The UK property market is constantly evolving, and the lettings sector is particularly susceptible to fluctuations. As rent prices continue to rise, opting for a flatshare has become an increasingly popular option for professionals looking for cost-effective living arrangements.
To help clients navigate the world of flatsharing, we’ve updated and expanded our flatshare checklist for 2023 to ensure a successful experience.
- Understand HMO regulations: As flatsharing grows in popularity, it’s essential to be aware of the legal requirements surrounding Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs). An HMO is defined as a building or part of a building where at least three tenants live, forming more than one household. Ensure you know if the property is being legally let and complies with the latest HMO regulations. Properties with five or more occupants require a mandatory HMO licence from the local council. Klippa’s experienced housing specialists can assist you in understanding HMO regulations and finding a compliant property.
- Enquire about bills, cleaning, and maintenance: Many flatshares aimed at professionals offer perks similar to those found in serviced apartments or hotels. It’s crucial to establish whether all bills, broadband, cleaning services, and maintenance are included in the monthly rent (inclusive rent) or if there are additional charges (exclusive rent). Klippa’s home-finding service can help you identify flatshares with transparent pricing structures that include all essential services.
- Assess communal space and facilities: With the rise of remote work, shared living spaces have become more important than ever. Always inspect the flatshare’s description and cross-reference it with the floorplan and the letting agent to determine the available communal space and the ratio of bathrooms to bedrooms. If in doubt, visit the property in person. Klippa’s property specialists can guide you through this process, ensuring you find a flatshare with the right balance of communal space and amenities.
- Evaluate the location: The property’s location can significantly impact the type of flatshare being advertised. Properties close to university campuses may attract students, while city centre properties, suburban houses, contemporary new developments, and those located near major business parks are more likely to appeal to working professionals. Klippa’s industry-leading home search service will provide you with a shortlist of properties that meet your search criteria, including location preferences.
- Examine the details: There are several indicators that differentiate a professional flatshare from student accommodation. The rent may be higher to reflect the property’s condition, internal specifications, and included furniture. Properties offering entirely en-suite accommodations are typically tailored to professional tenants. Pay attention to the quality of soft furnishings and how the property has been dressed; a ‘hotel’ look with flat-screen TVs and stylish bed linen is generally aimed at professionals. Klippa’s housing specialists can help you identify flatshares that cater to professionals, ensuring a comfortable living experience.
- Security and safety measures: Check if the property has appropriate security measures in place, such as secure locks on doors and windows, smoke alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors. In addition, landlords are legally obligated to provide a valid Gas Safety record and ensure electrical installations are safe. Klippa can help you find properties with a strong focus on safety and security.
- Compatibility with flatmates: It’s important to ensure that you’ll get along with your potential flatmates, as this can significantly impact your living experience. Consider discussing your daily routines, interests, and expectations with your potential flatmates before committing to a flatshare. Klippa’s housing specialists can provide guidance on finding a flatshare with compatible flatmates.
- Tenancy terms and conditions: Be sure to read and understand the tenancy agreement, including the length of the lease, your responsibilities, and any restrictions or additional clauses. Proper individual tenancy agreements for private rental properties and joint tenancy agreements for HMOs are essential, as they carry distinct legal implications. Klippa can help you review the lease terms and ensure they align with your needs and expectations.
- Transportation and local amenities: Consider the property’s proximity to public transportation, shops, restaurants, and other amenities that are important to you. Klippa’s home-finding service can help you find a flatshare in a location that offers convenient access to essential services and facilities.
- Internet and mobile connectivity: In today’s digital age, having a reliable internet connection and mobile phone reception is crucial. Make sure to inquire about the broadband service provided in the flatshare and check the mobile signal strength during your property visit. Klippa’s property specialists can assist you in finding a flatshare with internet and mobile connectivity.
If you need further advice on placing professionals in suitable flatshares or are looking for property finding and orientation services in major UK cities and towns, contact Klippa today. Our experienced team is here to guide you through the home-finding process, ensuring a smooth and successful transition.