House Hunting - Flatmates Yay or Nay?

Are you living with flatmates or considering it? Having like minded people around can be fun and exciting experience. Also it is a method to save money, and enjoy perks of living in a higher standard apartment. You considered budget more here and decided how much you can spend per month for rent. You are not the happiest with the quality of apartment you can afford so it is time to check other options. So you decided that living with flatmates is for you. What is next?

How much privacy do you need? If you used to have room for yourself sharing room with someone might seem like drastic restriction. Privacy is definitely one of the factors to consider.

As a teenager and as a child I shared room. The older I got the more selective about whom I live with I became. I had no problem with sharing space; I just did not want to make some compromises such as sharing a room with a smoker.

There are two options you either rent out flat and look for flatmates or look for a room to rent with people who already live there.

First option allows you to pick people you want to share kitchen, living room and bathroom. The risk is that some months might be difficult to find new flatmates so you will have to be ready to cover full rental price. You are also responsible for the flat and very often you will have to act as the first point of contact with landlord. What is great about it is that if you really do not enjoy living with someone for a valid reason you have a possibility to give them notice.

On the other side you can look for a room at someone’s place. The great thing about this is that you do not have to worry about potential issue with looking for flatmates as well as being the first point of contact between tenants and landlord e.g. when washing machine needs a repair, or pipe bursts. However you might not be involved in picking future flatmates what can be hit and miss as your other flatmate might love them and you might be less optimistic.

You decided to look for a room. You have already considered all things such as area that were mentioned here and now you are actively looking for a new place to live. You booked a viewing.

 Do not afraid to ask about everything that interests you. There is no such a thing as a stupid question when it comes to house hunting.

Ask all the questions you have for example:

How many bedrooms there are? 

How many flatmates is going to live at a property?
Will you have to share the room? – If you do try to ask your roommate before signing contract. 

Do people have to walk through your room to get e.g. to kitchen? 
Does room has a lock? – If it does not, what I found is often a case, are you willing to live there? 

Is there a free space for your kitchen utensils make up bag, jackets? – Being or feeling like a third wheel might not be on your “fun things to do” list.

 Are there any pets? – If there are you might want to see them before hand. Being terrified on a way to the bathroom every single time is not an awesome experience.  
How many flatmates were there in a year? – High rotation might suggest an issue with communication or something else.

How long is the contract? 

How big is deposit? 

What damage is included in the deposit?  

What happens when you are late with the payment? Is there any extra payment? 

What is the notice period?  

Are bills included? 

How high were bills last month?  

Is there Internet?

What are the ground rules for having guests around? 

Can your sister/brother/partner stay for a night? 

Are there people staying over often? 

Is there no smoking policy in the flat? - If you mind smell of cigarettes. 

How often are celebrations held in the property? – You might not be a party animal and have a huge social event in the kitchen every single day. 

Are flatmates sharing food? – I never wanted to live in a place that flatmates buy and pay for groceries together as it was not benefiting me. Sharing eggs, milk is fine but if you are the one going to the shop every single time or finding out that there is not enough milk for tea for the fifth time in the row… This is just too frustrating.

Trust your gut feeling. If you do not feel that someone is honest with you, or that you might like to live with them I suggest keeping looking. Yes, it might take you a little bit longer, and apartment might not be as great but negative atmosphere can destroy the charm of sauna, jazzuzi and swimming pool in no time.

Did you or are you living with flatmates? What are your recommendations?
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1 comment

  1. All of these things are essential to the apartment hunting process. I'd prefer to go it alone nowadays but I've enjoyed having roommates as well.



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