We all have to start somewhere and if you are a student, just moved out of home or just started your first job in London, you probably wonder what on earth a flat share is? It’s a reasonable question, but the clue is in the name. Put (very!) simply, it is the sharing of accommodation with other people – sometimes a flat, but not always.
According to WorkGateways, the average price of a one bedroom flat in London can range from £720 per month to a hefty £960. For anyone just starting out in their career or studying, that can be a huge chunk of their take-home pay. The chances are that the property will be small, not ideally located and highly sought after (making the application process lengthy and expensive).
So, given all of the above, it is easy to see why we might choose a flat share option. But understanding what it is (and what it isn’t) is the first place to start.
What is a flat share?
A flat share is when 2 or more people share a property in order to reduce the cost of accommodation. Usually, you can expect some or all of the following:
- Your own room which may or may not be furnished.
- Access to communal spaces such as a living room and kitchen.
- The use of a bathroom. You may be lucky to have an en-suite, but often it is shared facilities.
- Shared access to any outdoor spaces such as gardens and balconies.
- You will normally sign your own individual letting contract which details the amount you are expected to contribute to the rent. However, you are also usually liable for the entire rent – something to bear in mind if your housemates are unreliable.
- You will sometimes share the utility expenses evenly with everyone living in the property or it may be included in the rent.
- A flat share is open to almost anyone – students, couples, older people and people only in the city for a short time. It’s flexible and suits a range of people.
- You can make up your own rules about food, eating in, having friends over and keeping the place tidy. The hope is that as adults, you can all sort it out. Not always easy – but definitely fun!
If this sounds like something you’d be interested in you can take a look at our currently available properties here
What a flat share is not…
A flat share is not a shared ownership arrangement or a shared mortgage. You are not buying the house… just renting it. A flat share is also not an excuse to let other people look after you. You are autonomous and expected to do your share. A flat share is also not just a house of multiple occupancies – the aim is to have more of a community and friendship feel.
As you can see flat sharing is a pretty simple concept – but we will be going into a lot more depth over the next few blogs, so that you understand flat sharing inside and out.