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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Flatmates

It may not be romantic but it is vital that you know your rights when it comes to your home. Preparing properly will make sure that you are less likely to be caught out if anything happens to your relationship.

It may not be romantic but it is vital that you know your rights when it comes to your home. Preparing properly will make sure that you are less likely to be caught out if anything happens to your relationship.

Your tenancy agreement should include certain key terms, including information about the property, the tenancy, rent and other payments, repairs and your use of the property.

Your local council may contact you if it has received reports about nuisance behaviour from your tenants. This will generally be in relation to rubbish or noise problems.

People have a variety of reasons for renting shared accommodation. You may not be able to afford a home of your own, due to benefit restrictions or general affordability issues or you may not want to live alone.

There are a number of places you can find advertisements for rooms in shared properties. It’s very difficult to get out of a tenancy agreement once you’ve signed a contract so you should make sure that you’re happy with the accommodation and your flatmates before you sign.

If you're renting a property as part of a group, you need to pay close attention to the tenancy agreement. The wording on this agreement can control what happens if one of the group moves out. In some cases, the rest of the tenants can be made responsible for paying the extra rent as well as any rent that the former tenant hasn't paid.

Renting a home on your own is expensive. It might be more affordable to move in with friends, family members or even strangers. This will make things cheaper but can bring it's own problems so you need to think about the practical arrangements of living with others.

Sorting out the practical arrangements at the beginning of a tenancy can prevent disputes arising later on. Once you've signed a tenancy agreement you've committed to living with your flatmates for a defined period of time. It's worth agreeing how you're going to sort out chores and bills and laying down some ground rules.

Sharing arrangements don't always work out. If you're having problems with the people you're sharing with, don't ignore the issue. Try to resolve the situation. If you've signed a tenancy agreement, it will be difficult to leave the property before it has lapsed.

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