Different types of shared accommodation

All sorts of people choose to live in shared accommodation, and while splitting the bills is an obvious benefit, many choose to for social reasons too.
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All sorts of people choose to live in shared accommodation, and while splitting the bills is an obvious benefit, many choose to for social reasons too.

Flat share/House share

A flat share is probably the most common type of shared accommodation these days. Many get their first taste of sharing when at university – something that can make or break friendships – but even as we get older flat shares remain a cost-effective way to live.

When a property is rented out as a whole by a group of individuals it is a joint tenancy, which means that all tenants are jointly and severally liable under contract. So if one tenant decides to move out, the landlord can demand that the remaining tenants make up the difference in rent. In most cases, landlords will find a replacement tenant, and a new tenancy agreement will begin.

The flat share term is often used synonymously with Rooms to Rent, which are let by a live-out landlord. In this case, each tenant has a separate agreement with the landlord. The benefits to this are clear, as although you share communal areas in the property you need only look after yourself. The downfall is that you don’t always know who you are going to be living with, and you might not get along!

Live-in landlords

Live-in landlords can also advertise Rooms to Rent. This type of shared accommodation is more often where a family lets a spare room in their house to a lodger. This can be a difficult situation to live in as the lodger may not feel completely relaxed in what is meant to be their own home, however, it can be ideal for those who commute long distances for work and only stay during the working week.

Sub lets

Sub lets are perhaps the most controversial of shared accommodation types. In some cases, a tenant will lease a spare room in their house and pocket the profits. This is an issue if the landlord doesn’t know about it! For some, a casual arrangement like this works but there are risks if it is not on a temporary basis. Without a written contract neither party has a legal leg to stand on.

In recent years, sub lets have come under the spotlight as services like Airbnb and Wimdu have grown in popularity. Many landlords have since found that their properties are being let to paying guests without their consent, so if you are planning to use a service like this, double-check the terms of your agreement first.


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