Glasgow West End: Laws and Agreements when flat sharing

Photo: Tennents Pub. If you have a big enough flat, and the expense is a bit much, you might want to consider a flat mate. If you do decide to get a flat mate, it makes sense to have some legal agreement drawn up and overseen by a solicitor to prevent misunderstandings and problems later on down the line. The person who owns the flat and lives there already usually puts forward an agreement that the tenant will keep the property in good repair, and not destroy it, and furthermore, that they will leave the flat promptly at the end of the agreement. This helps to avoid disagreements and disputes later if everything is in writing. A good agreement spells out everyone's rights and obligations so there are no misunderstanding on either person's part.

Importance of Notices and Flat Sharing Agreements

Notices, which add to and modify initial tenancy agreements, are as important as the original agreements because they spell everything out and can prevent a lot of needless litigation should there be a disagreement. There are different types of notices for different tenant definitions too. Therefore, it depends on what type of tenancy you have. A flat share is where a flat is rented from the building owner to one person, but if that person wants a flat mate they have to get permission from the landlord or landlady who owns the building.

Common sense needs to be applied when writing out your agreements as far as who is paying how much and for what: for example, are expenses split, which means they will vary month to month on things like an electric bill, which can change? Everything should be written down and agreed to by both parties. How long is the tenancy? This should be agreed upon as well. Alternatively, the agreement can be left open for a thirty-day notice to quit, on either party's side. These agreements need to be in place before the second person moves in to the flat with you.

Screening potential flat mates

You can put ads in the local papers and some Internet sites that advertise flat sharing opportunities that you might find useful in your search for a responsible flat mate.

You will need to screen your applicants carefully and do not just pick the first one who applies; after all, you are going to have to live with them! Alternatively, if you have the money and want someone professional to do your screenings and interviews for you that can be done too If possible, have several meetings with the prospective tenant and check references too.

Most people looking to flat share are students on limited budgets or young professionals who are not home enough to actually keep their own place. Once you have researched and picked out your tenant, it is time to get your flat sharing agreement out and go over it with your renter to be. If there are things you both agree to add or change on the flat sharing agreement now is the time to do it. Once they have seen it then take it to a solicitor to make sure it is legal and everything is understood completely before you both sign it.

Now that the flat sharing agreement is signed and you have the security deposit and first month's rental then your new flat mate moves in and you two get to adjust to each other's habits and schedules. It will take some time to get used to another in your space but it is economically a good solution if you have the room to spare and share. Most of these tenancy agreements, if done correctly, work out well for both parties involved. That is why everything needs to be written in a language that you will both understand and can agree on.

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