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Renting with friends is a very popular and cost effective way to live, as opposed to renting a house or flat alone. Apart from the obvious social benefits, the rent will often be significantly cheaper per person and the cost of Council Tax and utility bills will be shared.

Many young professionals are making long term plans in order to save for a deposit to buy a property, and the cost benefits of renting with friends will enable them to save more compared to the financial burden of renting a property by themselves.

Before you enter into a rental agreement with friends, here are three essential things you should know.

1. Rental regulations and restrictions

Shared accommodation is becoming more restricted due to changes in regulations being increasingly enforced rigidly across councils throughout the UK. Oxford City Council is at the forefront of this enforcement and has recently introduced rules requiring landlords to have a HMO licence to let to three or more individuals and making up two or more households. The enforcement of HMO regulations has affected the supply of properties suitable for friends sharing.

2. HMO property availability

These rules affect a wide range of housing stock and have improved standards of accommodation for a large number properties within the city. They have however also led a significant number of landlords to withdraw from the house and flat sharers market to avoid the new obligations for a license. This has led to more competition amongst sharing tenants to secure the very best HMO properties

3. Tenancy agreements for renting with friends

For those lucky enough to secure a quality property there are a few things to consider when committing to renting a property with friends for the first time. The tenancy will be an Assured Shorthold Tenancy and there will be one Tenancy Agreement for the property, with all individuals named as ‘Tenants’. The Tenancy Agreement will make each sharer jointly and individually responsible for all of the Tenants’ conditions set out in the Tenancy Agreement. This includes the rent, utilities and looking after the property and garden.

All parties to the Tenancy Agreement will have these responsibilities even if they leave the property before the end of the Tenancy term.

It is therefore vital that sharers know and trust the people they will be renting with, as if one tenant does not meet their obligations, the other tenants are responsible to ensure these are met.

For more guidance on renting a property, whether you decide to rent alone or with friends, visit our rental advice pages and we can help simplify your property rental.

Correct at time of publication. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the individual contributor and do not necessarily reflect those of the Chancellors Group of Estate Agents Ltd or its subsidiaries. References to legislation, best practice and other matters with legal implications such as fees, rules and processes are included for information and editorial purposes only and are not authoritative, nor should they be interpreted as advice. When in doubt you should only take advice from an industry professional or solicitor where appropriate. E&OE.

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