When leaving a share house, there will be some things you’ll want to take with you and some items you’ll be glad to see fade into your past.
We spoke to some present-day renters in Sydney to get an idea about what does and doesn’t make the cut when waving goodbye to a share house.
Take: Your utilities
If the utilities at your rental property are in your name, don’t forget to move them to your new address. This includes your internet, which you’ll want to set up in advance to ensure you’re connected as soon as you step foot in the door.
“It seems weird, but I always take my modem,” Jess, who has shared homes in Sydney and internationally, tells realestate.com.au. “It can be such a hassle to organise a new one.”
However, if you decide to dissolve a shared internet contract and start fresh, you can establish a new connection quickly with Optus 4G or 5G Home Internet if you’re in a coverage area. Neither require professional installation — simply plug them in and you’re ready to go.
As you go through your items, you’ll naturally find things you no longer need. Instead of throwing them away, see if you can sell or donate them.
“I belong to a Street Bounty Facebook group that advertises items for free that people are going to leave on the street if nobody claims them. There is also a re-use/recycle place called Bower [in Sydney only] that collects and refurbishes old items. It is a really great place to consider if you have unwanted items to give away.”
On that note, research charities, schools or other institutions locally that might be able to use certain items in a good condition.
Take: Your trash
While we encourage you to leave behind your clutter, that doesn’t mean leaving it behind for someone else to deal with. Get rid of it yourself.
“I recently left a house where a previous tenant had left heaps of their stuff, including a cupboard of half-full paint tins and household chemical waste,” Emily, another Sydney-based renter says. “It wasn’t a huge deal, but it does make you a bit bitter as you drive to the tip specifically to get rid of their stuff when you’re also in the middle of moving.”
Rental tenants are usually required to take all their items with them when they leave a property. However, if you’re leaving a share house where others remain, don’t be the ex-housemate that leaves their mess for others to clean up.
TIP: Problem waste, such as half-full paint tins, gas bottles or other cleaning chemicals cannot simply be put in the bin either. You’ll need to investigate your state’s authority on how to safely dispose of these items. In NSW, for example, they have Community Recycling Centres or Chemical CleanOut events hosted throughout the year.
Leave: Things that aren’t yours
You think your housemate won’t notice when you take something as small as a cheese knife? They will – and yes, they’re still mad about it.
Keep things civil and don’t ransack your old home like it’s the last days of Rome.
Sure, it does occasionally happen that there is some confusion around what belongs to who. But it’s best to have in-person conversations with your housemates before deciding to walk out the door with their Harry Potter collection.
Take: Your rental bond
Rental bond rules vary by state, but certain things are a constant. For instance, it’s expected you’ll leave the property more or less in the condition you found it with the exception of ‘fair wear and tear’.
Your agent or property manager should be able to supply you with a list of what needs to be taken care of in terms of cleaning. You should also have your initial condition report to compare the state of your property.
Once this is settled, you can retrieve your rental bond.
Leave: Toxic housemates
Some housemates become really good friends. Others, not so much. It’s part and parcel of the share house existence.
“There are definitely people I’ve been glad to say goodbye to and I can think of a few who were probably glad to see the last of me too,” Rebecca says. “You have to think of it like dating: sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t.”
Emily agrees, adding: “I think it’s actually more high-pressure. When dating, you don’t have to live with a person 24/7 right off the bat!”
Whether you’re leaving because of the toxicity or another reason, a new house is the ideal opportunity for a fresh start. So, be extra cautious with who you decide to live with and heed our tips for finding the perfect flatmate to avoid disaster round #2!