House Rules & Expectations

Congratulations! You have a new Guest moving into your home. To get ready there are a few important things you need to do.

Establishing clear house rules and expectations while doing a thorough walk-through is the key to creating an enjoyable home sharing arrangement.

Download and print our Move-in Checklist to get started.


Cleaning and Tidying

Most conflicts in home sharing arrangements come down to cleaning habits within the home. Hosts should specify how often each area should be cleaned and what their acceptable level of cleanliness is. One person’s definition of clean may be very different from another person. Take some time to show proper cleaning methods and what cleaning products work best for the job.



Keeping your bathrooms clean can help prevent the spread of germs in addition to preventing conflicts. If Guests are sharing a bathroom create a schedule to share cleaning responsibilities. A little cleaning after each use of the bathroom can go a long way.

Tip: Keep a rag and a spray bottle of vinegar solution in the bathroom, give the mirror and faucet a quick clean once a day to keep it looking great! It only takes a few seconds.
Vinegar solution: 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup white vinegar, optional: 12-24 drops of essential oil

Cleaning: Keep cleaning supplies in a convenient place, such as under the sink. 

Showers: Showers should be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent soap scum from building up. Vinegar or calcium/lime remover makes it easy to clean your shower. Make it a routine to thoroughly clean your shower every 1-2 weeks.

Toiletries: Ensure there is adequate space for each person to store their toiletries. Using small baskets for each person works well when sharing a bathroom.

Toilet paper: Many conflicts happen over this simple commodity. Discuss if the Host will provide toilet paper, or if the Guest is to provide their own. If sharing with others discuss what a fair policy is to share the cost.

bar eating

Smoking and Drinking

Host must establish clear rules upon a Guest moving in. Guests are responsible to ensure any of their visitors obey the Hosts rules.

Smoking: Is smoking allowed on your property? If so, is there a designated smoking area? Is tobacco and/or marijuana permitted?

Drinking: What is acceptable behaviour while drinking alcohol? Some homes may not allow any alcohol, some may allow alcohol with meals or when socializing.

Intoxication: What is acceptable behaviour if someone is intoxicated? How will you handle this if it occurs?


Kitchen and Eating

The Kitchen is usually the busiest area of the home. Setting clear expectations for kitchen use will help prevent conflicts from occurring.

Food storage: Where will each person store their food: fridge, freezer, pantry.

Cooking times: Do you need to schedule times to use the kitchen, or will you cook together? If you like to do large meal preparations, how can you schedule this so each person has fair use of the kitchen?

Eating: Do you permit eating food in bedrooms or other areas of the home?

Food sharing: Will you share some food, such as flour or condiments? How will you share the cost? It is common for Hosts to share spices and other items that are not used very often with their Guest.

Sharing meals: Sharing meals is encouraged. How often will you share a meal? Are there any dietary concerns? Will you take turns cooking for each other? Who will clean the dishes?

Clean and decorated cozy home

Use of space

What areas of the home are shared and what areas are private?

Common areas: Will you permit people to leave items in common areas, such as laptops, books, or guitars?

Storage: What areas are available for storing sports equipments or other items? How much space is each person permitted?



What are your rules for visitors? Do you allow only day-time visits, or overnight visits?

Permission: Does the Guest need approval before they bring a Guest into the home?

Hours: What times are reasonable for visitors without disrupting the other members of the household?

Overnight visitor: What are the expectations? How many nights can a visitor stay?

Social/party: Will you allow social gatherings or parties? What are the expectations and limits?



What is a reasonable level of noise? What hours of the morning and night are considered quiet time? Is there an allocated area of the home to play music or games?


What happens if you need to use the laundry and it’s full of someone’s clothes?

Schedule: Do you want to establish a laundry schedule? 

Detergent: Will each person have their own detergent, or will this be shared? How will you share the costs of laundry supplies?

Dirty clothes: What clothes are permitted to be washed? For example, greasy coveralls may not be permitted in the household washing machine.

Drying clothes: Do you hang your clothes to dry, or use a dryer?

Towels and rags: Who will wash kitchen rags and towels? Where will you keep the dirty towels?