How to Allocate Rooms Between Flatmates

Olivia PIther·27 April 2022·5 min read
How to Allocate Rooms Between Flatmates

Moving into a new house is always one of the more exciting parts of university, getting to live in a new space, a new location and perhaps with new people, the change can seem scary but it’s always a lot of fun. In your first year you are generally allocated your room within the building randomly, whether it’s private accommodation or university owned, so if you’ve found your second- or third-year house and moving in soon, it’s time to have those dreaded conversations about who gets which room! But don’t worry - I am here to share my top tips on how to avoid arguments and give you the fairest ways to sort out room allocation.

1. Sort out the rooms before you move into the house. I know some people just grab any room when they arrive, but from what I’ve heard this can easily cause bickering once everyone has moved in and realise certain rooms may be better than others. I’d say the earlier you sort it out, the better, so if you’re moving in the upcoming months, sort it now.

2. View the house in person together. Photos and videos can sometimes be outdated or hard to gauge the actual sizes of the rooms. With covid last year, we couldn’t do this, so when we arrived at our house two of the bedrooms were unfortunately a lot smaller than we anticipated.

3. Check whether any of the rooms are significantly smaller, or if only one has an en-suite etc. and assess with your flatmates if a larger or smaller rent price is required for these specific rooms. This can make it easier, and fairer, to decide if someone is willing to spend more for a nicer room, or if someone wants to save some money for the room nobody else wants.

4. For allocating the rooms, I would first check to see what everyone’s preferences are. Some people really do not mind what room they get if they are all quite similar, whereas some people may not want the downstairs room, or the room next to the bathroom for example. This can be an easy way to sort the rooms in a fair way, whilst keeping everyone happy.

5. If that method does not work for you and your friends, such as if everyone wants the same room, then the fairest way to decide is a random allocation. This is what I did with my flatmates, as we all agreed that it would avoid arguments. The easiest way to do this is picking names out of a hat, or because we did ours over summer and weren’t together, we facetimed and used an online name generator. The order of the names is the order that you choose a room. This also is a simple way to prove there is no fixing of the order to choose.

6. Swap rooms with another flatmate half-way through the year. If there is a room that two of you are wanting, see if you’re both happy to swap half-way so then you both get to experience living in it. This may seem like more effort than it’s worth, so it depends on how much stuff you have and how much you want the room!

7. If you’re living with the same people again, you can make it fair by saying if someone had a small room last year, they should get a larger room in your next house, and vice-versa. This only really works if you’re living with the exact same people, as otherwise for any new members of your household it can seem unfair on them.

To summarise, speak to your flatmates before you move in and decide on what you believe the fairest way to allocate the rooms. It won’t take long, and once it is done and you know what your next bedroom is looking like, it’s one step closer to the reality of moving in!

If you are still looking for a house share or even a spare room, check out for the latest available properties in your city.