The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.
Share this review on
I came across this website when I found out my flatmate was moving out and I needed to get someone in to take over her room. As I live in a 2 bed property it's obviously important to me that I get on with whoever I live with! I didn't know anyone who was looking to move, so it meant getting a stranger in - slightly scary, but actually fine in reality! It wouldn't have mattered if I had to pay to place an advert for the room as the person moving out or the landlord would have covered the cost of it, but I ideally wanted to place a free advert as it was my reckoning that more people would respond to a site where they didn't have to pay to receive all the contact details etc of the place being advertised.
After endless hours on google.co.uk searching for free flat adverts and sorting through all the results I came across this site - www.moveflat.co.uk which from now on will be the only website I consider to advertise my flat share if I need to again.
The moveflat.co.uk site is specifically for those in London, however at the top of the page is a drop down bar which allows you to see sites for the following places: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Dublin, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Leeds, Lisbon, Liverpool, Manchester, Melbourne, Milan, Newcastle, Nottingham, Oxford, Paris, Reading, Sheffield, Sydney - these sites are all under the heading www.clickflatshare.co.uk and seem to be similar in style to the site I am reviewing now.
I'm not too sure on the history of this site, and to be honest I'm not sure that it even matters - the point is the site is free, easy to use, and I had an amazing amount of interest in the room once I'd placed the advert (I had a phone call and an email from 2 different people within 5 minutes of placing the advert online!). It seems to be a guy called Julian that runs the website - there is a link on the homepage which says 'First time on moveflat?' under which he states that you've probably heard about the site through someone else and not via Google or Yahoo, like I stated before I did come across the site through Google but it may have been through a link from one of the other search results, I have found out since that my friend who lives in a large flat share uses this site frequently to advertise rooms that become available where she lives.
This website is free for the following advertisers - flat share/ house share offered, flat share/ house share wanted, and flat seeking groups. By the looks of things landlords can place an advert for a whole flat or house rental by paying £19.95 for a full page advert that runs for 8 weeks - I don't want to touch on this part of the site too much as I have no actual experience of using that part of it. As a brief run down for those that are interested in it though it does say "For your £19.95 you get a clean no-nonsense advertisement with 8 full colour photos of your flat or house, should you wish to provide them. A link to your ad will also appear on relevant pages of flatshare ads on the right hand side of the page (like Google.) Because the flat share section is very large and very busy, this is a significant source of traffic." Although I haven't used this section of the site I have to say if I did own a buy-to-let property I would seriously consider using this site rather than going through an agency.
The thing I like most about this website is you are actually encouraged to write as much as possible about what you have/are looking for (maximum of around 180 words). Adverts that are too brief are rejected from the site - this means from the point of view of someone advertising a room you can describe quite a lot about what you have available and the sort of person you want to take the room, this saves a lot of time as people can get a good overview of what you have to offer and therefore you tend to get people that are genuinely interested contacting you for a viewing. I didn't have any time wasters at all which was great as I saw about 15 people in one week (yep, it was all a bit hectic! I ended up having to say no to people who wanted to arrange a viewing just so I could have my life back!) There are drop down options for whether your flat is smoking or non-smoking, the ages of people living there already, whether it includes bills or not, how far it is from transport links etc. There are also tick boxes for what the flat has to offer (whether it is furnished, has a washing machine, central heating etc) It's very easy to fill in the basics and it makes it easy for those using the site to search for suitable rooms too. Once all of this part is filled in you then have the section where you can write more about the room, type of share you want etc. The idea for this site is for people to write quality adverts which keep the site interesting and make the whole trauma of moving a bit easier to manage!
I placed my advert and received responses immediately. You can choose to allow people to email you, and although your email address is not shown on the site I would recommend setting up an email address specifically for this purpose, I set up a gmail account so I could easily sort through responses and to try and limit the amount of spam I received. Although to be honest I didn't seem to receive any spam at all - I think most people that use the site are genuine flat seekers, and they will only see your email address if you reply to their emails. Your mobile number/landline is displayed so people can contact you. I ended up having to add a note to my advert to ask people to email me first if it was before 6pm, and only call me on my mobile in the evenings - it was far too hectic trying to juggle personal calls with work otherwise.
You can customise the site to view in boxes or spreadsheet form, and you can search by various different means. I have used this site twice now - once to advertise the room in which case I placed the advert and then left the site to do its work, people contacted me and I didn't need to access the site again other than to remove the advert once the room had gone. I then used the site again, but this time I didn't place an advert as I contacted the people that had placed flat seekers adverts in my area and asked them if they would be interested in the room. Fortunately having met one of the girls I offered her the room and she accepted so I didn't have to go through the whole interviewing process again! If it hadn't worked out then I would have placed an advert on the site once again and I am sure I would have received many responses as previously.
The site also has a community section where you can view forums, find new friends, find out about art and culture in the city, find out about sport, view London community information such as missing persons and lost and found, view jobs, and find out about pastimes and hobbies. I haven't explored this part of the site a great deal although it does look like there are some interesting sections on there so I may do so soon.
There is also a dating section of the site which you can find under www.moveearth.co.uk I cannot comment on this part of the site as you need to register to use it, and as I am in a long term relationship I didn't think it would be appropriate for me to do this! You have to be at least 18 years old to use this site.
All in all I would thoroughly recommend this website for anyone looking to flat share or advertise a room in London.