What to consider when renting with friends
You’ve decided to look for a new place to rent and happily enough your friends are also on the hunt for a new home. With the knowledge that your council tax, utility bills and rent will be cheaper, you decide to house hunt together. But, before you do, make sure you’ve gone through the checklist below to ensure you’re ready to start renting with friends.
First up, have a frank conversation about your finances. Discuss the lower and higher ends of your budgets, and be clear before you start searching for your new home that you are happy with the amount of rent you’ll be paying.
If you can all commit to the same types of property, set the ground rules. Do you all want the after-party to come back to yours, or would you prefer your home to be a sanctuary? Are you fine if friends from out of town come to crash, and how long do you think is acceptable? By having these conversations early on, you’ll avoid any awkwardness down the line.
Next, divvy up the chores. Can you manage the washing up, but hate dusting? Have a chat before you move in to avoid those arguments, and agree who will be doing what, and how frequently you expect those chores to be carried out.
Once you’ve done this, discuss how you’ll split the cost of utility bills. Nowadays, great apps such as Splitwise make it easy to keep track of who’s paid what and when, so you’re constantly up to date with what’s coming in and out of the household accounts.
Make a plan for the future. Do any of you have a pet, or will you want one soon? If you’re in relationships, will you want to move out, or would you both be happy for the other’s partner to move in? Discuss how you’d split the price and make sure everyone is clear with what you’ve agreed.
Once you’ve agreed on the above, make an inventory. It may sound dramatic, but it’s worth doing even for small items, such as the kettle or toaster, to make it easier when it comes to moving on. If your new home is part- or unfurnished, you’ll need to decide whether to split the cost between the group, or if one person will make the investment. A great way to save money when moving into these types of homes is to check out websites such as Freecycle, which offer goods for free in areas around the UK.
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