Whether you rent a tiny flat or big village house in Hong Kong, you probably know too well how your rent can eat the lion’s share of your income. While opting for a smaller sized home is a reluctant decision, sharing a flat with others is possible to ease your financial burden.

The high cost of living in Hong Kong means we all ought to spend smarter. The idea of flat sharing may save you a few bucks, but you may need to compromise on your lifestyle at home in some ways. Let’s have a think about the matters below.

Are you responsible?

There’s nothing wrong parents loving their children, but too much care spoils a kid. If you have been one of those “lucky” kids pampered by your parents or siblings, you are bound to feel very uncomfortable in this home-sharing game. If you wish to tough it out anyway, start doing your own housework: washing clothes, making the bed, cleaning up rooms. The key is to take responsibility and become self-reliant.

Are you trustworthy?

Mutual trust is the basis to a long-lasting friendship. The same goes for a satisfying co-renting experience. Respecting privacy, paying one’s share of rent on time and observing house ground rules are some major issues that demonstrate your reliability. Treat them seriously or you risk being seen as an unreliable person.

Are you lenient?

One’s lifestyle is shaped by one’s life experience. You and your housemate may, at best, share similar ways of living and at worst get on each other’s nerves. Have a talk with your housemate and perhaps set ground rules together if any matter is unsettled. But still, live and let live. It’s a rule of thumb when it comes to living with others.

Have you got your landlord’s permission?

Just because you are mentally prepared for sharing a flat doesn’t mean you are allowed to do so. The landlord has the final say. Some forbid tenants to share their places, keep pets or smoke at home. Some request private information such as occupation. Once you get the owner’s approval and find a new roommate, all parties are advised to meet up and sign a rental agreement.

Having a roommate to share rent with is about more than just saving money. If you get along well, you will have a new friend to hang out with, share food with — and maybe even clothing. Just keep your fingers crossed that you won’t hear a snore in the middle night.