B47 - Going Flatting with Others

You may have been flatting when you were younger, or this may be the first time you've considered going flatting and sharing a house with others.

Whatever the case, you need to think about the number and type of people you'd like to live with, but keep an open mind to being pleasantly surprised when you start exploring your options.

You may find an arrangement that suits you that you never thought of before you started looking.

Your biggest outgoing when you go flatting will be what you have to pay up front, before you move in. It's usual to pay a bond that's refunded once you leave the flat, provided you leave the flat in good condition. The bond is often up to four weeks' worth of rent, and your landlord must lodge it with Tenancy Services within 23 working days of you taking up the tenancy. You may also need to pay two weeks' rent in advance, as well as any letting agency fees (usually the equivalent of one week's rent, non-refundable).

Check out how much you'll be expected to contribute to power, phone, internet and possibly water bills. This will vary from flat to flat. You'll also need to know what furniture, if any, comes with the flat. You may also want to investigate contents insurance cover for your personal items.

Check if there's a flat-sharing agreement that sets out flatmates' responsibilities and obligations. Even if there's no written agreement, it's a good idea to ask questions like: Can I use common areas of the flat to host my own visitors (eg, the living room)? Can I have people over to stay and is there a restriction on the number of consecutive nights a visitor can stay? How much time will we spend together as flatmates (eg, will there by shared dinners and how often)? How are the different chores around the house distributed among flatmates?

Here are some easy rules to help ensure everyone gets along in the flat:

  1. Live with people you can talk to easily - communication is really important.
  2. Decide who is responsible for what.
  3. Split all the household bills (eg, internet, power) evenly.
  4. Respect each other's privacy.
  5. If you're not sure about security, put a lock on your bedroom door.
  6. Get things in writing (eg, an agreement about what rent you'll be paying).
  7. If there are pets, it's important to know who's responsible for them.

Pros

Cons

What do I need in order to take this option?

Could this option limit my future choices?

No, it may help you to stay living independently while providing you with some company.

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