Sharing the pain (and gain) in renting

It's almost a given that school leavers, uni students and those fresh to their careers will likely look to share accommodation, whether it be living with a partner for the first time (an interesting experience!), An old friend or a new acquaintance. It's easy(ier) on the budget and a chance to learn the ropes of independent living. 


Between rising rental costs and tight availability however, sharing a home between tenants is becoming more common not just amongst those newly out of home with mum and dad, but with a variety of people of all ages and circumstances. 


Whether it's following a break up, or in an effort to combine resources towards a better home - i.e. 2 parties each needing 2 bedrooms pooling together to rent a nicer 4 bedroom home within budget, we are seeing more mature tenants looking this option. 


Home owners are also seeing benefits where an empty room can offer support with mortgage payments, and even good company - some of my earlier housemates ended up in my bridal party years later. 


Now how do you bring this all together? If you are starting from scratch as a prospective tenant, make sure all parties are compatible and that everyone is aware of each other's rental history in advance so there are no surprises. All parties will need to be on the lease, either as tenants or approved occupants. 


If you are already renting and want someone to share the load, you need to get approval from your landlord in advance, and decide the level of responsibility for each party. 


Finally, owner occupiers letting a room should talk to their financial advisor to determine any tax implications - so they make the best decision for their own position. 


 Tom Quaid is the REIQ Zone Chair for Cairns