Flat sharing has always been popular for students but young professionals are increasingly looking for a house or flatshare. Here's the advice you need for a growing market.
What You Need to Know About Flat Sharing
For many decades, flat sharing was the domain of students and young people just starting out in their life away from the parental home. Globally speaking, this practice is common in major urban centres as it is more economical and often easier to find a place. In recent times however, the rental market has grown even outside major cities, and consequently, so has flat sharing.
What is flat sharing?
A flat or house share (the term simply depends on the types of property being shared) is when two or more – usually unrelated – people live in the same property together. Each person in the property has their own bedroom but all the other rooms in the flat/house are shared; this includes the living and dining areas, kitchen, bathroom, and any other spaces such as the garden. The people living in the property are referred to as flatmates or housemates. Do not confuse this with roommate. This is specific to people sharing a bedroom (and other facilities) so be sure to check the details of set up if you do not want to consider a room share.
Why choose to flatshare?
Generally, the primary reason to choose to flat or houseshare is financial.
- It is an economical way to live as the rent and all the bills (utilities etc) are split between everyone sharing the property.
- Buying a property as an individual can be prohibitive especially when you are younger and probably early on in your career or work and cannot afford a mortgage.
- You need to have money for a deposit in order to obtain a mortgage.
Other reasons to share a flat/house are
- Convenience – you may not be able to find a single person’s property close to your place of work or study.
- Companionship – Some people simply don’t want to live alone. The social aspect of living with others is attractive, especially if you are moving away from your home town and don’t know anybody in your new locale.
- Upgrade – Sharing might enable you to live in a much bigger property with excellent amenities and lots of features that you would not be able to afford by yourself.
How to find a flatshare
The resources are essentially the same whether you are looking for a flatmate to join you in your property or you are looking for a place in a shared property although there are some specific avenues you might take, depending on your situation:
Property websites – some online real estate agents are awake to the fact that there is a growing market in house and flat sharing and are including adverts for same in their listings. You can advertise you have a vacancy for a flat/housemate.
Letting agents – are a prime resource for those looking for a place and those who have a room to rent.
Dedicated websites – there is quite a large number of websites catering to students looking for accommodation. They may not be a great resource for professionals looking for a flat/houseshare.
Facebook groups – are an excellent way of making connections. They are populated by landlords looking for tenants as well as those looking for flat and housemates. Facebook groups are also a good way of avoiding lettings fees.
Noticeboards – make use of notice boards at your place of work or at the university to advertise. You can also post flyers around the university campus and stick up notices in halls of residence.
Newspapers – despite the various digital platforms available today, these are still a good resource for classified ads from people looking for flat and housemates.
Group search - one way which is generally successful is if you are already a group of people who decide you want to live together, you can search for a property or go to letting agents and real estate agents. This can work very well if you are students.
The key thing is to not limit your options to one or two resources. Use them all and browse them often.