UK Easy Rental Advice
Rent a Room
|RENT A FLAT|
What is a flat?
A flat, also known as an apartment, will usually be located on one floor only, and together with other similar flats and studios will form a building known as a block of flats. A flat will consist of one or more bedrooms, a lounge, a kitchen, a bathroom/shower room, and a W.C. The lounge and kitchen will usually be separate rooms, but not always. Sometimes the lounge and kitchen (or kitchenette) are combined into one room. If you live in a flat you will have your own secure front door with its own key. However you will share some areas and facilities with other occupants of the building. These would include a main entrance door from the street, a communal hall, stairs and/or lift linking the various floors of the building. You may have your own personal parking space for your car, but not always. Often off the road parking is on a "first come, first served" basis. Sometimes there may be no off the road parking, so will have to find a suitable space in the street outside.
If you rent a flat you will almost certainly have to sign a tenancy agreement for a minimum period of 6 months. If you intend to stay in the area for less than 6 months or if you want the freedom to move around during your stay, renting a flat could be the wrong choice. A better choice might be to rent a room.
If you rent a flat you will normally not only have to pay rent, but also utility bills such as gas, electricity, telephone, internet and council tax. When you calculate your monthly expenditure you should take these additional expenses into account. A cheaper choice might be to rent a studio or to rent a room.
There is however one major advantage to renting a flat as compared with renting a room.
But before deciding to rent a flat you must ask yourself, "Can I afford to pay the rent and utility bills by myself?" If not, you might consider sharing with friends and sharing the cost. It is possible for two or more people to jointly sign the tenancy agreement, in which case you are all jointly responsible for paying the rent and complying with the conditions of the tenancy agreement. For this reason it is strongly advised that you only share with friends who you know well and trust. Remember, if one of your flatmates "disappears" for whatever reason, before the end of the tenancy, you alone will become responsible for paying all monies owed. This would include rent, bills and the cost of any damages or losses incurred during the tenancy.
If you have found a flat but you feel that you are unable to afford the cost of the rent plus utilities by yourself, there is another solution to this problem. You, alone could sign the tenancy agreement and then informally ask one or more friends to share the flat with you. You are then free to make an arrangement with your friends to ensure that they contribute to the costs. For example, you could ask your friends to pay a weekly or monthly "rent" for the use of one bedroom each, plus the shared use of the lounge, kitchen, bathroom/shower room, etc. You could also ask your friends to contribute to the cost of utility bills.
But there are severe disadvantages to using this method. There will not be a legally binding agreement between you and your flatmates. For this reason if one of your flatmates falls behind with his payments, or worse, refuses to pay for whatever reason, you are in a weak position. Futhermore, renting out individual rooms to your friends could be classed as "taking in paying guests" or "taking in lodgers". There may well be a clause in your tenancy agreement prohibiting this practice. So you, as the only person to sign the tenancy agreement, will be breaking your contract with the landlord of the property.
So you can now see that for many reasons it is very advisable that you only share with friends who you know well and trust.
If you cannot find any friends to share with and you plan to advertise on the Internet, or elsewhere, to find flatmates, take extreme care. This practice can be extremely risky so I recommend that you read the section, Advertising for Flatmates", before you start.
If you think that renting a flat would be the right choice for you,
If you think that renting a flat would be the wrong choice for you,
WHAT IS A FLAT?
IS A FLAT THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR ME?
SHARING A FLAT