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Rent a whole house or flat to share

One alternative to renting a room in someone else’s home is to rent or buy a flat or house yourself and then to invite one or more people to join you as tenants / housemates. In this case you are the one taking the risk of renting or buying a property longer-term and will be responsible for paying the bills and looking after the property, but you also get the chance to decide how you’d like to live.

Among other things, you’ll need to decide what to include in the rent and what duration of rental agreement to accept with the landlord. You then need to decide how you’ll get assurances from your new flatmates to pay their share.

The landlord will offer you what’s called a Short-hold Tenancy Agreement, with a duration of at least 6 months, with the option to extend this either in 6 monthly blocks or on a monthly rolling basis. There will also be a notice period for each side’s convenience and security of tenure. Typically notice is 2 months to give each party time to find new tenants/accommodation.

You’ll need to take a deposit and make sure your new lodger(s) / housemate(s) pay their rent on time and that they look after the furniture and overall decor. In fact one thing to think about is whether you have furniture, because the majority of flat and house rentals are not furnished, whereas room shares are, with the landlord/lady having furnished the room.

If you already have a friend or friends who want to share then you could be good to go. But if you’d like one or more others to join you in a share then you can approach potential housemates using our Find Housemates section. Using this section you can search for and then contact prospects confidentially using our onsite message platform, before deciding whether or not to meet up in person for a viewing. A face-to-face meeting is essential, but do not hand over any money or personal details to anyone – the landlord or your prospective housemate – until you’ve signed a ‘lodger agreement’.

A lodger agreement outlines what you’ll pay for the room within a house but also protects the landlord or lead tenant renting the property, to define the rest of the house as belonging to them and enabling them to ask someone to leave according to the terms of the agreement.

Renting a property to then sublet rooms to friends or other housemates needs the agreement of the landlord, but is usually possible as long as one person (you) takes responsibility for the tenancy and all of the terms included. That’s why it’s your responsibility as lead tenant or owner to manage your lodgers.

What if I cannot afford to buy a flat or house?

There are shared ownership schemes available whereby you buy a proportion of a property and the owner retains ownership of the other 50%. here are two useful links explaining how this works:

Shared Ownership Housing –
https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/shared-ownership-housing-schemes-explained

Older Person’s Shared Ownership (Over 55s)
https://www.ownyourhome.gov.uk/scheme/opso/

What about buying a whole house or flat to share with other people? >>>

Back to house share advice >>>

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