Nothing can make a place feel like home more than sharing it with a friend. When taking in a lodger we always hope the new flatmate can help make the living experience even better – someone to laugh with, join you on the sofa to watch your favourite movies and, dare we even think it, chip in with the housework.

Just because you get on like a house on fire, don’t think it will be a comfortable ride. Even Joey and Chandler had their moments.

Choosing the right lodger for you is a mission in itself, but once you have made your decision – whether you have opted to live with an old pal, an acquaintance or a stranger – it is important to ensure you both respect one another and create an environment where you can live happily. To ensure your home feels more like the world of Friends than Peep Show, the first important step is to lay down the ground rules.

Setting the boundaries may sound a bit dull, but it is vital to ensure you don’t feel like a stranger in your own home. Just make sure you do this before your new lodger moves in, so everything is clearly laid out in advance and lines cannot suddenly be blurred.

Finance

The first – and most important – point to make is the rent.

Let the lodger know how much it is, and when it is due. This will make sure you aren’t out of pocket or waiting weeks on end to collect your cash. You don’t need the stress. If you are asking for a deposit from your roomie then it is important to to set the figure and get it in advance.

Renting a room or shared space should not be the only transaction flatmates share. A lodger needs to know what is included in the rent money. If bills -such as the TV licence, water and electricity – need to be split then this must also be spelled out in advance to avoid confusion, arguments or a not-my-problem shrug. 

Your lodger’s possessions will not be covered by your insurance either. Make sure they are aware of this and look into getting their own cover.

Habits

Unless you’re Tom and Jerry, living together should be an experience that suits all, enabled by a mutual understanding.

But what if one of you is a smoker and the other isn’t? What if one of you works nights and the other days? Perhaps you like to read a book and your flatmate is spending their spare time practising to become a superstar club DJ? Maybe you are a clean freak and your lodger a little more on the leave-it-till-later side?

We all have different personalities, but to make sure your home feels just that way, make it very clear what you expect – from noise levels to the amount of housework to be done – early on. If the lodger-to-be doesn’t like it then they weren’t the right person for you anyway.

Guests

Again, it is vital you decide what you want and lay it out firmly from day one. Being a social butterfly may be your lodger’s most endearing quality, but that wears a little thin when they’re bringing groups of pals over every night, crowding you out, eating your food or keeping you up late.

You also need to set the rules for overnight guests before you find yourself revealing too much to a stranger as you dash for the bathroom in the morning. The same goes for partners. Make sure your lodger’s loved one doesn’t make your home theirs before you’re suddenly playing gooseberry with a couple who are cheating by splitting one person’s rent. Once you’ve decided on your set of rules, it is best to write them down and ensure you both have a copy – just so there’s no room for misunderstanding.

Once you’ve got your house rules all set up, you can start your search for a new lodger. Find them in a matter of minutes by using badi. Packed full of handy features, it’s easy to find the perfect roomie for your empty space.