Visitors: How to have guests and be fair to your flatmates

18 Sep 2020
By Unite Students, Staff writer at The Common Room

“Let’s get ready at mine.” Mine. My place. My home. For a lot of people, moving away to uni is the first time they can use those words accurately about where they live.

Everything we expect from you, we expect from your guests too.

When you move in with us, it really is your home. Having friends over and people to stay is part of that. However, we also have to look after the health of everyone who lives in your property, particularly in relation to Covid-19.

Before deciding whether or not to have guests, please familiarise yourself with the rules in your property and the local restrictions on households mixing where you are (England; Scotland; Wales). 

If you do have guests visit you, please try to meet with them outdoors or use the common areas of your building, if they’re available.

When having guests, try to be considerate to your flatmates by following the advice below.

You’re responsible for their behaviour

Everything we expect from you, we expect from your guests too - and it’s up to you to make that happen. So here’s a quick guide to having guests at your Unite Students home.

Your terms and conditions lists all the things that aren’t allowed in our buildings, but here’s a few to keep in mind with guests.

You and your guests must not:

  • smoke anywhere inside the building
  • cause damage to the building or anything in it
  • annoy, intimidate, or threaten other tenants or staff
  • tamper with any fire safety equipment
  • bring animals of any kind into the building.

If they do, you’ll be held responsible and we’ll consider it a breach of your tenancy agreement. If you’re not confident your guests will follow the rules, or if you don’t know them very well yet, it might be best to wait before you invite them round.

Remember, it's down to all of us to nurture an environment of respect where everyone can thrive. Read our Home Charter to learn more about what you can expect from each other and how you can do your bit.

You can also find more details about what you can and cannot do in the terms and conditions of your tenancy (see clause 6, Tenant Conduct). 

Let your housemates know first

Common sense and courtesy go a long way in shared houses. Unless you’re staying in one of our studio flats, remember that your home is somebody else’s home too.

Having friends over? Let your flatmates know you’ll be in the kitchen. Invite them to join you. The same goes for overnight guests (which you can have, as long you stick to government guidelines)  - just tell your flatmates they’re coming.

Let us know too. If you’re having somebody to stay, pop down and tell your reception team. This is especially important if your guest would need help during an evacuation.

One or two nights is fine

If somebody’s travelling a long way to see you, it’s only natural you’ll want to give them a place to stay. Having them in your room for a night or a weekend is usually okay.

But any longer than that and problems can start. Flatmates start to feel uncomfortable and excluded in their own home. So keep overnight visitors to a two-night maximum stay. 

If you're planning to have someone stay overnight, remember that you can only do so if you're the only person in your flat to have a guest during this time. This is because government guidelines only allow for two households to mix indoors. 

Everything we expect from you, we expect from your guests too.
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Staff writer at The Common Room