An introduction to flatsharing
So what exactly is a 'flatshare'?
Simply put a flatshare is when a group of two or more individuals join together to rent a property. In most cases each person has their own bedroom and communal areas like living rooms, kitchen and bathrooms are shared. Flatshares differ from "timeshares", which are a form of vacation ownership typically found within a resort. For more information on timeshares, please visit SellMyTimeshareNOW.
Why should I consider sharing?
Sharing is a much more economical way of living than
living on your own. You'll still need a kitchen, bathroom
and living room if you live on your own so, by sharing,
you split the cost of these rooms with the other housemates.
You can also split council tax and bills which helps keep
costs down. Sharing can also be great socially as you'll
get to meet new people, sharers often end up lifelong
How do I go about finding a room?
With the advent of online listings sites it's easier
than ever to find a good flatshare. Until recently people
had to rely on print adverts in local newspapers to find
a room and, due to the slow turnaround of print media
compared with online, rooms had often gone before the
paper even reached the newsagents. Online listings on
site such as Spareroom
are updated hourly or even every 30 minutes so are far
more up to date. In addition an online ad gives you the
chance to add photos, detailed descriptions and even video
to your listing so you can see exactly what the room is
like before you trek accross town to see it.
Who will I be sharing with?
Pretty much anyone is the answer. Flatshares are no longer
the sole territory of students and low income twenty-somethings,
today's sharer is just as likely to be a financially independent
professional in their late 20s or early 30s who expects
a high standard of living. The average age of flat sharers
in the UK, according to a survey of Spareroom's
400,000+ registered users, is over 33 and rising every
Advertisers on flatshare sites include teenagers, families
with a spare room to rent and parents whose children have
left home and want to rent their room out for a little
extra income. With such a wide range of options you're
bound to find something to fit your needs.
Is there anything I can do to help me find the right
Obviously you can check all the listings for rooms in
the areas you want to live in but it might also be worth
placing a 'Room
wanted' ad. You'll be able to tell people where you're
looking to live, how much your budget is and a bit of
general info about yourself. Many advertisers and landlords
regularly check the wanted ads for suitable sharers so
give yourself the best possible chance. Spareroom.co.uk
have some useful
tips on placing a room wanted ad.
Lodgers, isn't that all a bit 1970s?
Not at all, haven't you heard....the lodger
is making a comeback.
Why should I take in a lodger?
If you've got an empty spare room you can earn up to
£4,250 a year tax free by renting it out. Lodgers these
days are often young professionals who can't afford their
own place but want somewhere comfortable to live along
with a decent flatmate to share with.
If you're looking to buy a property there are specially
designed products available for those thinking of buying
an extra room specifically to rent out. These mortgages
allow you to factor in a certain amount of rental income
when working out how much you can borrow. See Buying
to Share Mortgages on Spareroom.co.uk for more information.
How can I be sure I'm getting a good lodger?
You can never be 100% certain but there are steps you
can take to make sure you pick the right person. Spareroom.co.uk
has a useful guide
to help you choose the right lodger or flatmate
What are the benefits?
Well, there's the money (which will help you afford
your mortgage). It's not just financial though, finding
the right person to share with gives you the benefit of
company whilst allowing you to maintain your independence
if you want to. If you're not sure you want to have someone
around all the time you could consider renting your room
out on a weekday basis. If you live in, or near to, a
big city or area of employment you may well find someone
who wants a room between Monday and Friday to avoid commuting
but travels home for the weekends. It's a growing trend
and you get the balance of a bit of extra cash while keeping
your place for yourself at weekends.
How much can I charge?
Have a look on Spareroom.co.uk
to see the range of rooms
available in your area and use their handy rent
checker to see the average prices. This should give
you an idea of what the going rate is.
How do I advertise?
your room online is by far the best way of doing this.
Not only will you get to upload photos and video to illustrate
your listing but you'll have much more scope to describe
what's on offer. In addition you'll be able to search
for people who are looking for a room in your area. Check
out Spareroom's tips
on advertising your room online.