Maybe you want companions with whom you can drink tea, play charades, whine about your horrible day. Or maybe you need money. In either case, joining a group house or taking in a tenant can be your answer. Two new books offer counsel about living happily with others, or at least decreasing the number of squabbles.

In Living With Tenants, Doreen Bierbrier quotes her father's sage advice: "Before you get married, keep both eyes wide open. After you get married, keep one eye half shut." That goes for choosing and keeping tenants, too, says Bierbrier. She discusses such vital matters as finding the right person, managing things once he's there, getting rid of him if you can't manage them and keeping records. A short bibliography and sample rental forms are appended.

The Group House Handbook, by Nancy Brandwein, Jill MacNeice and Peter Spiers, is chatty and full of case histories. Readers will discover how housemates have coped with grimy dishes, unpaid phone bills, howling tomcats, live-in lovers. There are helpful sections on group houses and the law and on home-sharing for older people. "You don't even have to be a student or eat granola to live in a group house," the authors point out.

Living With Tenants. $6.95 ppd from The Housing Connection, Box 5536-TI, Arlington, Va. 22205. The Group House Handbook. The Globe Book Shop, 1700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. 393-1490. Also at other bookstores.