22 minutes | Oct 2, 2017

Living with Strangers -EP55

You may think you know someone, but until you’ve actually lived under the same roof, it is hard to gauge what kind of housemate that person might be. Irritation is inevitable when you are sharing your home, but there are ways to mitigate the frustration and protect yourself from undue financial burden. Toni is joined by Laura Caruana, a Brunswick renter with a unique approach to flatmates. Laura explains how she came to meet her first housemates through work, and what they were looking for in an apartment. She shares her tactics for replacing housemates as necessary and how the Fairy Floss Facebook group connects prospective flatmates. Toni and Laura go on to talk about how relationship dynamics change once you live with someone you know. Laura shares how she and her flatmates approach the fundamental aspects of sharing a home, including household duties, paying bills, the fair division of rent, and privacy. Lauren also discusses her experience with living in New York and Chicago and the lack of consumer protections for renters in the States, and Toni covers safety considerations around living with strangers and the lawmaking each tenant responsible for the entire rent. Having flatmates can be a positive experience, as long as everyone pulls their weight. Listen and learn to protect yourself—and your credit score down the road! About Laura Caruana Laura Caruana rents from a Planinsek Property landlord in Brunswick. She is uniquely qualified to discuss the topic of sharing an apartment, having had four different housemates since moving to Brunswick June of last year. Laura can also speak to the experience of renting in the US, having lived in both New York and Chicago while taking classes in comedy and standup. Laura studied acting at University of Ballarat, and she currently works as front of the house supervisor at Hellenic Republic Restaurant. Topics Covered How Laura went about finding and replacing flatmates What Laura and her housemates were looking for in an apartment Why Laura is more comfortable living with men than women How working at a restaurant makes finding flatmates easier The Fairy Floss Facebook group How relationship dynamics change when you live with someone you already know The issues around cleanliness in common areas How Laura and her flatmates divide the rent How Laura and her flatmates approach household tasks Laura’s advice regarding bills How Laura and her flatmates deal with the issue of privacy How living with colleagues can present awkward situations Laura’s experience living in the US How Laura found accommodations in the States The lack of consumer protections for renters in NYC The safety concerns for young women considering male flatmates How tenant agreements hold renters accountable How failure to pay rent/bills can affect your credit score Learn More About Private Rentals and Flatmates  For help getting in private rentals, visit housing.vic.gov.au/help-get-private-rental. Information regarding support for private renters can be found at housing.vic.gov.au/support-private-renters. Resources around financial help for private renters is located at housing.vic.gov.au/financial-help-private-renters. Access Consumer Affairs Victoria through their website, consumer.vic.gov.au/housing/renting, or download their smartphone app at consumer.vic.gov.au/housing/renting/rentright-app. Contact the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RBTA) through rentalbonds.vic.gov.au. Order your copy of Toni’s book, Her Property, at http://planinsek.com/product/her-property-book/. If you have additional questions or suggestions for future podcast topics, email Toni at toni@planinsek.com, and take advantage of her resources for beginners in real estate at planinsek.com.
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