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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Reasons for sharing

People have many different reasons for moving into shared accommodation.

Housing benefit restrictions

If you’re unable to work or you are on a low income you may be relying on housing benefit to help you with the cost of renting your home.  However, although there are a few exceptions, most single people under 35 will only get enough housing benefit from the government to pay for the cost of renting a room in a shared house.

Affordability

Sharing a home can be a more affordable option as you’ll be able to split the cost of bills with your other housemates. It’s also usually cheaper than renting a self contained house or flat. If you’re renting a bedroom in a shared house the cost of bills and services may be included in your rent. Check your tenancy agreement to see if your rent includes an amount for heating and electricity.

Social

If you’re new to an area or you don’t know a lot of people in the place you live, sharing accommodation can be a good way to meet new people.  You should always try to meet your new housemates before signing a new agreement, to make sure you gel.

Once you sign a tenancy agreement, it can be very difficult to convince the landlord to release you from the arrangement, so don’t sign anything until you’re absolutely sure you’re happy with your new home.