Move-in day

Are you ready to move in together?

Before you proceed, you should have completed the following items:

  • You have all discussed and purchased the necessary insurance (home and tenant insurance)
  • You have written and signed your first living arrangement agreement
  • You have committed to having regular meetings (weekly or bi-weekly) with written notes because, by now, you know it is important to do this.
  • You have decided the length of your trial period and will provide enough time to learn how to discuss some of these realities at your regular meetings.

Move-in day has arrived!

Establishing clear house rules and expectations while doing a thorough walk-through is the key to creating an enjoyable home-sharing arrangement.  Here are ten items that you should discuss with your Guest prior to settling in. 

Note: This should be completed on the first day your housing companion arrives before they fully unpack and move into their room. 

Download the Happipad move-in checklist to follow along, available on the Happipad website:


1. Contact details

Complete the contact details on page 1 of the Move-in Checklist.

Preferred contact details: What method of communication is preferred? A phone call, text, or messenger app?

Emergency home repairs: Who should the Guest contact if there is an emergency and the Host is not available? Examples include broken water lines, failure of the furnace/heaters, or any major problem.

Emergency contact: Who should the Host/Guest contact in the event of an accident or sickness?

Move-in safety instructions

2. Home Safety

Review the location and instructions for the use of safety equipment and alarms in the home. Make sure to check the batteries in your smoke/carbon monoxide alarms. 

Discuss what you should do in the event of a fire outbreak, where to exit and where to meet as a muster point.

Important point – Check the expiry date of your smoke alarms and fire extinguisher. These items typically last for 8-10 years, and if it’s expired, replace it.

Move-in house rules

3. House Rules

Discuss the house rules and building rules if in a Strata. Hosts should walk around the home with the Guest while explaining the rules so you can show how things should be done. 


4. Shared Items

Discuss what items will be shared in the house and how the costs will be shared fairly. Some hosts may include reasonable use of shared items in the price of rent, and others may buy shared items together and share the cost. If you do not want to share certain items, they should be communicated clearly.


5. Cleaning and Organizing Rules

Hosts should establish their standards on cleanliness and organization in the home. Walk around the home as you review each point and show the Guest how each area should be cleaned. Some international Guests may require extra instructions.


6. Kitchen – food and meals

It is important to discuss any food allergies or sensitivities among all members of the household. Hosts are responsible for ensuring the Guest has space in the fridge, freezer, and pantry to store their food. Hosts should review the use and care for appliances and cookware in the kitchen. If you would like to share meals, you should discuss when this might occur, how you will share responsibilities and the preparation of food.


7. Conflicts and Communication

Most problems within shared living arrangements can be prevented with clear and timely communication. As you go through each point, develop a plan of how you will communicate and resolve the problem.

Review the 6 points in the Move-in Checklist. If you have any special considerations or issues that annoy you, you should discuss those now.

Move-in inspection list

8. Move-in Inspection

When completing the damage inspection, you must take photos of any damage at move-in and move-out. This is required to file for a damage claim when the Guest moves out. Add an extra page to the damage inspection if required. Guests must initiate the inspection list at move-in and move-out to acknowledge the condition. If no damage is visible, write “none” in the notes section.

Usage and maintenance list

9. Care and use instructions

Hosts are required to review any special considerations and instructions when using appliances or items in the home. Review any time/usage limits, proper storage, safe operating procedures, and required maintenance. Guests will only be allowed to use items which the Host has given permission.

Chores and responsibilities list

10. Chores and responsibilities

Guests are expected to help with general household chores and cleaning. Hosts may ask for extra help around the house, which is usually compensated by reducing rent or providing something in return, such as a cooked dinner. Hosts must give clear instructions and demonstration to the Guest for all tasks.


Click the self reflection exercise below to access the move-in checklist.

Self reflection