Whether you’re old, young, married or living in a royal palace; there are plenty of reasons to have a flatmate in today’s world.
Some of you may shiver at the thought of sharing your home with a flatmate. They’re strangers, after all. Who knows what unusual, annoying habits they might bring with them. This is your home we’re talking about, your sanctity. And house sharing is something you do when you’ve just left the parents’ pad and you still store what little cash you own in a piggy bank, right?
The truth is, the world is changing and a flatmate can be a blessing to all sorts of households no matter the size, shape or number and demographic of people within them.
A flatmate can be:
Support for an elderly person or couple.
Many elderly people choose to live alone to maintain their independence, but the disadvantage to that is there’s often no one around to help with difficult household chores or when an accident occurs. Not all elderly people are lucky enough to have family living close by and so the agile hand of a younger flatmate could be the ideal solution.
A house sitter for the frequent traveller.
If you travel frequently and for long periods for work or leisure, it’s not always ideal leaving your property empty and vulnerably to burglary. And after a long, exhausting flight, it could be a comfort to return to a warm home, full fridge and someone to greet you and ask about your trip.
A reliable flatmate will collect your mail, let you know about any dramas or issues and look after your home while you’re away.
An in-house pet minder.
Owning pets is a joy, but also a responsibility. Walking the dog day in day out can become tiresome for even the most avid trekker – especially if you have a busy schedule. And every time you take a holiday or nip away for that last minute weekend, it could be handy leaving your furry friends at home with the flatmate and avoid having to make those frantic, pleading calls to offload them to a friend or relative.
See also: 8 PETS THAT YOU WISH WERE YOUR FLATMATE
Comfort for a single mum.
Sometimes, being a single mum is wonderful. Other times it’s tough. A flatmate could be a shoulder to cry on, someone to witness the (at times) criminal behavior of your children. When a flatmate becomes your friend they become your reinforcement, your sense of comfort and security. Someone to unleash upon the swear word you’ve been holding in all day. And maybe, just maybe someone to babysit your scrabbling troop while you flee to the nearest wine bar and down half a dozen peach mimosas.
A sprinkle of culture in the family home.
As parents we’re often looking for ways to educate and expose our children to different things. A flatmate who comes from a different country or background can bring insight into another culture or social position. Include them in your activities and invite them to family meals and you’ll get to hear their story and learn about a different way of life. Perhaps they’ll offer to cook one night and introduce you all to new and diverse foods, or teach you about different customs and traditions. Bringing a migrant into the home on a temporary basis can be a rich, enlightening experience for the entire family.
A financial relief.
Renting your spare room out could alleviate some of the pressure of those hefty bills and rent or mortgage repayments. Perhaps a flatmate is your ticket to a few extra luxuries; suddenly, your subscription to Stan and Spotify seem justifiable. That PS4 you’ve been dreaming of is a reality. You can even afford to take your mother out to the movies…
The financial set up can vary; some people agree to split the bills with their flatmate, others charge a room fee, which includes these types of expenses. However you choose to manage it, there’s no denying the extra cash would be a handy draw card.
The flatmate scene is no longer limited to uni students, musicians and creepy, middle-aged men. Cities are becoming crowded. Real estate, more expensive. It makes sense for us to share and make use of our unused spaces.
It’s natural to feel uncomfortable about sharing your home with a stranger when you’re used to your own privacy and space. But when you consider the practical, emotion and financial benefits, a flatmate could be the perfect solution for your household.
Over to you – how do you feel about sharing your home? What traits would you look for in a flatmate?