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There are very few specialist flatmate finding websites out there, with the majority of users preferring to select those that they like from a wider pool of people. Outlet is an exception to this, in that it is a gay and lesbian-friendly flatmate website, which specialises in helping people find flatmates for gay house-shares in the UK. While the coverage of the site does extend to most major UK cities, the concentration of members on Outlet is in London, which explains the unusual pricing structure at this site (you only pay for membership if you are looking at London-based ads).
In terms of features, on the whole, this site operates largely like any other flatmate or house-share website, with very few features being specific to the gay community. The only feature that is slightly more prominent here, than on other sites, is the “gender/orientation” of a user’s profile, which is up there along with age in terms of importance on this site when it comes to finding a flatmate. The profiles themselves are really easy to navigate around, with all of the information you need being right there at your fingertips. Adverts for “homes wanted” and “homes offered” follow the same format, which means that it’s easy to search through the ads on the site and compare them with your own requirements. The “checkbox” system, which we have also seen on other sites, is a great way to see, at a glance, whether a property or flatmate fits the bill!
A number of great features stand out at this site, making it incredibly user-friendly. The search feature lets you search by location or postcode, bringing up all properties/flatmates within a ten mile radius. You can also slim down the search results by specifying individual features that a good match will have (e.g. access to a gym or bills included, for example). Other more unusual features, such as the housing blog and “tips for landlords/house seekers” were great too – these offer users a fantastic way to get to grips with issues they may face when sharing their home with other people, so they’re great if you haven’t ever done this before.
Overall, we liked using Outlet – it has a friendly vibe and the site itself is easy to use and well laid out. While we are certain users will find a wider pool of people to choose from at other sites, such as Spareroom or RoomBuddies, for example, as far as specialist sites go, this one of the best aimed at this particular group. Our only quibble is that it’s generally a London focused site (with most of the ads placed on the site relating to London-based properties), which is fine if your search is based there. If not, even though membership of Outlet is free outside of London, we would advise joining another site too to improve your chances of being successful in your search. Why not have a read through the other reviews in this category and select a site that seems right for you!
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