Should i consider a flatmate?

A flatmate is a person who shares a home with you.

Where can I find a flatmate?

A flatmate is usually a friend or family member, however, your flatmate can be anyone who is able to meet referencing requirements. You can even find a flatmate by asking around or through social media platforms. If you choose to do so, make sure to practice online safety and thoroughly vet candidates to make sure they'd be a good match.


How do I interview a flatmate?

When deciding on a flatmate, consider various aspects:

  • Finances - Can you rely on them to pay rent on time? Do they have a steady source of income? Do they have good credit? Do they have references? 
  • Living compatibility - Are they messy? How often do they clean? Do they like to have people over? Are they a morning person or a night person? What kind of flatmate are they? Do they have pets? Do they cook a lot? 
  • General compatibility - What do they like to do for fun? Are they an extrovert or introvert? How would they describe themselves? What are they looking for in a flatmate? 


What are the benefits of having a flatmate?

Save money: Splitting costs of the rent and bills saves a lot of money, which you can save or use to afford a more expensive rental. Some flatmates even split groceries, household items, and furniture which makes everything a lot more affordable. This arrangement works by agreement, meaning all the members of the household must agree and be comfortable with what is arranged.


An extra hand around the house: It can be stressful handling things yourself. Having a flatmate means you are all responsible for dealing with rent, cleaning the house, submitting maintenance requests, and more. It makes things easier for you when you have a partner helping out. 


Friendship: Flatmates spend a lot of time together obviously. If you pick a flatmate you are compatible with, you’ll become close friends in no time. Having another person in the house keeps loneliness at bay as you’ll always have someone to talk to. You may even find yourself getting close to their friends. 


What are the drawbacks of having a flatmate?

Lack of privacy: When you have a flatmate and share communal spaces, it may be difficult to have privacy. You have to be comfortable with the idea of living with another person. If you're someone who always likes to be alone, you may find having a flatmate isn't ideal. 


Noise: If you choose a flatmate who is very noisy or loud, that may inconvenience or annoy you. For example, if your flatmate always has friends over or if they move loudly around the house, you may find it difficult to enjoy peace and quiet. If you are a light sleeper, noisy flatmates will disrupt your much-needed sleep. 


Dealing with the mess: It’s always messier living with a flatmate. It’s easy to forget what is your mess and what is theirs. You can interview candidates to make sure who you're living with meets your cleaning standards. Otherwise, living with a messy flatmate and cleaning after their messes can become very frustrating.


You might not get along: Living with someone you don’t like can create a very uncomfortable and tense situation, which is the last thing you want in your home. That’s why it’s very important to thoroughly vet flatmates. Keep in mind you might be spending 6 months or more with this person, so you want to make sure you'd be able to cohabitate long-term.


Money problems: Money is always a difficult subject to discuss with a flatmate. Commitments in the tenancy are jointly and severally liable, meaning responsibilities are shared by all the tenants. For example, if one person does not pay rent, the other(s) in the house will be liable and must make up that amount without apportionment.

If your flatmate is not reliable at paying rent, it could cause you a lot of trouble. You'll also want to decide how to split the bills. While some people split it 50/50, the exact arrangement is up to you. For example, one party may pay more if they have a bigger room or if they have higher energy usage. 


How do you split the bills?

Discuss with your flatmate to decide how to split bills fairly and reasonably. Before even moving in, it’s important to lay the ground rules of how everything will be paid.  It’s much simpler to have a designated person to pay designated bills. With rent, you can split it evenly or based on the sizes and locations of the rooms. If someone has a nicer, bigger room, then they should reasonably pay more. Same with the utilities - you can split evenly or according to usage, however, that may be a bit difficult to track in some cases. In some instances, flatmates even share food and split the grocery bill – that’s completely up to you.


What happens if they don’t pay their rent or bills?

Remember, commitments in the tenancy like rent and bills are jointly and severally liable, meaning responsibilities are shared by all the tenants. So, if one person does not pay rent, everyone else in the house will be liable and must make up that amount without apportionment. That’s why it’s extremely important to find flatmates who are financially responsible and reliable. Otherwise, you’d be the one paying for it.


What happens if we get into an argument? 

If you're having trouble getting along with your flatmates, consider having a diplomatic discussion with them. Most flatmate conflicts stem from miscommunication, so if you’re able to have a productive conversation it will be much easier to create a comfortable living environment for everyone. 

Communicate your needs honestly and explain what’s bothering you. Set up rules and guidelines, if you haven’t already, to avoid conflict. This establishes clear boundaries for one another. The key to a good flatmate relationship is to be considerate and respect one another.


What happens if either of us wants to leave the tenancy? 

As with all tenancies, if you wish to break a contract you can do so by coming to a mutual agreement with the landlord. You will either need to find a new, eligible tenant to replace you and/or cover any reasonable expenses or costs the landlord incurs as a result. All other obligations, such as the security deposit, will stand and be treated the same way as if you didn't leave the tenancy early.


What happens if I don’t want to live with my flatmate anymore? 

We understand not everything works out on the first try. That's why we don't charge any fees or charges for changes in occupancy. If you’d like a change in occupancy to the tenancy, notify your landlord immediately through the PropertyLoop platform. You’re able to add, swap, and replace tenant(s) to the tenancy if you have your landlord’s expressed agreement. That’s why it’s so important to keep communications on the PropertyLoop platform where everything is documented for future reference. Once you have your landlord's permission, contact our support team and we'll take care of the rest. Keep in mind, the additional tenant must be able to pass tenant referencing and right-to-rent checks.