Welcome, visitor! [ Register | Loginrss  | tw

Shared living in Streatham

| fractional ownership, Property, sharing | April 2, 2009

Last Sunday I was in the audience at the BBC’s The Big Questions programme.  I went along because one of the questions being discussed was “Is it still acceptable to have a second home?”  As you might expect my view is generally “yes, but I’d be happier if you shared it”.

One of the panellists was Jonathan Bartley, director of the religious think-tank Ekklesia.  During the debate he explained that he lived with another family and several other people in several properties.  Well I had to find out more.

I had an interesting chat with Jonathan and found out how his sharing arrangement works.  Several years ago, he was working with a good friend on a charity dot.com.  Like Jonathan, his friend was interested in communal living.  Following an idle “what if we buy a house together” conversation, Jonathan and his wife wound up buying a six bedroom terraced house on several floors in Streatham, London with his friend.  Jonathan and his wife’s share was 75% and his friend had a 25% stake.

Then his friend’s brother moved in too.  When his friend married, his friend bought the house two doors down and Jonathan bought out his friend’s stake in the first house.

Time moved on, both families had children and one of Jonathan’s children is a wheelchair user, which isn’t easy to accommodate in a tall terraced house.  So Jonathan bought the ground floor flat in the house in between and connected it to his house.  This created a three bedroom apartment on the ground floor of both houses. On the upper floors of Jonathan’s house live his son’s carer and three other adults who rent rooms. There is also a shared office.

All three gardens have been joined together and everyone contributes to expenses and food costs. The group is a mix of Christians and non-Christians, with many different lifestyles, but everyone gathers together for a communal meal on Wednesdays, which alternates between the two houses.

Jonathan is understandably delighted with the sharing arrangement.  They live in a great house, in a great location, and everyone enjoys being part of the group.  The arrangement succeeds not only because everyone is like-minded and willing to make it work, but also because the ownership has always been clearly defined. When the first property was joint owned, there was a formal contract in place. Jonathan clearly understands the importance of clarity and contracts.

When he first mentioned the sharing set-up on The Big Questions I was intrigued as one thing I’ve learned with yours2share is that arrangements between friends are the most likely to fail because friends can’t or don’t want to discuss them properly at the outset.

It’s lovely to see an example where friends have worked it out a sharing arrangement so well.

One Response to “Shared living in Streatham”

  1. This sounds amazing – great that everyone will contribute to the work and expenses. It would be interesting to hear what happens when someone tries shirking responsibility and also if anyone loses an income. When they need somewhere else to rent or want to rent this out, contact http://www.blackkatz.com

Leave a Reply

  • New blog (with all the old posts)

    by on February 13, 2008 - 0 Comments

    Welcome to the new yours2share blog, which has all the old postings from the old blog but is now a fully fledged self hosted Wordpress.org blog rather than a Wo...

  • Sharing in action

    by on January 31, 2010 - 1 Comments

    Do you share a house, car, motorhome, boat, aircraft dog, horse or anything else? I’m always looking for examples of sharing in action to blog about on yours2sh...

  • Newsletter archive

    by on February 18, 2011 - 0 Comments

    I've been writing a newsletter for yours2share for nearly four years now.  Except for the first few months all of them have been managed through the excellent C...

  • Home sharing

    by on June 11, 2010 - 1 Comments

    A couple of weeks ago I wrote about our couch surfing experience with Australians Jeff and Gerda.  As we chatted over dinner, conversation turned, as it so ofte...

  • Successful horse sharing

    by on March 26, 2010 - 0 Comments

    yours2share now has well over 300 horse share ads, from all over the UK, from Devon to Ayrshire and Cardiff to Surrey (lots and lots there!) I’ve recently spo...

yours2share is not currently taking any new ads