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The ins and outs of flatsharing with siblings

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We all know that millenials are “generation rent”. Gone are the glory days of owning your pad the minute you leave home – the humble flatshare is here to stay. It’s even got to the point where people in their 20s are moving in with their adult siblings. Just take Made in Chelsea’s Sam and Louise Thompson for example; the famous twenty-something brother and sister duo have (until recently) been sharing a rather lovely property in Fulham. At SpareRoom we’re all about sharing, but don’t you save up and move out of the family home for a reason? To get away from your maddening family and gain some independence?!

Hold up: living with siblings might not be such a bad idea… after all, you’re sharing a flat now, not a bunk bed, and if it’s one route to cheaper rent - who are we to judge? So, without further ado, let’s look at some of the pros and cons of flat sharing with siblings in your 20s.

You know what to expect, right?

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Moving in with friends, a partner or a stranger is actually crazier. If you haven’t lived with them before, you have literally no idea what to expect – meaning you can move in and be faced with some strange, unexpected habits...

At least with a sibling you’ve been there and done it all before. You already know not to touch their toiletries (they must be exactly 1 cm apart) and they’re aware that your morning showers can last up to an hour during peak time. It might not make it any less annoying, but at least you both know what you’re signing up for...

Of course, if you’re fully aware of their habits and find them unbearable, then living with your sibling probably isn’t for you. You’re going to have to take that chance on a friend, partner or stranger. Or, muster up the money to buy your own place. HA, good one...

You can get away with more…

Awks: you’ve accidentally smashed their mug or spilt red wine on their favourite jumper. Sure, you feel bad, but fessing up to your sibling is nowhere near as nerve-racking as owning up to a friend or a stranger. Maybe it’s because over the years you’ve become accustomed to their anger outbursts? Or, perhaps it’s because you know that being blood-related means they have no choice but to forgive you? It’s biology. Either way, there’s an element of intimidation missing with a sibling flatmate.

This “carefree” attitude can transfer to chores too – pity the sibling that asks you to take out the rubbish * eye roll *. Other flatmates wouldn’t be so tolerant of your chore-dodging habits (and bingeing on Queer Eye instead) but in a sibling flatmate you can get away with it. #win

Of course having a comfortable home life is a major necessity, but with siblings you run the risk of it being too comfortable. Perhaps when it comes to the general welfare of a shared flat (and the belongings within it) having the formalities that come with a friend, partner or stranger flatmate is better? It certainly means the bins get emptied a lot more...

A slightly childish atmosphere...

Living with a sibling could see you revert to bickering like when you were younger. You want to watch Bake Off, they want to watch the football. What starts as a jokey squabble can quickly end with the remote one side of the room and the batteries the other. You’ve gone from 25 to 10 years old in the space of an argument; it’s like ‘13 going on 30’ but reversed. Luckily, living with a sibling comes with a free referee that you just don’t get with other flatshares… Mum. And Hell hath no fury like a mother irritated by her (adult) kids. So, in a sibling flatshare, arguments are likely to go as quickly as they come (or as quickly as she answers her Whatsapps, anyway…)

You might find that despite being a grown-ass adult, your sibling still has the urge to snitch on you. Nothing compares to the utter betrayal you feel when that cheeky glass - * cough * bottle - of wine you’ve been sinking every night becomes a key topic of debate in the weekly catch up with your rents. Sadly no dirty secrets can stay hidden when you have a sibling living under the same roof...

At least sharing with a sibling means you’ll have a right old giggle for the most part? Think of all those inside jokes that have come about over the years and the bitchy gossips about the rest of the family – it’s just more of the same really. You may be working and paying rent, but when living with a sibling it’s hard to avoid resorting to your adolescent selves, whether that's for better or for worse...

A guilt-free social life...

You know that awkward moment when you’re going out to meet a friend but then you see your flatmate all alone on the sofa and before you know it you find yourself saying ‘why don’t you come too?’, even though you were really hoping for a 1:1 catch up?

Fear not – when living with your sibling you usually have your own lives and sets of friends. So, there’s no guilt about going out all the time, nor is there the pressure to invite them along too… why would they want to hang out you and your pals? You’re so “uncool” anyway, right?!

But what about your luuuurv life?

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Sure, “I live with my sibling” isn’t the sexiest chat up line going, but it’s significantly better than “I still live in the family home”. It shouldn’t be enough to put people off, but it does mean that the dating process is colossally sped up. Normally meeting the family is reserved for a little later on; you know, once you’ve established ‘what this is’ and received the seal of approval from friends. But oh no, not here. Here, the first time your “date” pops over they’ll come face to face with your sibling. Awk.

Even once you’ve survived the meet and greet (or skipped it altogether by sneaking them in) you’re still in tricky territory, because everyone knows that sex - in a flatshare - is a minefield. Doing the dirty when your friend or stranger flatmate is at home is uncomfortable enough, but there’s something about your sibling being there which is just inherently wrong! Of course, like with other flatshares, there’s always a way around it. Plus, look at this way: at least you’re getting the family formalities out of the way early on?


Well, there you have it... a few of the ins and outs to sibling flatsharing. Although there may be downsides, there are also several perks to living with siblings, so it's an option that us millennials really shouldn’t be ruling out!

However, we know moving in with your brother or sister doesn’t work for everyone. Not to worry though - SpareRoom’s got your back with thousands of rooms to rent throughout the UK, so everyone, everywhere, can have cheaper rent and great flatmates.

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