The advantages and disadvantages of living in a flat. IELTS Writing 7-8 + 9 Band Sample Task.

The advantages and disadvantages of living in a flat

In some countries living in a flat is much more common than in others. In countries where both houses and flats are common some people can choose whether to live in a house or a flat. Others have no choice. They have to live in flats because they cannot afford houses. One advantage of flats is that they are often cheaper to buy or rent than houses.

Many countries have both old and modern flats. Sometimes buildings containing older flats have been built in that way. Other older flats are the result of old houses being divided up into several floors, one flat on each floor. Such flats are often full of character, but they have disadvantages.

Old buildings often do not have lifts and this means that you might have to go up a lot of stairs to reach your flat. It is too bad if you are on the top floor and you are carrying heavy bags. Of course, when you get to the top you might have the advantage of a wonderful view.

Lack of parking facilities can be another disadvantage if you live in an older flat. Modern flats often have garages built as part of the apartment building. However, lack of parking facilities is not really a disadvantage if your flat is in the city centre or near a bus stop or underground station. You can help to save the environment by walking or taking public transport.

Some people who could afford a house prefer to live in a flat, whether old or modern. This is sometimes because of location. They wish to live in or near a town or city centre and such accommodation is more likely to take the form of flats. City-centre flat-dwellers think that a major advantage of their flats is that they provide ready access to all the city amenities.

People who prefer to live in houses might argue that there is a price to be paid for these amenities. In particular, flat- dwellers, whether in the city centre or not, are deprived of the pleasure of back gardens. People who have children or dogs find these particularly useful. However, some flat-dwellers regard looking after a garden as an unwanted chore and have no desire to cultivate plants. In any case, some flats have balconies where you can grow plants in containers.

People who do not like flat-life say that noise from other flats is a major disadvantage. The noise caused by loud music, shouting parents, screaming children and barking dogs can be very annoying.

Many people feel that flat-dwelling creates a sense of companionship. They like living amidst a large group of people because they never feel lonely. They meet their neighbours every day, even if this is simply to exchange a quick greeting. Other people value their privacy and do not enjoy living close to a lot of other people.

In many blocks of flats, particularly modern ones, there is a caretaker. This can be a great advantage. When something goes wrong in the building or in an individual flat, the caretaker can get it fixed. The owner does not have to spend time contacting someone to do the repair and waiting at home for him to arrive. The presence of a caretaker can also increase a sense of security in a block of flats.

There are advantages and disadvantages in most things in life and we just have to put up with them. This is as true of living in a flat as of anything else.

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