towards each other, which means sneaking around behind each others backs is NOT fine. You can be shy and introverted but a how are you and a chat sometimes is just good manners.
If thats too much of a bother for you and you barely know your current flatmates names, you arent the right person for this flat. This is a home, not a hotel, there are no strangers here.
5. I want my new flatmate to be someone who has friends, who goes out to see places, does things like sports etc. if you spend all your free time hanging around the house, streaming TV shows and talking on the phone for hours, were not gonna like each other. When Im not working in my part-time job, my life revolves around my laptop when I work at home because Im a very busy person.
But I dont want my new flatmate to assume that just because I spend so much time here, its OK for them to do the same. Thats why you definitely need a full-time job, and if youre doing some interesting things with your life as well, thats even better (also because then well have something to talk about when we run into each other).
6. We have a cleaning rota that you need to follow. Every week youll be cleaning the bathroom, the kitchen or the floor. Sometimes you might forget or you might not have time – its fine, you can do some extra cleaning another week to help the other flatmates.
But I dont tolerate people who just dont care and who make faces at me when I remind them what theyre supposed to do. There are some rules we all need to follow. This is not a students dorm, its not a hotel where you only sleep for a while, no, its a place where you live. So you need to care and show some interest in whats going on here, and simply act like a mature and civilzed person.
If youve been living with your buddies in a place where everybody does what they want – I dont call this experience in flatsharing. Thats like a bunch of frat boys living on a campus and its not enough for me.
7. If you have to run to the toilet 15 times a day or every 15 minutes, dont move in here. If you say you dont spend much time in the bathroom because you dont take long showers but then you sit on the toilet several times a day (like the flatmate whos moving out), and only your morning bathroom runs take almost one hour in total, this definitely isnt the place for you.
If all you eat is canned beans and cooked lentils and drink beer, youre not my kind of flatmate. I need someone a little more sophisticated here. In the mornings I need everyone to try to hurry up with their bathroom routine.
No ones going to wait for half an hour or wake up much earlier just to be able to take a shower. And certainly dont want you to be running around the house for 2 hours at 6am like its the middle of the day. I prefer that people get up, get ready for work quickly and head out. If you do wake up early every morning, please try not to wake us up.
8. Theres no cooking in this flat before 8.30am and after 11pm. Occasionally I will allow it, and you can also make some porridge or use the microwave.
But anything that requires pots and pans and a lot of washing up afterwards is not allowed – and if it smells so much that it wakes everyone else up – its also not ok. If you prepare proper work lunches at home, youll have to make them the previous day.
I dont like people spending a lot of time cooking in general. If you ONLY eat cooked/fried meals because you dont know how to make a sandwich, and you hang around the kitchen for hours a day (and I do mean HOURS) or spend weekends preparing elaborate meals baking etc. This isnt the place for you.
People usually want to cook after work and dont want to wait forever til your done with your meal. Again please use common sense, we dont usually have any problems regarding this.
9. Everyones expected to clean up after themselves in the kitchen and the bathroom as well. I dont want to have to point out that the toilet needs to be flushed every time, the bathtub needs to be rinsed of hair, and the dirty dishes need to be washed sooner rather than later, especially those that arent yours and that are used by the other flatmates regularly. I wont tolerate dishes lying in the sink for 2 days.
10. Regarding guests, I dont want to constantly see your friends hanging around the flat. If you have guests 3 times a week, its too much. Sometimes you may have a guest coming over for the weekend or a few days – thats fine as long as its not every month, although it also depends on what kind of flatmate you are and who your friends are.
But there are gazillions of places in London where you can socialize, and the flat is for the flatmates. Boyfriends and girlfriends are OK as long as theyre not sleeping here 3-4 times a week because that means that half the time wed have a fourth person living with us, and in that case they should be paying the rent like everyone else, if you must see your partner that often, you should live with them, not with us.
If youre bringing guests home, especially in the middle of the night, its important that you act responsibly. We dont know who you are, or who they are, so you have to think about everyones safety. If something get stolen or you endanger other flatmates in any way, the landlord will throw you out immediately.
12. As for alcohol, drugs, and other such things, I dont really want to see people here under the influence. Beer, wine etc. in responsible amounts are obviously fine, were all adults here, but apart from that I dont want any crazy stuff here.
Im responsible for the flat before the landlord and I have a responsibility towards my flatmates as well to keep them safe.
Please, be sure that of we both have an understanding about the above points we wont have any problems. Im quite easy-going and I live and let live.
I get that everyone has to adapt to something when living with strangers but if we get some things right from the start, Im sure youll enjoy living here.