If you’re thinking about moving into a shared rental, here are five things to consider before diving in and signing that shared lease.
What sort of housemates will I have?
One of the biggest considerations you should make before sharing a rental property is the people you’ll be living with. Whether you’re looking for an existing shared space to rent or seeking potential housemates for a new place, try to find out as much as possible before committing to the tenancy.
If possible, try to find housemates who are somewhat similar to you in terms of their lifestyle, schedule and personality. For example, if you’re studying at uni, fellow students may make for more compatible housemates than people with full-time work schedules. Similarly, if you’re less of a ‘party animal’ and more the quiet, introverted type, a shared house full of social butterflies might not be the best place for you.
Of course, you may already know your potential housemates – they could even be people you’re already friends with. But there are things to consider in that case too, which brings us to our next question…
Do I really want to live with friends?
Choosing friends to rent with might seem to make sense. After all, you already know you get along with them – what could go wrong?
Unfortunately, the answer is ‘a lot of things’! Living with someone isn’t the same as just being friends with them. While you may get along famously at the moment, that all might change when you’re residing in close quarters.
Don’t get us wrong, though – in many cases, friends are able to live together with no trouble. But for some, living together and being constantly in close proximity can really put a strain on the friendship. Be sure to consider this before you move in with friends.
How much rent can I afford each month?
Many people choose shared rental options as a way to save money. Splitting the costs of rent between multiple people is often much more affordable for those who are studying or on lower incomes.
However, you still need to consider exactly how much you can afford to pay in terms of rent. This will determine the type of shared rental you choose, as well as its location.
For example, you may prefer the idea of sharing with just one other person, but you need to keep in mind that this may be more expensive than living in a larger shared house. Similarly, you might be tempted by that shared rental right by the beach, but even in a sharing situation, that location might be more than you can afford.
You never want to get in the situation of falling behind on your share of the rent, so make sure you really can afford your portion of a shared rental before you commit to it.
And speaking of finances…
What other costs are involved?
If it’s your first time living out of home, you might be surprised at how much it’s actually going to cost. You won’t just be forking out for rent – there’s also:
- Your share of the bond (which is four weeks’ rent total)
- Utilities bills:
- Extras such as cleaning and lawn maintenance
- Entertainment and transport costs
As you can see, costs add up more quickly than you might think, even when you’re sharing a rental. Make sure you consider all possible costs to make sure you’ll be able to afford living out of home.
Am I cut out for sharing?
Has all of the above sounded a little overwhelming to you? Does the thought of living in a shared rental – and managing all the tricky aspects that come with it – fill you with dread? Are you already anxious about potential housemate drama?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these, it might be worth reconsidering whether shared renting is really the best option for you. If that’s the case, don’t worry – sharing isn’t for everyone! Some people just prefer to live alone, or with a partner/family member.
When it comes down to it, a rental isn’t just a rental – it’s your home. You need to be 100% comfortable living there, so if sharing doesn’t feel right for you, try considering some other options.