Sharing a rented property has its highs and lows. It can be a fantastic way to meet new people and to experience living in a fun, sociable environment; on the other hand, it comes with its responsibilities. You need to ensure that everyone in the house is paying their rent and bills on time, otherwise you could all find yourselves in financial difficulty. Even if you have paid your share, if someone else has not, the consequences could still fall on you.
Here are three top tips for sharing a property:
Share the Load
At the start of your shared tenancy, make time to sit down with your housemates to discuss how you will handle the household costs. You’ll need a clear way to record who owes what, and when they need to pay. It’s a good idea to draw up a table or a payment ‘calendar’ and stick it somewhere visible in the house, for example on the fridge or the door of a cupboard. Remember to speak to your landlord before you have the planning session with your housemates. He/she should be able to help you with estimating the total cost of the bills.
Arrange your Bills
Decide on the most efficient and hassle-free way to pay your bills. Your housemates might have different ideas on this, so try to settle on the option that suits everyone best. Direct debit from a joint bank account is likely to be the easiest method, as it guarantees that all bills are paid on time. However, if your housemates suggest other payment methods, be open to their ideas. Conversations about shared bill-paying can be uncomfortable, so keep it as friendly as possible.
Ensure you are all aware of all the costs you will incur while living in the house or flat. These are likely to include:
Do your research and put together a comprehensive list for your property.
Following the above advice will stand you in good stead for enjoying a happy, trouble-free house-share. However, we all know that life doesn’t always go exactly to plan. If you find yourselves in need of a small amount to cover a bill before payday, a quick loan from MYJAR might be a good short-term option.
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Warning: Late repayment can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to moneyadviceservice.org.uk