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How to Choose the Right UK Flatmate Website

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Introduction

These days, internet services help to make a lot of activities simpler and quicker. There is a wealth of websites out there to help individuals deal with their housing problems – whether it is finding a new flatmate, finding a room to stay in, or finding a whole house to share with friends.

We have reviewed the best on offer on the UK market to give our readers an idea of what they should be looking out for. This buying guide discusses the main features on offer at these sites, along with the most important things users should take into consideration when deciding which service to use.

What are Flatmate Websites?

Flatmate websites pretty much do what they say on the tin – they help connect people who are looking for a place to live (for a short time or a long time), with landlords and existing tenants who have a room to spare. These websites offer different things depending on what you’re looking to achieve. If you’re looking for a new place to live, you can check out the rooms that are on offer by searching through listings by city, size, location and even property style to find something right for you. If you have a room to spare, creating a listing and finding someone to move in has never been easier. Read on to find out everything you need to know about these great services.

 

Key Consideration & Features:

If you’ve never used one of these services before, it’s easy to see them as being more complex than they actually are. See below for a list of the most important features we think users should be aware of when they are choosing a UK Flatmate Website.

  1. Popularity/Number of Registered Users:
    It almost goes without saying that the sites that are most popular with our readers are the ones that offer them the greatest chance to find what they’re looking for – a new flat or a new flatmate. The more registered users a site has, the more likely it is that users will be successful. Similarly, more popular sites tend to have far more advanced features and these will further help users in marketing themselves or their property. 

  2. Ads/Listings:
    The main way that users interact with each other on sites in this category is by placing ads and using them to advertise their spare room. Users who are looking to find a room can use a number of search tools (see below for more information) to filter the ads listed on the site to find out what is available in their local area. It’s all very simple and works in much the same way as placing ads in a newspaper or letting agency. The best sites in this category allow users to fully customise their ads and listings, ensuring that all information that will help ‘sell’ a user’s room is up there for all to see

  3. Search Tools:
    For users who are looking for a place to stay, the most important features are those that let you search through the ads on a site. This gives you the capacity to narrow down your search and find the sort of property you’re looking for, in the right area, at the right price without having to spend hours and hours trawling through listings that are not right for you. All sites we have reviewed in this category offer search and filtering tools to some degree, but the best sites let users make use of a number of more advanced tools, including live-search updating, draw-a-search and more. Look out for these features and more on our individual site reviews for each product in this category.

  4. Customer Service & Technical Support:
    Most subscription services offer a number of customer support features that ensure that any problems are quickly rectified. These services are exactly the same in this respect, although, admittedly, the number of problems users could encounter are relatively limited compared to sites in other categories we have reviewed. Nevertheless, finding a good site with robust customer and technical support will make your whole online experience more pleasant and straightforward. Again, details of particular features on offer at each site are included in our expert reviews. 
 

Pricing, Packages and Subscriptions

As with a number of other online services, such as online dating or gambling (which we also have experience in reviewing), many of the features of these sites are accessible free of charge without the need to subscribe. With this in mind, be sure to check out our individual reviews for each of these sites to see what features are available to free and subscription users respectively. Where a subscription is required, packages are normally time-limited and relatively reasonable – great if you’re looking for a room for just a week or two and don’t need a lengthy annual subscription. 

 

The Bottom Line

As with most online services, the key to getting a great service is choosing a provider that gives you the best possible set of features for your budget. Many services offer a number of features free of charge, so be sure to check whether or not you actually need to subscribe (and make monthly payments) in order to use the features you need. As a more general tip from us, keep in mind that these services are incredibly fast-moving – if you see something you like, be sure to get in touch with the vendor ASAP.

 

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