Flat share

A flat share refers primarily to the living together of several people in an apartment who are neither related nor dependent on each other. Typically, the common rooms such as living room, bathroom and kitchen are shared, while the individual rooms are private. Unlike traditional forms of living, there is no flat hierarchy. The flat mates are basically on an equal footing. However, age, gender and character traits of each individual still provide a natural hierarchy.

Historically, shared flats are of a more temporary nature and are particularly suitable for people aged 18-35. This form of cohabitation has also become increasingly popular in other parts of the population in recent years and decades. In many cities, such as Zurich, rents for apartments are rising steadily and living space in a central location is becoming increasingly scarce. A shared flat makes it possible to use the advantages of living together and at the same time to reduce costs considerably. This form of housing is particularly widespread in Switzerland, Germany and Austria.

As a result of this development, there are nowadays many forms of shared flats. These range from the student flat shares to the gender-specific flat shares such as the men's flat share and the women's flat share to the senior citizens' flat share. Other types of shared flats are, for example, the party flat share, the business flat share or the purpose-only-oriented flat share. This list is not exhaustive and could be supplemented at will.

However, a shared flat is not a way of life for everyone. Apart from the purpose-only-oriented flat share, where the reduction of the costs is in the center and the roommates mostly remain a stranger, the advantages of a residential community must outweigh their duties and disadvantages. It is important that everyone chooses the form of flat share which is best suited to the individual preferences and one’s phase of life.

Apart from the low rent, the main advantage of a flat share is the social exchange. Instead of living alone in a studio, there is a permanent social contact in a shared apartment and the infrastructure of the whole apartment can be shared. With the exception of the purpose-only-oriented flat share, the desire for regular personal contact is a basic requirement for a flat-sharing community. They all focus on personal relationships, community and shared experiences.

However, a shared flat also entails obligations. Where independent people live together, flexibility, tolerance, acceptance, openness and spontaneity are indispensable. In general, compromises must therefore be accepted, as the interests may diverge. This makes it even more important to find suitable people for your flat share in order to avoid potential conflicts in advance. Therefore, one should be clear about which conceptions one has towards roommates and oneself before the actual search of a flat share room.