The Disadvantages of Living in Flats

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Living in a flat has several disadvantages.
Living in a flat has several disadvantages. (Image: room image by denionline.de from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Living in a flat is a great choice for someone with few pieces of furniture, someone with few or no kids and someone who enjoys letting the housing complex perform all maintenance. Flats centrally located in an urban area mean many residents save on transportation costs. However, living in a flat has a number of disadvantages as well.

Space Constraints

Most flats do not afford the space to let their residents to tend to a garden, have a full washer and dryer or, in some extreme cases, have a full bedroom. The space constraints are often a serious disadvantage, as they mandate creativity for storing clothes, dishes and basic household items. These space limitations are remedied with the use of pullout Murphy beds or futons that double as a couch and a bed.

An additional problem with living in a flat is that the size is often prohibitive of having an additional roommate, especially studio flats. However, in large cities where space is at a premium such as New York City, having two roommates in a single room is not uncommon.

Additional Rules and Requirements

Nottinghamcityhomes.org.uk outlines typical tenancy conditions that must be satisfied when living in a flat. These requirements include no smoking in communal areas, not throwing anything from the balcony and only parking your vehicle in your designated space. Many flats have specific rules regarding decorations, pet ownership and even which appliances are acceptable for use in the space. Thus, some flat tenants are unable to have a dog or cat. Some flats do not allow open-flame cooking as well. Because tenants are renters, they are usually not allowed to paint the walls, install light fixtures or install new flooring as per the rules of the lease. The lease usually specifies additional restrictions against excessive noise after certain hours as well.

The website flat-living-co.uk specifies that many flat residents must also pay service charges. These charges are collected for maintenance of the building, which includes things like roof repairs, sewage maintenance and landscaping. These charges are often in addition to rent and utilities.

Noise and Privacy

Due to the space constraints of living in a flat, overhearing neighbors is not uncommon. Loud, crying kids and noisy arguments are just a few of the disadvantages of flat life. Unlike living in a house, strangers walking past your front door at various hours is typical. Similarly, your neighbors will likely know about any of your frequent visitors. This lack of privacy could cause some people to seek a living environment in a single-family house or a detached townhouse.

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