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Renters living together in shared accomodation

What is Shared Accommodation?

24 June 2020 Simon Banks Read time: 2 min
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Simon Banks

They say that sharing is caring, which might be why an increasing number of renters are choosing to live in shared accommodation. But the real reason probably has something to do with saving a pretty penny on the rent and enjoying a more sociable living experience.

Living in shared accommodation isn’t a new fad in the world on renting. It has been around as long as the practice itself, but the stigma around it certainly is changing. No longer is shared accommodation limited to students renting for the first time or those making their initial forays into independent living.

Nowadays, Generation Rent has birthed sharers of all ages – from the early twenties right up to late thirties and beyond. That’s because options like co-living spaces provide a new holistic way of living, focusing on the social aspect of shared accommodation.

In the spirit of sharing, we’ve put this guide to shared accommodation together to explain what it is and the options you have for living in a shared space.

What is shared accommodation?

Renters in shared accomodation

Shared accommodation is when renters share specific spaces in the property. Typically, each renter has their own bedroom and shares other rooms like the living area, kitchen and sometimes the bathroom.

So, in a nutshell, shared accommodation is when you share a home with other renters. Pretty simple, right? But there are a few different types of shared accommodation that appeal to a diverse range of renters.

What are the different types of shared accommodation?

Renters have never had as much choice as they do now. Want your own place? Choose from snazzy apartment options or Build-to-Rent communities. Feel like sharing? Go for shared accommodation or a co-living space.

Here are some of the available shared living options:

Two sharers

Two people sharing is a common form of shared accommodation. This is when two renters live in a property (usually a two-bedroom apartment, though sometimes it can be one with both rooms turned into bedrooms) and share the other spaces, such as the reception, kitchen and bathroom if there’s only one.


Shared accommodation also comes in the form of House of Multiple Occupation (HMO), which refers to at least three renters living in a place that forms one full household. If there are five or more renters, the home is considered a large HMO. Renters need to have their own bedroom but share the kitchen, living room and bathroom for a property to form an HMO.


Co-living space

A co-living space offers your own private space, typically in the form of a bedroom and en-suite bathroom. The rest of the building focuses on social sharing, which includes a kitchen and dining area and residential lounges.

These aren’t the same as other rooms inside a shared house; instead, they’re more akin to shared spaces in Build-to-Rent communities with fun social spaces designed for renters.

The professionalised aspect is more akin to a shared co-working space, and you don’t need to worry about adhering to a weekly cleaning rota. 

Which type of shared accommodation should I choose?

Deciding on shared accommodation depends on what you want to get from your living experience. If you’re sharing because you to minimise the costs involved with renting your own place, moving in with one other person might be the best way to go.It provides a living experience more akin to having a flat to yourself.

For those who want to embrace the social aspect, HMO living can tick all the boxes. You’ll have your own room, but the rest of the household will be shared and provides a great opportunity to get to know new people.

Lastly, if you like the social aspect of sharing but want a bit more privacy, it’s worth exploring the co-living option. Co-living gives you your own private space (with a bathroom), which you can lock and treat as your own. Then, when you feel like venturing out and getting to know your neighbours, you have state-of-the-art social spaces to enjoy. Co-living offers a modern twist on the sharing concept.

Sharing is caring

No matter which sharing option you choose, moving in with others is your chance to learn more about new people and broaden your horizons. Modern-day renters often emphasise the need for a sociable lifestyle, and shared accommodation does just the job.

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