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Waitaki Herald - - FEATURE -

on the bench – don’t be flat­mate’’.

Do get con­tents in­sur­ance. If you value your stuff, this is a no brainer; you just never know what’s gonna hap­pen to it.

Do know your rights. If yours is the only name on the ten­ancy agree­ment, you’re en­tirely re­spon­si­ble for what hap­pens in your flat – even if it’s not your fault.

Ev­ery­one who signs the agree­ment is equally re­spon­si­ble. Con­tact your Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Bureau or the Ten­ancy Tri­bunal if you have any prob­lems with your land­lord or flat­mates,

Don’t for­get about the bond. Most land­lords ask for one be­fore you move in so it can be pretty ex­pen­sive.

The bond cov­ers dam­ages just in case you or the flat­ties trash the house and is nor­mally up to four weeks’ rent plus two weeks in ad­vance. Don’t fret though; if you haven’t dam­aged the place you’ll get your bond back when you move out and your last two weeks of rent will be al­ready paid for.

Don’t have unan­nounced par­ties – es­pe­cially on a school night. Be­ing a rude flat­mate is just plain, well, rude. Treat ev­ery­one with re­spect; that in­cludes keep­ing noise lev­els to a min­i­mum. If

‘‘ that you do want to have a party, make sure ev­ery­one’s OK with it – and do con­sider invit­ing your flat­ties too!

Don’t cook to­gether. If you’re a lit­tle cor­don bleu while your flat­mates’ ef­forts are just a bit ‘‘bleugh’’ – or if your flat is full of so­cial but­ter­flies and you’re rarely at home to­gether, con­sider do­ing your own cooking. Set­ting aside space in the fridge and pantry for each per­son will help deal with clash­ing sched­ules – and dif­fer­ing tastes. Think about buy­ing com­mon con­sum­ables like milk, mar­garine and Glad Wrap out of your weekly flat ex­penses, though, since you’re all likely to use it.

Don’t smoke in­side. Even

if you’re all smok­ers, the nico­tine will stain the walls and ceil­ing and it’s near im­pos­si­ble to re­move when it’s time for the crew to move out. Plus it’s 2015 – smok­ing in­doors is so ’90s.

Don’t mix kisses with dishes. Avoid awk­ward con­ver­sa­tions the morn­ing af­ter by es­tab­lish­ing clear flat­mate bound­aries.

If you value your stuff, con­tents in­sur­ance is a no brainer; you just never know when you’re go­ing to need it.

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