For many of us, living in a house-share is something we can all relate to. Whether it’s reminiscing on our fond memories as university students or a means of working in the big city as a young professional, house-shares are far from uncommon.
Not only can it be more sociable, but renting in a house-share offers greater flexibility and takes away the stressors of homeownership. And while society has typically reserved house-shares for student lifestyles, the number of millennials and older adults renting a property with three or four others has surged over recent years.
But this doesn’t come without its problems. Conflicts surrounding bills and chores, the inability to keep household pets or feeling like you don’t have your own space are common issues that can plague house-shares — making many feel as though they’re strangers in the homes they pay so much for.
But luckily, there’s help available. By shifting your thinking and viewing your home as something that should serve you, those apart of Generation Rent may begin to feel more at home in their house-shares. Not sure where to begin? Stick around, and HomeHero will let you in on some of our secrets.
So Why are people HOUSE-SHARING?
So, we briefly covered why house-sharing can be an attractive choice for some renters. But while it can boast benefits such as increased sociability and flexibility, it would be naive to think that every adult living in a house-share is doing so as a mere lifestyle choice.
According to a recent English Housing Survey, one-fifth of the UK’s population were living in privately rented accommodation in 2018, with the number of 35-40-year-olds joining flat-shares doubling in the last decade.
Most notably, the number of people living in shared accommodation has risen by a whopping 400% in the last decade — for 45-54-year-olds, this number has also surged by 600%. These shocking figures aren’t just confined to London either, but all over the country.
Many of these adults, referred to as Generation Rent, have been priced out of the housing market. As house values have skyrocketed, most millennials find saving up for a deposit a hard battle to overcome. This is mainly due to forking out a high percentage of their income on paying rent to private landlords — an average of 41% to be precise. With these figures in mind, it’s fair to say that house-shares may be people’s only option.
Feeling Left Behind
For older adults living in house-shares, commonly reported problems are feelings of anxiety and shame linking to their age. While the societal stigma of flat-sharing at a mature life stage is indeed dying down, the feeling like you’re ‘falling behind’ can be crippling.
‘The disparity in wealth and quality of life is so obvious between friends who own and those who rent. I feel like I’m constantly behind where I should be in life’, writes one 34-year-old who lives in a house-share.
While visiting friends who are homeowners can evoke this feeling, living inside your four walls can, unfortunately, do the same. Having to queue up for the washing machine, calling house conferences over the lack of cleaning, and relying on others to pay their bills are the basic household gripes that can feel suffocating in one’s older age.
And it’s not just sharing the TV remote that can be a problem. Long-term, the inability to decorate your home out of fear of losing your deposit to no pets allowed are stark reminders that it’s difficult to truly feel ‘at home’ in your house-share.
So, what can you do about it?
Outsource help With Household Services
So, we’ve already mentioned that starting to think about how your home can serve you is a great way to start feeling more at home and in control of your house-share.
Let’s take cleaning, for example. While the obvious choice may be to implement house rotas and rules, it’s no secret that our busy schedules can significantly hinder how much cleaning gets done.
As the chores go left unnoticed, we may start to feel uncomfortable, frustrated and unproductive in our flat-shares — after all, there is a direct link between cleanliness and our mental well-being.
So, one of the best ways to tackle this is hiring a cleaner. According to a 2019 survey, roughly 1 in 5 millennials stated they had a cleaner, and that number is set to grow. The truth is, a lot of millennials value both their quality of life and their time — and outsourcing help for a weekly, deep clean is a great way to facilitate this.
A deep household clean from an industry professional, starting from just £12 an hour can help you to feel empowered and in control of your home. The routine of a weekly, or bi-weekly cleaner can really boost your feeling of control. Not only will it save you time, but a fresh, clean and decluttered home will promote productivity, positivity and restore a comforting, cosy vibe into your house-share and make you feel more at home.
It will also resolve any conflicts that arise from the delegation of household chores. Having one less thing to worry about as a house can help to bring you closer, as sitting in a clean communal area will boost morale, relaxation and eliminate any resentment you were the only housemate to clean it. Everybody wins.
So What’s the Takeaway?
Unfortunately, there is no magical solution that will turn us into homeowners overnight, and many of us will continue renting for years to come. But what we can do is empower ourselves by considering outsourcing services that aim to take the pressure off and make our home lives just that little bit easier.
We shouldn’t have to serve our homes, especially when we pay so much to be there. The home should, instead, be there for us so we can feel secure, comfortable and happy — and that’s how you can begin to feel more at home in your house-share.
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