Flat Sharing in London | My experience

Wednesday 22 May 2019

Flat sharing! 
Where shall I start really? This could be an heavy post and I don't know what I am getting myself into but let 's do this! 

I have many years of experience of flat / house share in London (now thanks god! I own a house with husband!!), I seen it all from the bad, the ugly and the good. How many years are we talking about? Roughly about 15 years but from those 15 years I will removed about 5 years from living with my best friend Betsy in a 2 bed flats and then with my boyfriend (now husband) ! Roughly we are talking about 10 years living with random strangers. I can ensure you those 10 years of sharing flat / house with a bunch of random people is not exactly like an episode of Friends where we all meet up at the Central Perk after work, have a latte, laugh about Phoebe smelly cat song and hug each other. No its not always like this unfortunately.
If you never live in a big city such as London. let me tell you that, unless you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, the minimum that a very small studio (to rent) will ask you to pay a month  its about £1200 (excluding utility bills + council tax). You can easily spend 3/4 of your average salary just on renting + bills + food+ tax. And trust me that does not leave you with a lot to save for that mortgage deposit. 
So of course the flat / house share its what most of Londoners will have to go through at some point in their Londoner life. 
In those 10 years of flat share I probably lived with approximately 25 + people .
Out of those 25 or so flat /house share people I seen it all. And I think it will be a good idea to point out what type of flatmates you are unfortunately likely going to meet at some point or if you lucky ( I really do hope for you) not at all.
I would like also to point out that all the below are true stories from my own experiences. You might be shock by some below details and if it was to happen to you please seek landlord/ agency help if at any point you feel threatened mentally of physically by any of your flat mates.

The Privileged/ Bully
The snob will remind you that you do not leave in her country (I am french) and so your English need improving (yes I do know my English is not perfect but at least I am trying my very best) when her second language is 'snobing'. The snob will remind you that she has more money than you and will be able to buy that £2000 Mac laptop when you are still paying back your £300 second hand laptop. The snob also will leave her flatmates, when she goes back to Uni, in debts of £400 after not paying her share of utilities and tax. But don't worry her posh mummy will call on you on her behalf to clear her debt while reminding you that really £400 is not a lot of money and she do not understand the emergency? (er...which world is she living on?)

The dirty one
The dirty will leave his dirty dishes for days (My worst culprit was 2 full weeks!!!!)  by the side of the kitchen sink or worst inside the sink . The dirty person will not always clean herself neither the flat and will hope that her yellow and brown stained underwear left on her bedroom floor by pile of a dozen will magically disappear when visitor come in the hope to rent her bedroom (as she is to leave to go back to Uni). Not mentioning the mattress she slept on for about 4 months with no mattress cover on and you hope that the 'potential' new flatmate visiting the premise won't notice the sweaty brown stain on the mattress.

The crazy one
The crazy will throw stuff at you including a kitchen chair, plates etc. following by insult. Then that same crazy one will lock him/herself in their bedroom speak to herself with a baby voice and then burst screaming while carry on insulting you and throwing object to all wall surrounding her for NO reasons. 

The noisy one
The one that do not seems to understand that walking heavily, banging door, slam cupboard doors,  talk loudly on the phone is a bit of an annoyance already during the day, but it is even more annoying when its 3 am, in the middle of the week, and you have to get up at 5.30 am to go to work.

The one that steal
They will steal your food, steal your belonging (because unfortunately not all bedroom in flat or house share have door lock) and you know its them but you can no prove it. 
You end up keeping your non perishable food in your bedroom. And you also find yourself locking all your belonging of value in suitcases with padlock on because your DVD collection and the few Euro notes, that you have left from a previous trip to France, seems to shrank mysteriously.

The one that think is the landlord
That person that refuse for you to use bathroom/ kitchen/ toilet at any time when she is in because it clash with her way of living. That same person that will refuse anyone to watch TV, listen music , cook ,breath, talk or do whatever you do at any point when she is inside the premise. That same person that will decide when or how you are to pay your share of rent /bills when it s more convenient for her.

The one that do not want to save the planet
That person that will insist on throwing can, jar, cartoon, paper etc. in the general bin even so we have a specific and clearly marked recycle bin just next to the general waste bin. The one that leave the heat on all day even so no one is the house. The one that leave all lights on every hour of the day and the night even when no one is up or  worst when no one is even in the house. That same person that will leave the electric hob on all day along along with the oven and you are just thankful she hasn't burn down the house on your way back from work. 

The one that you never see
That one is not so bad after all. That mysterious person is paying her share of rent , bills etc. but is no where to be seen. The only way of communication, to make sure this person is alive , its contacting that person by email or text messages.

The racist
The one that would remind me personally that my country suck at whatever they do (sport, politic, culture etc.) and because my English haven't improved much in the past 3 months perhaps I shall think on going back home?

The student that only has the name and just want to party.
That one student that never set foot in his uni but instead love recreating the KoKo night club every single nights in the downstairs lunge with his 3 best mates  (from the same Uni) while his other flatmates are trying to sleep because they all have to make a living the next day and pay back their student loan.

The old pervert  landlord
The landlord that forgot to mention that his little dodgy rental business office is in the same house where you ll be also living. He will happily mentioned that is got each bedroom spare keys and he ll do random check when you are out working (most likely go through your underwear and bra) . The pervert landlord that only wants female 'because they are cleaner than boys ' (clearly he haven't met some of my ex-flat mates!) but most likely want to join in the evening to see what we are all up to while his wife; Debra of 65 years old of age is in bed sleeping already. That same pervert that will ask your age, your sexual orientation and if you are single or not on the day you come visiting the available bedroom. Run !!!!

All above are unfortunately people that I personally meet once and sometimes even more than once but don't feel like sharing is hell because I can ensure you too that along the way you'll meet amazing people. In my experience I met many great people which I had lots of banter with but I also met 2 of my best friends:
Ben who used to be one of my early flatmate. We become almost inseparable from day one and 12 years later we are still best friends even so he now live in the other side of the globe ( but we do see each other whenever we can) . 
There is also my Betsy Boo which I met about 10 years ago . At the time I was living in a 3 bedroom flat and me and my other flatmate were looking for a 3rd flatmate and this is how I met Betsy. 

Betsy will be my brides maid on my upcoming wedding and is the one that dried my tears, after i met countless jackass after jackass, made me laugh, made me feel special and that appreciate my nerdy side ( by the way she is a bigger nerd that I am but she won't admit it!).
All in all to say that flat sharing its not always all rainbow, butterflies, smiles and cute bears. It can be great as it can be difficult at time too. My only advice to you if don't feel like you have to stay in a place if you feel uncomfortable with other people you are living with do move around ( even so I know its easy said than done). 
Be that person that is kind, respectful of other space and need. Don't be that idiot that never help cleaning or think putting loud music at 2 am on a week day is acceptable. Give people space but be there if you are planning a flat mate party or if someone is down and need someone to talk. Be the one  that people will remind at a great person not that twat that left without paying bills or never lift a finger. Be that person you would love to share a flat with.
Have you experienced flat sharing in London ( or any other cities)? Tell me all by commenting below.
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  1. Such a beautiful space!



  2. Your place looks so nice, I heard London is crazy $$$

    1. yes very expensive !!!! Trust me but still a great city to live in.


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