Two of you share the cleaning, but your third roommate doesn’t know where the vacuum is kept. Sound familiar? Here’s how to split up the chores and keep the peace at home.

Photo: iStock/Squaredpixels.

There are plenty of benefits to renting with a roommate in Australia. You can split the cost of the rent and utilities, as well as other shared items like groceries. It’s also much easier to clean your apartment when you can split the chores with another person.

But living with roommates does have its moments. A lot of people go into shared renting fully accustomed to letting others do the cleaning, so when it comes to chores, it’s important for everyone to be on the same page.


  • Who’s moving in? Before you even get to this point, you should know what you’re into from the start of your roomie relationship. Where you can, find out about the cleaning habits of your prospective roomie BEFORE they move into the house.
  • What’s clean? Define your expectations of ‘clean’ early on. What’s acceptable to another person may not be acceptable to you, so ensure you’re both on the same page.
  • What’s important? Decide what chores need to be taken care of, and how you will purchase cleaning supplies to get them done. It’s also important to know how often things will get done around the apartment.
  • The chore list: To make things easier, create a list of chores that need to be covered off, for example:
    • Cleaning the kitchen
    • Sweep/vacuum the floors/carpet
    • Scrub the toilet, shower and sinks
    • Clean out the fridge
    • Wash the windows
    • Wipe down the benches
    • Take out the rubbish


  • Who’ll be doing what? Now that you’ve worked out the chores that need to get done to keep your apartment or house clean, have a discussion with your roommates about who will be taking on what chores. Beyond just defining these responsibilities, how regularly do these tasks need to take place?
  • How often? Assign each of the chores to being a daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly chores so they’ll become easier to go through. From here, you could set up a schedule, or divvy them up between the two of you.
  • Create a schedule: Creating a schedule is probably one of the more diplomatic options when it comes to keeping things cool at home. Write each of the tasks down, along with how often they need to be done and what the expectation of fulfilling each of these tasks will be.


  • Stay accountable: Whether your chores are daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly, it’s important that you decide on the day your chores should be done so you can hold each other accountable. That way, everything is done in a timely manner and the rental property is kept clean.
  • Communication is key: Where possible, keep communication open and friendly with your roommate when it comes to the chores. If your chore schedule isn’t working out for you, sit down and talk about it. This is a good opportunity to see what can be done to make things fairer.

Keeping a clean place is important – not only for the sake of your tenancy agreement, but for your own peace of mind. To keep your place keen, talk with your roommates about chores and consider creating a schedule so you can all pitch in and be responsible for the cleanliness of your home.