Probably you will want to share with other young people to save money but first you need to find a place. Check out real estate agents or the rental section in the local paper.
Who do you share with?
This is best done before you move into a place so that you can choose the people you think you can live with, and you can all agree on the place to rent and the house rules.
When you are ready to join the others make sure you agree on how the household costs will be shared, who is responsible for paying the bills and the consequences of not keeping up the rental payments.
Make sure the other people have regular incomes because at any time during the tenancy, if they can’t pay their share of the rent, then it is up to the other people to make up the difference, as the rent is due payable by the collective tenants, irrespective of how many people are on the lease.
It may be cheaper to move into an already established share house. Hopefully the other tenants will have already furnished the common areas like the kitchen, laundry and lounge room. Find out which areas of the house you are able to use.
If you decide on moving into an established share house you will need to find out what your legal status will be. Doing this at the beginning, during the interview would be ideal. Make sure you fully understand what you’re getting yourself into. Ask as many questions as you need to. If you are going to sign the lease with the other tenants then you will become a co-tenant and share all the rights and responsibilities of the tenancy. Make sure you receive written receipts for any payments you make.
If you are going to live in the house but your name will not be put on the lease then you are a sub-tenant. In this situation you will generally share all the same rights as the others whose names appear on the lease.
If there is only one person’s name on the lease they become the head-tenant and are responsible to the landlord for the place that you’re living in.
Establishing your own share house
If you decide to set up a house with a few friends, get together to decide the sort of place you want to live in. You may want
- the rent that you can afford;
- how much money you will need to cover up front costs;
- what furniture you will need (fridge, bed, cooking utensils);
- if there is car parking space or a garden;
- how many people you want to live with.
When sharing a house or unit with others, and share the bond, it is important to ensure that all of the people’s names who are contributing to the bond appears on the receipt.
When you have an idea of a location, features and costs, you are ready to look for a house. Houses and flats that are available for rent are advertised in:
The ‘to rent’ sections of local newspapers;
Real estate agents shop windows and their internet sites Uni, TAFE and community noticeboards.
Consider the distance you have to travel to Uni or work. If you have a car, then fuel costs and parking expenses will be a consideration, if not, you may have to choose a house or unit near public bus services.
There is a lot of money involved in renting a house or flat. Firstly, you will be asked to pay two weeks rent in advance and a bond (usually four weeks rent) as a security deposit.
There are costs associated with connecting the electricity and telephone. Most of these utilities require an initial deposit or connection fee.
The other big expense is for furniture, household goods and electrical and electronic equipment.