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Should I House Share? Why Sharing is Caring

2 July 2019 Simon Banks Read time: 3 min
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Simon Banks

We won’t pretend that having your own place is a bad thing. But it’s not the only option when it comes to the world of renting bricks and mortar. The number of people house sharing is on the rise, especially in cities like London and Manchester.

There are several reasons for its popularity, with the financial benefits standing out as the most obvious. Yet house sharing isn’t just about saving some cash; it’s an opportunity to meet interesting people and gain new experiences.

If you’re a renter who is thinking about finding a new place, sharing could very well be a viable option. And if you’re not sure whether it’s for you - worry not. We’re here to tell you why sharing a home could be a great route to go down. After all, sharing is caring.

Mo money, mo problems

Saving money is the primary reason why some renters decide to house share. People are increasingly looking for ways to save money, and paying for a room - rather than an entire place - is one of the ways to keep a healthier bank balance.

On average, a one-bedroom apartment fetches £1,100 per month in London, whereas the cost of renting a room sits at around £750 per month. That’s already a saving of £350 per month average. It’s easy to see why sharing might seem so appealing.

The £350 saving may even be on the lower end of the scale. Utilities are often included in the rent in house shares (though it’s not a given): things like electricity, gas, council tax, water and broadband can cost hundreds of extra pounds a month if you’re solely responsible for paying them. Having bills included in your monthly rent can make a significant difference.

They’ll be there for you

Sharing is also a great way to boost the numbers in your social circle as it opens up avenues to meet friends and start new relationships with people, which is much harder to do when you’re living by yourself.

Sure, having the privacy to walk around your own home naked if you so wish is great when living by yourself. But we all know that having someone to discuss the latest episode of Love Island with is the priority.

You don’t even need to be besties with your new flatmates, but the odd chat in the kitchen won’t go amiss. And if friendships progress to the point where you start socialising together, you’ve suddenly got a buddy to two for the journey back home.

Less responsibility

Raise your hand if you like cleaning. Right, so that’s no one. Whether you’re 18 or 45, it’s unlikely that the idea of scrubbing down the oven sits high on your list of “fun things to do”. While house sharing doesn’t entirely forego the responsibility of cleaning, it does reduce it.

Sharing with one or more people will likely see you divide household responsibilities. That layer layer of dust mounting up in the corner? Be happy, safe in the knowledge that’s it’s housemate Jeff’s turn to do the spring cleaning this week.

New Opportunities

Having a flatmate or two isn’t just great for the social side of things; it can open up avenues to support and networking links that you wouldn’t have if you lived by yourself. It potentially opens you up to different cultures too. Sharing with other people brings you into contact with those from all walks of life.

Think of it as an opportunity to expand your mind and significantly increase the size of your own personal world. Flatmates also offer a method of support, which can be vital for your own mental health. Even if it’s making you a cup of after you’ve had a hard day, or sharing similar experiences of their own.

HMO rules

If you are house sharing, it’s essential that your landlord adheres to the HMO (House of Multiple Occupancy) rules. HMO is when at least three renters live in a property but are not related, and a Large HMO is when the property has five or more renters.

Landlords need to apply for an HMO license when renting to three or more people. Ideally, you should ask for proof of their license before moving into the property. If a landlord is found to be renting to multiple renters without a license, they could face fines. However, you won’t have to worry about eviction if your contract is an assured shorthold tenancy (AST).

Sharing is caring

From sharing responsibilities to meeting new people and building life-long friendships, house sharing is more than a viable alternative to renting a whole place. It’s a chance to build upon new experience and create life-lasting memories. And you can save a pretty penny or two while doing it.

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