House agreements make an important contribution in a coliving situation to help housemates maintain good relationships and negotiate fair division of chores. This page presents one of several topics that intentional communities or coliving housemates need to sort out, ideally before moving in together. The lists are presented as statements that have worked for others, which you might copy and paste into your own house agreements.
House and Yard Care
Cleaning and Maintenance
- Perform your daily, weekly, and monthly duties without reminders.
- Tidy up after yourself.
- Reduce, reuse, and recycle
- Always remove your laundry within the same day.
- Use the drying rack or clothes line if you can.
- If you use it, be responsible for helping clean it.
- Keep it a calm and private space, no glass, no sex, quiet voices.
- Always park in the …
- Inform your guests to park in the…
Heating and Cooling
- Works most efficiently with windows and doors closed.
Electric System Limitations
- Only one electric device to be used at a time in kitchen.
- Always turn off portable heaters when you are not home.
- If anything is cooking someone responsible for it needs to be in the kitchen. Exception: cookers that have a timer and automatic turnoff.
- If leaving the house with an automatic turnoff cooker going, place it on a baking sheet and not under a cupboard.
- Keep personal phone conversations private.
- Keep music and entertainment volume respectful.
- Use and respect “do not disturb” door signs.
- Quiet hours are 10:30pm to 8:00am (whispers and stocking feet).
Community and Guests
- Hosts need to introduce guests to social agreements and rules.
- Contribute back for all that is received by your guests ($).
- No overnite guests until they have met all current house residents.
- Aim for peace and compassion; consider the probability of positive intent.
- Seek consent before intruding on others’ mental or physical space!
- When you have a complaint, talk to the ones involved, instead of talking about them to others. Get a support person to accompany if needed.
- Bring up issues at meeting (if they apply to everyone) or in private; don’t let grievances fester and grow.
- If others ask to talk to you, make time for it as soon as possible; get support if needed.
Make a Positive Difference
- Be present at house circles, house meals, projects, and events.
- It took more than a decade to get the community to this current state. Your energy, time, and efforts make a difference.
If or When You Move Away
- Leave the place, your room, and the house as good or better than you found it!
- Contribute. Pay for what you have received.
- Find a replacement if you break something.