In recent years, flatshares have increased in popularity, particularly for students, graduates and professionals. The feeling of independence, along with the affordability and social benefits, make living in a flatshare a great choice for young people looking to move out for the first time. But what exactly are they? And could they be an option for you?
We explore the need-to-know basics of what a flatshare is, how they work, and why flat sharing could be the best all-round option for those looking to rent a flat for the first time.
What is a flatshare?
When two or more people live together in a rented flat (or house), this is usually referred to as a ‘flatshare’. In a typical flatshare, you’ll get your own bedroom, but will have to share common areas (such as the kitchen, living room, and possibly bathroom) with other people.
Who can live in a flatshare?
A flatshare could be made up of groups of friends renting an entire property together, or individuals renting a property where they didn’t previously know the other tenants (called a house in multiple occupation, or HMO).
Flatshares are available to almost everyone, as long as you pass any reference checks and pay the relevant deposit to live there. There’s no age limit on who can live in a flatshare, however, they tend to appeal to younger people, students and professionals, due to the affordability and social benefits of living with like-minded people.
Is flat sharing risky?
Most concerns about flat sharing come from the thought of living with strangers for roommates. Potential tenants worry that they might not get on with their flat mates, or that they might not contribute fairly when it comes to cleaning, or paying bills.
But while these are very valid concerns, realistically, living with friends poses the same risk - after all, you may like your friends, but do you really want to live with them? Would you trust them to clean after themselves, and pay every bill on time?
We can’t speak for every flatshare, but the risk depends on the kind of property you choose to rent. You can choose to live in a place where all communal spaces and bills are shared, or you can rent a flatshare where you have a bit more privacy.
At Ocasa, tenants get their own room and bathroom, and only share a kitchen with other people - drastically reducing the amount of bathroom cleaning related arguments. This makes tenants (especially those new to renting) feel much safer and more comfortable than they would be if they were sharing a smaller flat where the bathroom, kitchen and living space are all shared.
Additionally, since all your bills are included in the cost of your monthly rent, you don’t have to worry about your flatmates not paying their way.
As you can see, there are a number of different ways to go about flat sharing - it’s about finding the way that works best for you, and most importantly, looking at the upsides of living in this kind of property.
Why live in a flat share?
There are many reasons why someone might want to live in a flat share; the most obvious being that renting a flatshare is almost always significantly cheaper than renting your own place - especially if you want to live in (or close to) a major city. This makes it a great option for those looking to move out for the first time, but there are other reasons why a flatshare could work for you:
- Be independent, without too much on your plate
Living in a flatshare comes with less responsibility than living alone. For example, if you choose to rent a flat where your bills are included in the cost of the rental, it means you don’t have to worry about organising and paying bills. This gives you the best of both worlds - enjoying your new-found independence, without the stress of payments.
- Meet new people, make new friends
If you’re renting for the first time in a new place, flatshares are an excellent place to meet new people with similar interests you never would have met otherwise. It’s highly unlikely that you won’t like all of your flat mates, and you never know, you could make a friend for life!
- Live in a desirable location, without the hefty price tag
Often flatshares are a much more affordable option when you want to live in a big city where there’s lots to do and see, such as Manchester or Liverpool.
- It’s a new experience!
Above all else, living in a flatshare is a new experience that you’ve likely never done before - and can offer the excitement and chance for independence you’re looking for when moving out for the first time.
However, deciding whether or not to rent a flatshare requires careful consideration. You’ll still have to go through some sort of application process, pass reference checks and pay a deposit - so it’s best to ensure you’re ready for the commitment.
Make sure you’re ready to rent with our free guide, where we explain everything you need to know before, during and after the rental application process - get your free copy here!