Capetown Student Accomodation

Managing Shared Living Expectations in Varsity

sadasdasdasdasdasdasdsdasdasLiving in close quarters with a roommate can be stressful in general but now with the pandemic still in full swing, you might be feeling a little more unnerved than usual.  It’s thus important to make your shared living expectations clear from the outset by talking about your concerns before they develop into huge issues. A willingness to compromise will greatly serve to pave the way for a more successful roommate relationship too.

Guide to Managing Shared Living Expectations

Creating a list of your expectations will help you to navigate establishing expectations for your roommate. Getting further guidance from the residence staff may also be helpful if you are having any difficulties. Use this guide to help you get started.

Shared responsibilities for keeping your space clean and tidy. Consider things like rubbish removal, bed making, eating in the room, frequency of vacuuming or sweeping, dusting, washing dishes, laundry and personal hygiene.

Covid health and safety protocols. Talk about mask-wearing when appropriate, the Covid protocol for invited guests, sanitizing and cleaning shared areas like the bathroom, kitchen, and lounge, and the acceptable courtesy when utilizing remote study time.

Safety and Security. Outline the procedures for keeping your space safe such as when locking doors and closing windows must be a priority.

Visitation or guests. Decide what is acceptable in your shared space such as appropriate times for visitors, frequency of visits and what is allowed vs seeking each other’s permission to have visitors.

Privacy. This topic can be sensitive but it’s important to set basic guidelines around nudity and appropriate clothing in your shared space. This is for intimate activities with partners and how you can best compromise on the need for alone time in the room when required.

Sharing of personal property. What do you find comfortable sharing with your roommate if anything? What requires permission and what is free to share without asking? Food, electronics, clothing, furniture, hygiene products etc.

Noise levels and lighting. Are certain levels of volume acceptable during a particular time of day and when should headphones be used instead? The illumination of electronic devices can be disturbing or disruptive at certain times so what is acceptable? Consider the sleeping and studying habits of yourself and your roommate when making decisions on this topic.

Temperature control. This is not really something someone thinks about with shared living expectations until it rears its head which may cause heated debates. If the space has an air-conditioner or heater, decide what temperatures are a comfortable compromise, also taking into consideration the cost of electricity if that is not included in the cost of the space. Agree on when windows should be opened or closed regarding both weather and the healthy need for fresh air.

Relationship expectations. Just because you live in the same space does not mean that you will be friends or that you have to include one another in any activities. While things may change as you get to know one another better, it’s helpful to get an idea of whether you are both happy to share some aspects of your lives or if you’d prefer to live mostly independent lives.

We understand the challenges of university life, and we also have tons of other great tips and advice to make your student life just that much easier. Visit us at