Stuff. Do we have too much of it? How much do we really need? Who are we without the things we own?
The average British household owns £3500 worth of unused clutter, the average user picks up their phone 1500 times, we use our phone the equivalent of one full day a week.
A typical British woman will own 1116 tops, 620 dresses, 558 trousers/jeans a lifetime, as well as 22 things she never wears at all. One in three people have enough unused stuff to fill an entire bedroom.
What happens if we take it all away?
What happens when we are literally stripped of all our possessions – do the things we own improve our lives or does the drive to consume simply serve to make us feel confined and less happy?
This ground-breaking 90-minute special for Channel 4 will be filmed over 30 days in February/March 2016.
At the start of this potentially life-changing experience, our contributors will – quite literally – be stripped bare: giving up all their worldly goods. Gradually they’ll prioritise which of their possessions to get back, working out what’s most important to them.
This will be an immersive journey for each of the contributors. Will they feel free of their materialistic desires or will the pull of their possessions still be there?
If you’re interested in this exciting project and want to find out more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org , or call for more information: 020 7985 1808
Nothing beats the great life experience of flatsharing and making friends along the way but the type of flatmates you shared with. These are the flatmates that will get on your nerves, flatmates to watch out for, flatmates to filter while interviewing, flatmates that will get you packing.
Have a look at our list, which one are you?
This is one of the most encountered and complained about type of flatmate. A lot of the time these flatmates won’t even realise they're being messy, leaving plates on the side or living room floor with dried up food on or not cleaning the bathroom is just normal to them. These manage to make a mess everywhere they go. Venturing in to their bedroom is a big no no.
Whilst flatsharing we bump in to a variety of people, from your new best friend, to the constant talker, to the slightly odd flatmate. Although you’d probably end up getting on with most of these and you’d probably share a pack of rolo’s with them, you have to think, do I really know them.
That’s why we advise people to carry on the fun life of flatsharing but think twice before leaving any valuables hanging around when you’re not using them.
This maybe your iPod, laptop, mobile phone, PlayStation, car keys or even your wallet. Leaving these valuables downstairs overnight and having 6 other flatmates could make it hard to find the culprit, if something goes missing.
So it’s best to keep valuables safe and locked away in your room when you’re not using them and if you don’t have a lock on your room door, I’m sure most landlords would deem it a reasonable request for you to have one for your own privacy.
It’s not long before we’ll be down our local polling station casting our votes, but flatmates are one of the worst for not even being registered to vote with them moving and not registering on the electoral roll.
It doesn’t matter if you live in a flatshare, you’re still entitled to vote as the flatshare is your current permanent address.
Some flatmates will be thinking it’s not worth it, nothing will change, they’re all the same, I can’t be bothered but things won’t change unless we cast our vote, your vote is your voice and it should be heard.
Photo Twitter @fudgecrumpet
Are your children not your little babies no more, are they now all grown up and made that decision to gain their own independence to stand on their own 2 feet to move out of your family home?
Parents react in different ways many really missing their children, missing the responsibility they had and others happy they don’t have to clean up after them, forever borrowing them money and making all their meals.
But we all have the same decision what to do with the empty room? Does dad go and buy a massive TV and turn it in to his cinema room or does mum turn it in to a reading and relaxation room or like most people it ends up being a junk room and over time it gets full of stuff you don’t use.
Or like many home owners do you make that decision to rent out that empty room.
We thought we’d share a tip to get you out the house, giving you and your flatmate 2 for 1 cinema tickets.
Meerkat Movies recently took over Orange Wednesdays. Every Tuesday or Wednesday you get 2 for 1 cinema tickets for a whole year when you use Compare the market to buy a policy.
But they allow you to buy travel Insurance for 1 day costing as little as £1.37 giving you full access to Meerkat Wednesdays for a whole year from the date of purchase.
Looking for a flatshare is fun but remember to have your wits about you, not all people are honest.
We have a blog article here to help keep you safe but we thought we’d highlight “070 numbers”. These numbers look like regular mobile numbers 07048 451 4** but can charge a whopping 50p a minute from a landline and from mobiles much more.
Scam artists buy these numbers. Place them on adverts or contact you via email and tell you to call them on the number, this happens in all industries.
Once you call the number they keep you on the phone for as long as possible, they also use techniques like keeping you on hold and playing long answer phone messages, even asking you to call back again on different occasions as they keep you hooked.
You’ll find out they have nothing to do with the flatshare you enquired about and sometimes too late when you’re outside the door.
When you receive your shocking bill, ringing up your phone company normally doesn’t help as they’ll tell you that you made the calls and they won’t be able to do anything.
So remember to check numbers, mobile phone numbers never start 070.
Here's a quick outline of open source technologies used to power FlatmateRooms services.
...and here are some of the open source applications that were initailly developed for FlatmateRooms.
You may not know that when posting your advert to FlatmateRooms, it will also appear on other sites within our network and the wider web.
So where else does it go?
What happens when you are sorted and turn off you advert?
Ads will disappear instantly from sites in our network. Trovit will delist adverts next day. Googlebot and Bingbot are crawling the site all the time so after you turn off your advert, it gets archived to their supplementary index and won't be appearing in searches.
Getting Flatmate Rooms trademark registered with UK Intellectual Property Office involved a few steps so here comes a little writeup of the process. I hope it helps if you are going through a trademark application or just inquisitive.
First the easy part: Headed over to ipo.gov.uk, filled out the forms, paid and soon recieved confirmation with trade mark application attached.
…and than the hard part: Application was not acceptable. IPO raised an objection to discuss. We needed supporting documents and witness statement to go with it. So here it goes.
Since 2001 JustRentARoom helped countless lodgers and landlords to form their ideal house shares and flat shares, renting out rooms in the UK. Today the site became part of Flatmate Rooms ®
Justrentaroom was the 1st of its kind in the UK, pioneering the way rooms are rented today.
Flatmate Rooms is proud to continue the heritage moving forward.
Landlords and lodgers can post adverts directly to Flatmate Rooms.
Thank you Angela
Channel 4 News and Mandrake Films are producing a series of films examining key issues affecting young people and housing in their 20s and early 30s in Britain today.
In particular they are very keen to hear from:
If the above sounds like you, then they'd love to hear from you.
Please contact either Ad or Lucy at the following e-mail addresses:
We’re currently looking for live in landlords that are looking to find a new lodger for their home and offering them a unique opportunity to take part in a new TV Show produced by television production company Green Inc.
The show is aimed at finding you your next lodger by giving 3 potential lodgers a trial before you decide who moves in.
Then pop Sarah a call or email to find out more information on 028 9039 7077 or email@example.com.
Every day we publish our average rent prices across all UK regions. The table compares this and previous year (numbers in smaller font size) including tenant rental budgets and rent prices of whole properties. This data is freshly squeezed every morning from our database server.
Here are average rental prices and tenant budgets in different UK regions for the past 12 months compared to the 12 months before.
As nipping out to the supermarket for a pack of cigs just got a little bit harder thanks to the government banning large stores from displaying cigarettes, just how are landlords and tenants getting on with the ‘smoke or not to smoke’ debate?
From recent research carried out by FlatmateRooms.co.uk the situation can only be described as ‘fuming’ for tenants as growing numbers of landlords ban those who smoke. In 2010 31% of members would tolerate a smoking tenant, a figure which has dropped to just 18% today from 15,174 landlord adverts surveyed. With 80,000 smoking-related deaths annually, the government’s campaign seems finally to be taking effect but views are polarised between landlords who won’t allow smoking and tenants who can’t give up cigarettes but who don’t want it to affect their chances of finding somewhere to live.
Chelford landlord Tony says: “I used to allow smoking in my flatshare but I started seeing cigarette burns on my sofa.” Tony also occasionally found it hard to let a room: “One tenant said the reason they didn’t want the room was because the house smelled of smoke.” As well as potential burns to furniture, landlords worry too about added maintenance costs from smoking such as increased decoration. Many tenancy agreements now contain smoking clauses with tenants forced to pay for damage found to be caused by smoking. Sam Haidar of the National Landlords Association says that most tenancy agreements now contain anti-smoking clauses as landlords fear expensive redecoration costs: “Smoking can impair the property, with cigarette burns, smell etc, and therefore affect the future letting of the property. It also costs to have carpets and curtains cleaned after smoking tenants in order to prepare the property to be re-let.”
Flat hunting sharers often find that their choices are limited if they insist on smoking. Self- confessed nicotine addict John from Warrington- says: “I prefer to be able to smoke inside but, if it means getting a place or not, then I’d accept the rules,” adding that he wouldn’t however ‘want people getting on my back for smoking outside the back door’. No tenant wants to be a passive smoker yet Angie who rents a two bedroom flat in Rusholme finds her health and her sanity affected by smokers despite her own flat being a smoke-free zone: “The landlord next door doesn’t allow smoking so his tenants smoke outside on the balcony which is right next to my bedroom. As well as smoke drifting in through my windows they chat and laugh late into the night so I can’t sleep. It’s driving me mad!”
With flat sharing being massively popular in these cash strapped times then tolerating someone who promises to only smoke outside must surely be a good thing says Gareth Pugh, owner of Flatshare website www.flatmaterooms.co.uk. Gareth says that he wasn’t surprised by his company’s research and advises smokers to carefully read their tenancy agreements, not to inflict passive smoking on their long suffering flatmates and, if they must indulge themselves, advises donning an extra pair of long johns and heading outside: “Just have a smoke outside the back door but dispose of your cigarette butt properly. Don’t get temped to flick it in the garden!”
--posted by Ginetta Vedrickas, @Ginettav
Journalist interested in property, travel, education
Lets With Pets statistics show that Landlords who exclude pet owners from their properties are missing out on a large chunk of the rental market as 43% of the population currently own a pet. By adopting a pet-friendly approach, you can easily increase demand for your property and attract long-term, responsible tenants.
Finding privately rented accommodation that allows pets can be very difficult. Many pet owners are forced to live in unsuitable properties or keep their pets without consent from their landlord. In some extreme cases, we know that owners are even having to give up their pets or else face becoming homeless. We'd like more landlords to have this information available so they can see what they are missing out on.
Statistics also show that most people don't keep a 6-foot Burmese Python. Large snakes didn't even make it to the *top 10*. I'd advise landlords posting adverts on our site to leave out the pets option for later discussion.
It’s estimated that 43% of the population currently own a pet and almost 5 million people live in privately rented accommodation in the UK. Yet few landlords will rent their properties to tenants with pets.
Almost 1 in 2 or more precisely 46% UK households own a pet.
I could use one of these when I was Flatsharing. This could be the new future. Flatshare fridge that might finally stop tough arguments about who ate my food or why do I have to clean up their mess. The fridge allows each person in the household to have their own personal space. It consists of a base station and up to 4 stackable sections.
Each compartment has a tall section for bottles as well as sections for vegetables and even frozen foods. These sections can be further customized with various colourful skins and add-ons like a whiteboard or bottle openers
The Flatshare Fridge was the winner of the Electrolux Design Lab Competition and was created by Stefan Buchberger from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna scoping a prize of 5000 and a six-month internship at one of Electrolux global design centres.
This Flatmate Hair Dryer Prank is topping over a million hits on YouTube. Enjoy!
Yes you read it right, Barack Obama was named students ideal Flatmate in a recent student poll.
Obama’s clean-living lifestyle, high intelligence and dynamism made him the clear favourite housemate over UK politicians, a whole host of famous faces and current housemates.
So it looks like David Cameron, Gordon Brown and Nick Clegg need to polish up their skills to be more student and flatmate friendly.
The survey involved over 1,100 UK University students.
We were surprised to see that than 51% of students wanted to live with a tidy and intelligent person, confessing the current flatmates drive them crazy leaving a mess everywhere and eating each other’s food and only 14% crave a ‘rich and generous’ housemate and living with a ‘sexy and gorgeous’ flatmate was even lower at only 11%. So budge over Paris Hilton and pull up a chair Mr Obama.
--Gareth (pic choice Frank)
Taking in a lodger or tenant the first thing you should have in place is a Tenancy Agreement. Having an agreement in place will help make sure everything runs smoothly throughout the tenancy, setting out the rent, deposit, terms and notice periods etc. These are also important If any future disputes happen, then you can refer the tenant back to the Tenancy Agreement.
Tenancy agreements forms are now available for printing to all paying members.
Become a member and get an inclusive tenancy agreement worth £10.
After looking through You Tube this week I came across one of my much loved programs Mock the Week and found this really funny video "Things You Don't Want To Hear From Your Flatmate"
Warning Some Strong Language is used.
If you know of any funny Flatshare related videos, stories or jokes, fire them across to us in the comments.
Since the recession it seems that the traditional impression we have of Landlords has improved, Landlord Assistis has claims that stereotypes of the buy-to-let landlord has improved because of the Credit Crunch.
As property prices reached their peak in 2006/2007 perception of landlords was typical of the 70's sit com Rising Damp where the landlord Rupert Rigsby is greedy and miserly and a bit of a creep. When the property market was booming UK landlords were often accused of this stereotype, accused of setting high rents and not paying for repairs or maintenance to their properties.
Since the recession a lot of people have been forced into sub standard rental accommodation, but it isn't just tenants that have been hit, Landlords have been stuck with high mortgage payments and tougher legislation but Landlord Assist believe that Landlords have earned and been given a much better reputation.
He said: "The credit crunch has forced more and more people to turn to rented accommodation over the last 18 months. This has helped to remove bad landlords from the UK rental market and made those remaining much more socially aware, with affordable accommodation and high quality customer service becoming a priority."
Institutional investors have also introduced high quality rental accommodation to the market and enforced others to provide better quality accommodation in order to compete.
"It's good to see UK Landlords are getting a fairer rep, I have been in plenty of rented accommodation but only ever had good landlords, I've never had to put up with the Rigsbys of this world."
I've heard of Speed dating before but recently I've come across the new phenomenon of speed flatmating. Landlords, flatmates, and tenants meet together at an event to spend a few minutes interviewing each other to see if they can live together.
This speed interviewing process enables flatmates to ask questions they feel is important when finding someone to move in, landlords also get to meet potential tenants and judge them in a few minutes.
I think speed flatmating is quite a good idea as it gets people with the same goal of renting or providing accommodation all in the same room, but I'm not sure what questions you would ask, and I don't think 3 minutes is enough time to judge a persons character.
However, most speed flatmating events will split you into certain groups of areas so you don't waste time speaking to flatmates who live out of the area you are looking for. You get a good first impression and although you can't tell everything from them you can get a good feel of whether you're going to get on. Sharing a house mate does not mean you are going to be best mates, although can happen, so don't go into it with too high expectations. Look for someone who asks decent questions, has a personality you can get on with and gives good answers to your questions.
I have never been speed flatmating before but will be trying it soon (so I'll let you know how I get on) but I've been thinking about what questions to ask. I'm not sure if asking hygiene questions is appropriate and probably wouldn't give off a good impression but its a valid question when moving in together. I'll probably stick to hobbies and interests and hope to meet someone that will join me to watch match of the day.
We all know and love the Carlsberg adverts, ‘probably the best beer in the world’, well this funny video was the advert from a few years ago showing the best flatmates in the world.
In this video, it shows a man responding to an ad in the paper for a room to rent, when he turns up he is greeted by a gorgeous girl, who likes football, a laid back guy, and another beautiful girl who won’t let anyone else cook.
The laid back guy shows our hero around the flat, showing off a wall gadget that sucks up mess like a hoover at the touch of a button, then apologises for our hero having the box room. On entering the room it is huge with batchelor pad style decorations, then as they go onto the balcony they see the best bit of all… the balcony overlooks a football stadium.
This advert amused many people when it came out and has been re released a few times to go out before big football matches.
Is this what you want in a flat share? I’m sure many people would agree, but we can’t all be so lucky so what is important in a good flatmate?
When sharing a flat you may know the people you move in with, or you may not, either way you will get to know them pretty well in the months or years of living together. But you have to be tolerant and understanding, when you move into a flat you come into it with your own habits as do your flatmates. When living in close proximity these habits can clash and tensions can rise but don’t let this ruin your relationship, once you get used to each other you can become good friends.
I made my best friends when I lived with them in a flatshare and we are still mates years later. They weren’t swedish blonde and 34-24-34 but they were probably the best Carlsberg drinkers in the world.
Vancouver hosts the 2010 Winter Olympics in a few months and thousands of people will be renting short term accommodation to watch the Olympic games take place. This is great for Vancouver as the economy will benefit from this influx of people, one land lady in particular is taking advantage of this, unfortunately at the expense of her tenant.
Renting a room has always had benefits but now people who rent rooms out can get an added bonus of being tax exempt up to a certain amount.
The Rent a Room scheme allows people who take in a lodger to get up to £4,250 in rent without having to pay tax. The new scheme means landlords and tenants can take in a tax-free ‘gross’ income (before expenses) from renting their furnished accommodation.
In a time when everyone seems to be paying taxes for everything, it is a nice change to see the Inland Revenue giving something back. Many people have had to take lodgers in flat shares and house shares to help pay the bills and mortgages so being exempt from a lot of this income will be a nice relief.
Anyone can opt into the Rent a Room scheme, even if you don’t own your own home (although I would recommend getting your landlords permission), as long as the accommodation you are letting is your main living area for most of the time. It can’t be a holiday home or a buy to let property, and your lodger must be paying you to live there.
As usual though, there are some exclusions, the Rent A Room totals £4,250 a year for a homeowner, this total is the same for joint home owners meaning individually the relief is half at £2,125. It also only applies to furnished accommodation’s, and if the rent you receive goes above the £4,250 then you still have to pay tax above this threshold.
The Rent a Room scheme only applies when a lodger occupies a room or floor of your house, but not if you have converted your house into separate flats. If this is the case you will have to declare any income from renting these rooms tothe HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and pay tax in the normal way.
Search for gay or lesbian flatshare. Flatshare adverts on FlatmateRooms can optionally display a preference for gay flatmate, gay flatshare as well as lesbian or gay couple.
Filling the orientation in the "about me" section of your ad as appropriate allows other members to find your advert using the orientation search option.
Special thanks for all the feedback from the LGTB community, who helped to shape the design: Eleanor Saunders @EleanorCS, Sophie Lewis from MSc Nature (Society & Environmental Policy), Cassian Lodge @lottiotta, Darren Naylor from LGBTLabour.org.uk, Anna from CircusPerformers.com, Tyler Smith, Julia Cloughley-Sneddon, Kevin McNamara, Bill Dare, Jen Lavery, Paul.Clayton, Lauren G, Chris Darby, Beverly Wilson, Alistair Stevenson, Anna Mason, Hestia, Jo Mueller, Jack Price, Emily Ruddock, Luke McGee, Ruth Martin & Bram, Amy Crowe, Chloe Barker, Matt Winkworth, Trampenfurter, Marie Sandland, Thomas Midlane from MancunianMatters.co.uk and many others.