Whether you live in University or private-sector accommodation, your fellow residents and neighbours are likely to come from a range of different cultural backgrounds and may have beliefs and ideas that are quite different from your own. They may also behave differently in relation to things like noise, tidiness, food preparation, personal and communal space, study practices or socialising. This makes student communal living a fascinating experience, but can sometimes lead to difficulties. It's useful to approach this experience with an open mind and a respect for the different needs of others.
It's a good idea to get to know the people you are living with as soon as possible. Make them feel welcome and talk about any particular habits or needs you have that may be different to theirs. This will help you settle in and make it easier to resolve any difficulties in the future. Many students find that their flatmates become some of their best friends here and even if this is not the case for you, you never know when you might need your neighbour!
Any communal areas such as bathrooms, kitchens or living rooms, will need to be kept tidy. This is the responsibility of all the flat/housemates and can sometimes cause arguments. It may be a good idea to devise a 'cleaning rota' when you move in so that you and your fellow residents have an agreed way to cooperate and enjoy a clean, hygienic environment.
It's also important to agree how you will all use the shared fridges, cupboards and cooking arrangements. For example, will you share any food such as bread or milk or each buy your own? Are there any foods that need to be kept apart for dietary or cultural reasons? Will you cook together or separately?
It's not worth bringing with you, or buying, expensive cooking equipment or cooking utensils, as these will often be shared amongst fellow residents. If you don't want anyone else to use your cooking equipment/utensils, then explain this to your flat/housemates when you move in.