religious clouds in the sky

When religion enters the house.

One of the tough things about finding that perfect flatmate is dealing with their religious convictions and how they might differ from yours. The law protects people from being discriminated against because of their religious beliefs but how do you go about finding out in the first place?

When interviewing potential flatmates, ask them a series of questions that you have pre prepared. You have the right to ask them about their lifestyle and to some degree, their financial history. To get to the religion question, start by asking them how they spend their weekends and time off. Most people will usually advise you of their church going activities and their behaviours when it comes to their religion.

Some religions abstain from alcohol, so you can ask the potential flatmate of they drink and how much, or not at all.

If you have someone who moves in and you haven’t determined their religious beliefs, it can be tricky, especially if you engage in activity that might offend their beliefs.

Be clear at the beginning about your own behaviour, around alcohol use, drug use and sexual behaviour. If you are a regular drinker, or drug user, then it is your obligation to ensure that the flatmate moving in is okay with those behaviours. When it comes to sexual behaviour, let them know that you have a partner who stays over, or that you often entertain people for sexual purposes. If it is your own property or you are the lessee, it is your right to engage in this behaviour, discreetly of course. They can then determine if it does go against their religious principles.

Prayer times can be managed, and respected. If your flatmate has to pray at particular times of the day, be aware of those times and either find an activity outside of the house or make your self scarce so that their prayer time is not interrupted by the TV, music or other activities that can be distracting.

People of differing faiths can get along and have great house sharing relationships, as long as mutual respect is maintained.