University is thrilling but also a little scary. Some things will feel familiar while others are entirely new, like moving into your first university flat. You don’t have to worry about anything — whether you’re living on your own or with roommates — when you read these tips for your first apartment.

Keep these things in mind as you unpack your suitcases and hang your favourite posters. They’ll make every semester more enjoyable when you’re not in the classroom.

1. Get to Know Your Neighbours

Getting to know your new neighbours is one of the top do’s and don’ts of university flat living. Learning who lives in your building will offset your nerves and potentially create new friendships. Attend welcome events together or knock on their door and introduce yourself. Bring free food for your conversation starter, and you’ll feel right at home together.

2. Communicate With Your Roommates

Popular tips for student apartments always revolve around communicating with your roommates. This will prevent common arguments and create friendships that last a lifetime.

Start the year with a discussion about important topics like chores, cleanliness expectations and quiet hours. It may seem lame to talk about those things when you want to hang out and destress before classes start, but getting them out of the way makes living together so much easier.

3. Remember Your Lease Terms

Checking your lease terms is one of the most crucial tips for renting your first university flat. Your lease outlines what’s not allowed in your living space, which helps while you decorate. It might outline terms that prevent specific features like hanging large objects or semi-permanent fixtures.

Breaking these terms could violate your lease and terminate your living arrangement. You’d likely also have to pay significant fees. Refresh yourself on your agreement before decorating or personalising your flat to save yourself the trouble.

4. Find Accent Pieces

These tips for your first apartment wouldn’t be complete without a bit of decorating advice. University students don’t often have big budgets, so focus on finding accent pieces. A nice TV stand or set of dishes will add a pop of color or texture to otherwise bland flats. Match them to your existing belongings like your comforter or throw pillows to pull everything together.

5. Establish Firm Privacy Rules

Sharing a flat makes any living space feel cramped. Establish firm privacy rules when the semester begins so everyone knows what to expect. You might send a message to the group chat before inviting someone over for the night or establish different sections in the fridge so everyone only eats their own food. Privacy makes people feel respected, which can prevent plenty of arguments and hurt feelings.

6. Start New Cleaning Habits

Another one of the most useful tips for student apartments is to start new cleaning habits. However you lived at home will likely change with new roommates. Sit down with everyone and divide up the chores so no one takes on too much.

If you live by yourself, you might also change your habits because classes keep you busy. Schedule your housework for the weekends to adapt to your new lifestyle without taking time away from your studies.

7. Befriend Your Student Warden

On-campus flats have student wardens, but they might also have the title of house fellow or senior mentor. They organise resident events and step in if you can’t settle an argument with your roommate. Befriend them after school begins so you feel comfortable reaching out if you have any questions or concerns.

8. Be Considerate With Visitors

Being considerate with your visitors is one of the best tips for renting your first student flat. Your roommates will appreciate knowing when a stranger’s in your home, so let them know when you bring someone back with you. Your neighbours might also value your noise consideration after it gets late.

Thinking of others is a major part of experiencing success at university. Being respectful while you’re in your flat is an easy way to do that, even if you live alone.

Enjoy Your First University Flat

There are many do’s and don’ts of flat living in university, but you’ll have a great time if you remember these tips. Make friends with your roommates, respect your living arrangement rules and double-check your lease terms to have a smooth transition into university life.