Dossing in a London flat can be the start of a wonderful OE, opening the door to some of your greatest travel experiences. But it's worth observing a few common courtesies.

Be tidy

The classic dosser will be sleeping on a sofa. If this is you, clear your stuff away each morning. To keep the housemates on your side, go a little further and do a few of the housework chores that rarely get done properly. The flatties will appreciate you more if they come home to a sparkling clean toilet and gleaming windows.

Reach for your wallet


Keep the flat's supply of milk and bread freshly stocked. Best of all, surprise the housemates with the occasional lavish treat - a good bottle of wine or perhaps some nice chocolate.

No sex please, you're dossers

Don't go bringing prospective lovers home for a romantic interlude on the sofa. The people whose flat you're staying in are going to sit on that couch. (Though hat-tip to the dosser king, Julian Assange, who has apparently become romantically involved with Pamela Anderson while dossing at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.)

Don't get any dossers

It's bad enough that you're cribbing on someone else's sofa, resist the urge to bring home a dosser of your own.

Know when to walk away

Assange is deep into his fourth London winter as a guest of the Ecuadorians. Decency suggests one week is the perfect length for a doss; a fortnight tops.

Pass it forward

When you do finally get a flat of your own, be generous with the hospitality.

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