Legal Introduction for Share Accommodation

Finding or offering share accommodation is a fun social interaction, however, a few simple steps can make the whole process a lot simpler and safer for everyone.

Discussing rights and responsibilities as a tenant or landlord can be awkward when moving in with someone you barely know – at times it can even feel like a breach of the trust between future flatmates.

However the opposite is more often true, the best new flatmates are those who are comfortable & happy with their new situation because they know all their rights and responsibilities.

Must dos for all tenants.

  1. View the property and meet the House/Flat mates

This is not a legal requirement but its a crucial step. This is going to be your future home! Make sure you know as much as possible about the place and the people you are going to share it with. Inspecting a property and meeting the flatmates is the only real way of getting a real gut feel for what it’s going to be like.

If you are uncomfortable going to an inspection alone, organise to meet your fellow flatmates in a coffee shop for an informal chat or bring along a friend to the inspection.

  1. Discuss the details before the tenancy starts

A majority of issues would not have occurred if details of the tenancy had been discussed upfront.

Use our free Pre-Agreement Checklist to make sure you and your new flatmate have covered all the important points before the tenancy starts including:

  • Rent including when it is due and how it is paid
  • Deposit and how its being held
  • Who is responsible for bills and how they are split
  • Notice period at the end the tenancy
  • House rules and any other relevant details
  1. Secure your tenancy

Turning up to find your room has been given to someone else or finding out that your new flatmate has changed their mind (which could mean lost rent!) is a terribly frustrating experience.

4. Payment and collection of rent

Rent in share accommodation is most commonly paid via bank transfer or in cash. If you pay via cash make sure you get a receipt every time.

As a tenant it is your obligation to pay your rent on time and in full otherwise your bond and occupation of the property will be in jeopardy. Make sure to agree how many weeks in advance rent will be collected

5. Give the correct notice when ending the agreement

Before any tenancy starts you should agree on the notice period that either party must give to terminate the tenancy.