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One of the main aspects of a student’s life is rental issues. Most students are going to live in the dorms, which is quite a logical solution. And living in the dormitory is the best way to keep in touch with your college life. It will definitely leave you with lots of memories and funny stories that you’re going to tell till the end of your life.
Another option is to rent a flat not far away from your college. And renting a flat on your own has a lot of benefits. First of all, you are completely left to your own devices. And that’s not a step, but a giant leap to your adult life. So, the main advantages of renting a flat on your own include:
- Ultimate freedom, except the rules set by your landlord;
- You plan your time the way you feel comfortable;
- Alone time, a luxury that none of those living in dorms can afford;
But, soon you will find the shortcoming of living on your own. Firstly, all the daily chores are your responsibility. Secondly, when finally achieving alone time, you realize that you are not that comfortable with it.
And then the bills arrive, and you come to realize that those living in the dorms probably save more money than you do. One job is rarely enough to rent a flat on your own. But the idea of dragging several jobs and your studies, while suggestive, screams “exhaustion” quite loudly. So, is living in the dorm the only alternative option?
What’s a Flatmate
A flatmate is a person who shares a flat or apartment with one or more other people. Flatmates are usually people who are not related to one another and who live together in order to share the costs of housing and other expenses.
Flatmates often have their own private rooms, but they may also share common areas, such as the kitchen, living room, and bathroom. Flatmates may be students, professionals, or anyone else looking for an affordable and convenient living arrangement.
Living with flatmates can be a good way to save money and make new friends, but it can also come with its own set of challenges. Flatmates may have different schedules, lifestyles, and expectations, and it can be important to establish clear rules and boundaries to ensure that everyone is comfortable and respects one another’s privacy.
What’s the difference between roommates and flatmates?
Roommates and flatmates are similar in that they both refer to people who live together in a shared living arrangement. However, there are some subtle differences between the two terms:
Roommates: Roommates are people who live together in a shared living space, such as a house, apartment, or dormitory. They may or may not share common areas, such as the kitchen, living room, and bathroom, and they may or may not have their own private rooms. Roommates are often people who are not related to one another and who live together in order to share the costs of housing and other expenses.
Flatmates: Flatmates are people who live together in a flat or apartment. Like roommates, flatmates are usually people who are not related to one another and who live together in order to share the costs of housing and other expenses. However, flatmates are typically more closely associated with apartment living, as the term “flatmate” is often used specifically to refer to someone who shares an apartment with one or more other people.
Overall, the main difference between roommates and flatmates is the type of living arrangement they share. Roommates can live in a variety of shared living spaces, while flatmates are specifically associated with apartment living.
What is Flatshare?
A flatshare, or flat share, is a living arrangement in which two or more people share a flat or apartment. Flatshares are a common housing option for people who are looking to save money on rent and other expenses, or who want to live in a shared living environment.
In a flatshare, each person typically has their own private room, but they may also share common areas, such as the kitchen, living room, and bathroom. Flatshares can be a good way for people to make new friends, save money, and enjoy a more social living environment.
However, flatshares can also come with their own set of challenges. It is important for flatshare members to establish clear rules and boundaries and to respect one another’s privacy in order to ensure that everyone is comfortable and happy in the living arrangement.
The Advantages of Sharing Your Apartment
Well, before the pictures of hazing incidents start creeping into your mind, you can opt for the third variant. You can live with a flatmate. It will solve certain financial struggles but can bring other issues the way. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s check the benefits of living with a flatmate, first.
Sharing the Bills
No longer do you have to pay the bills on your own. When you’re living with a flatmate, it means that you are going to share the bills on everything. Both of you will pay the rent. When that safety deposit is split in two, you no longer feel like spending a fortune on your flat.
But things don’t end with paying rent. Now, the bills for the internet, water, heating, cable TV, and streaming services are going to be split in two as well. Having a flatmate really helps save some extra cash.
Just make sure that you’re both using the same streaming services, as nobody wants to participate in fights ala “I’m not paying for your HBO Max subscription, as I’m watching only NetFlix!”
Affording a Bigger Apartment
While everything depends solely on your financial capabilities, living with a flatmate you can afford a larger apartment. And a bigger place doesn’t necessarily mean just more bedrooms. It means more space in general. A bigger hall, a bigger kitchen, a bigger bathroom, you name it.
That’s one of the main benefits of sharing a place with a flatmate. If you agree on the monthly rent, you can easily move together to a larger place, than a flat that comes closer to a flophouse. A bigger place can mean that you can have alone time even when sharing a flat with someone else.
Getting a Friend
Well, this one comes more as a bonus, rather than something comprehensive. While you may have a great relationship with your flatmate, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to become great friends. Sometimes a successful cohabitation works well without flatmates becoming pals.
You can have a great social atmosphere in your apartment, and you’re not going to feel lonely. And someone at home is, quite often, what you need when returning from college or work. But, if you’re lucky enough, sharing a flat can become the start of a friendship that will last even after you move out.
The Shortcomings of Living with a Flatmate
Whether you like it or not, living with a flatmate has its downsides as well. Sharing your daily life with another person can be difficult from time to time. And you need to be aware of prospective problems in order to figure out which of them you are willing to sacrifice in the name of splitting the rent. So, let’s check out the disadvantages of sharing your flat with someone else.
Lack of Personal Space
Here we are not talking about alone time. Sharing your flat with someone else can be stressful enough as is. When you live on your own, you make the rules and every part of your apartment is your personal space. When you’re living with a flatmate, your personal space shrinks and, generally speaking, is limited to your bedroom.
If you are used to everything being on your terms, you should think twice before looking for a flatmate. In this case, sharing your place with somebody is just a bad idea. Yes, you pay less. But you may end up spending the saved money on the shrink to whom you’re going to complain about how you can’t stand your flatmate.
You and your flatmate may have polar views on hygiene. You prefer to keep everything clean and tidy, while they don’t bother to wash the dishes after themselves. That can lead to a lot of arguments between the flatmates.
Flatmates may have absolutely different schedules. One may prefer staying up late all night watching TV or listening to podcasts, while another likes to go to bed early. One likes inviting friends for loud parties, while another one likes being in complete silence. That can also lead to a conflict between the flatmates.
How do you deal with a flatmate?
Dealing with a flatmate can be challenging, especially if you are living with someone who has different schedules, lifestyles, and expectations than you do. Here are a few tips for dealing with a flatmate:
Communicate openly and honestly: If you have any concerns or issues with your flatmate, it is important to communicate openly and honestly. Talk to your flatmate about your concerns, and try to come up with a solution that works for both of you.
Set boundaries: It is important to establish clear boundaries and respect one another’s privacy. This might include setting rules around noise levels, common areas, and shared items, such as food and appliances.
Be considerate: Remember that you are sharing a living space with someone else, and try to be considerate of their needs and preferences. This might include being mindful of noise levels, cleaning up after yourself, and respecting their personal space.
Be flexible: Try to be flexible and open to compromise. Living with someone else can involve making some adjustments and compromises, and it is important to be open to finding solutions that work for both of you.
By following these tips, you can help to create a harmonious and positive living environment with your flatmate.
What is a toxic flatmate?
A toxic flatmate is someone who exhibits behaviors that are harmful or detrimental to the well-being of others. A toxic flatmate might be excessively critical, manipulative, selfish, or disrespectful, and they may create a negative or unhealthy living environment for those around them.
Living with a toxic flatmate can be challenging, as their behavior can cause stress and discomfort, and it can be difficult to live in a harmonious and positive environment. If you are living with a toxic flatmate, it is important to take care of your own well-being and seek support if necessary.
Some strategies for dealing with a toxic flatmate include setting boundaries, communicating openly and honestly, and seeking support from friends, family, or other resources. If the situation becomes untenable, it may be necessary to consider finding a new living arrangement.
Sharing your flat with someone else will definitely save you some money and bring a lot of benefits. However, it can bring certain problems that may make you reconsider your attitude towards the rent. Maybe you can get a second job, after all?
But you can easily avoid all the conflicts with the flatmate if you discuss beforehand the things and behaviors that are acceptable and not. Also, you need to be ready to communicate all the problems that may arise on the way. And if you succeed in it, you will have your rent cut in two and may get a new friend.