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Sharing a rented house has become a common practice, wherein, two to four people (depending on the number of bedrooms available in the property) live together. There are several obvious advantages of following this route.
The biggest advantage of sharing an accommodation, is that the individuals can afford to stay in a centrally located area of the city, points out Ritu Arora, Punya’s Property Solutions, Bengaluru. “They share the rent, security deposit and essentials like electricity, water bill, etc. So, the personal expenditure is reduced. One can even hire a cook, to have home-cooked food. In some cases, such tenants even open a common bank account and one person handles the pay-outs. However, in most cases, each one gives their share on a monthly basis. In case one person is leaving, either all the others pay back his share of the deposit and share the rent amongst themselves, or bring in a new person who takes over from the one exiting. All these are quite well worked out and generally move smoothly,” Arora elaborates.
Landlords in cities many also prefer such groups taking up an accommodation, as they stand to get a higher rental, compared to what they would get from a family.
Rules to follow while sharing a rental house
Juhi Praful Wadia, a client servicing executive at Ogilvy and Mather Mumbai, feels that living in a shared accommodation can be a blessing, especially in a new city. “I believe in staying with people and not alone on rent, even though it comes with a lot of adjustments. Living in a shared house can be a fantastic experience, as one saves a lot of money and secondly, you get to live with people who will introduce you to invaluable new life experiences. However, it is important to follow some basic rules: Be honest about who you are. Be vocal about issues, even if it is a small one. Set boundaries from day one. If your co-tenant throws tantrums, limit conversations to a rational point. Try explaining and if that does not work, letting that issue go can also help, as you can’t always change the way people think,” advises Wadia.
“For the lease/rental agreement, some landlords insist that all the names of the tenants be mentioned, while others may prefer it in one person’s name, who will be responsible for his flat mates,” adds Arora. Wadia adds that it is better to have all the roommate’s names mentioned in the agreement and not yours alone. “Let the owner deal with each one individually for the rent. Otherwise it becomes your headache later. If there is an agreement in place, they are legally bound to abide by the rules,” states Wadia.
How to maintain a cordial atmosphere with your roommates
Sharing an accommodation, is a practice that is commonly used by working professionals of all ‘A’ bracket companies, as it is a practical way of living in a new city. Whether there is a party at home or shopping for weekly supplies, chalk out a fair system that suits everyone who is sharing the house, says Arora.
Seema Hingorrany, a clinical psychologist in Mumbai says that it is better to know the roommate in advance, if possible. “Don’t be very guarded or very open. It takes time for the relationship to grow. Be clear about each one’s responsibilities, when it comes to doing chores. Be friendly and always communicate clearly, if there are issues. Never try to deal with a situation silently or by shouting. There are advantages of sharing an apartment, as one does not feel lonely in a new city and at times roommates help one tide over emotional and financial crisis too,” explains Hingorrany.
Respect each other’s privacy. There are times, when one’s roommate can become a good friend and it is okay, even if this does not happen, concludes Hingorrany.