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Shared housing can be a great experience. Good communication is an important skill in any environment where people work or live closely together. Watch the tutorial videos to gain insights into communication and conflict resolution. Follow the Communication Steps to address issues that arise in shared housing.
4 Tips to Improve Communication
Get surprising insights even if you already have good communication skills.
Find out if avoiding conflict is a good strategy. Watch to 2:45 and ignore the marketing at the end.
Steps for Communication About an Issue
1. Identify and Express Your Need
An issue points to an unmet need. For instance, a need for order, a need for sleep, or a need for space to cook. Stay calm and respect the other person.
2. Listen To the Other Person's Perspective
Acknowledge that they may see the issue differently than you. Acknowledge that this issue may not seem important to them.
3. Repeat What Was Said
Repeat what the other person said. Ask them to repeat what you said. This helps each person to empathize with the other. This helps to improve understanding. When each of you repeats back, it gives the other person an opportunity to understand how you see their situation. It also helps the other person to feel heard.
4. Identify and Agree On The Problem
The problem may be obvious and you may agree right away on what it is. Or the problem might be something different than you first thought. Or you might each have a different idea of the problem. Listen to each other and follow steps 1 – 3 until you can agree on the problem.
5. Brainstorm Solutions to Get Everyone's Needs Met
Accept the validity of another person’s needs even if it doesn’t feel important to you. Find creative ways for everyone to get some of their needs met.
6. Agree On A Solution
The best solutions are win-win. Everyone feels their needs are met.
Safety and Agreement Violations
Report safety and agreement violations immediately to Asheya Accommodations.
If you feel you are in danger do not confront the other person. If you do not feel in danger please follow the communication steps and speak directly to the person committing the violation, as well as reporting the incident to Asheya Accommodations.
Report immediately to Asheya Accommodations
the following incidents. If another resident or their guest:
- enters another resident’s private room without permission
- takes other people’s property without permission
- engages in aggressive or violent behaviour towards other residents
Report immediately to Asheya Accommodations the following incidents. If a resident or their guest:
- smokes any substance in the house or in a non-designated area on the property
- enters another resident’s private room without permission
- does not participate in the chore schedule or chronically does not clean up after themselves
Shared Housing Expectations
Consideration & Respect
Shared housing can be a wonderful experience. Residents are expected to treat each other with consideration and respect.
Quiet, Peaceful, Friendly Environment
Residents are expected to maintain a quiet, peaceful, friendly environment that is comfortable and safe for everyone to live in.
Quiet hours are between 11 PM to 8 AM each day. During these hours residents must be respectful of others in the house who are trying to sleep. Residents must not talk or use electronics loudly or make other loud noises. Residents are allowed to do light cooking, showering, and laundry during these hours as long as they are doing so quietly. If the laundry area is next to a resident’s room, and the noise of the machines bothers that resident, then the house will need to agree on a laundry hours schedule. The underlying value behind quiet hours is consideration of other house members’ schedules and needs.
All residents have access to the common areas. Everyone is required to tidy up after themselves in these common areas each time they use them. Regular house chores are assigned on a weekly schedule.
Right to Privacy
Never enter another resident’s room or private area without receiving their permission. Violation of this term of your agreement may result in termination of your residency.
Residents may have guests over in their rooms at any time. Please consult with others in the house if you would like to have a group of friends use the common areas. Please make sure guests observe house rules and are considerate of others. Residents may have guests sleep over up to five nights per month. After this, please consult with everyone in the house and obtain written permission from the resident coordinator.
Residents are expected to communicate calmly and respectfully with each other even if challenging issues arise. Residents are expected to engage with tutorials on positive communication and to follow conflict resolution steps provided by Asheya Accommodations.
Assistance with Conflict Resolution
Only after residents have tried to engage in respectful communication with each other will the resident coordinator be available to help resolve issues.
Shared Housing Trust and Safety
All residents are screened with references for trustworthiness, responsibility, and getting along with others. Everyone usually gets along very well.
Agreement or Safety Violations
If a resident is demonstrating a lack of responsibility and trustworthiness, the resident with the problem behaviour may have their residency terminated. Examples include: other residents report regularly feeling uncomfortable or unsafe, or the house is becoming unlivable as a result of someone’s behaviour.
Problem behaviour is determined by the resident coordinator and may include the testimony of the other residents of the house, attitudes and behaviours observed by the resident coordinator, and/or reports from neighbours.
Who Your Housemates Are
All rooms in your shared house will be occupied by students and working people ages 20 to mid-30s.
Common Areas & Assigned Washrooms
Each resident is allowed to use any of the common areas. However, residents are expected to shower in their assigned washrooms.
Interior Door Lock Disclosure
Your bedroom will not have a lock and you will not get a key. We do not allow keyed locks on interior doors. This is in compliance with a Vancouver fire safety bylaw. If there is a fire and a resident is trapped on a floor, they must be able to access an exit window through another resident’s room. We have also found that residents in houses without keyed interior locks get along better, feel more comfortable in their shared space, and trust each other more.