The number of UK home-owners that are choosing to rent out a spare room in their own homes has increased by 19% during the last six months according to 2 of the UK’s leading house sharing websites.
The house sharing website Easyroommate claim that in February this year, the number of live-in landlords, (home-owners trying to let out spare rooms), has increased to 34% of the total number of users currently searching for housemates.
The website also reports a 5% increase of live-in landlords between January and February this year
A similar picture is also painted by Spareroom.com who reported a peak in lodger registration numbers in early January, resulting in almost 6,000 UK residential property owners renting out spare rooms by the end of the month.
Average flat share rental asking prices across the UK have also remained consistently at £368 for the last three months, following a marked increase in rents towards the end of 2011
January was a record month for new lodger numbers, up 15% on the previous record month last August. New lodger numbers in January were also up 83% on December 2011 and 22% higher than January 2010.
EasyRoomMate Director Jonathan Moore said: “With the vast number of home owners looking to boost their incomes during the recession, a growing number are waking up to the income trapped in their spare rooms. This is also compounded by the vast majority of people reluctant to downsize due to the loss of equity in their homes.”
With many home owners with grown up families and large properties struggling to keep on top of their mortgage payments, utility bills and accumulating personal debts, renting out a spare room on a short or long term basis has proved an easy way to earn extra income and keep mortgage payments covered.
However live in landlords are urged not to cut corners when accepting new tenants living in their homes. Legal 4 Landlords advise all landlords to at least thoroughly tenant reference all prospective applicants, so that they know more about the person moving into their homes.
SpareRoom puts the average UK room rent at £398 per month, with London bucking the trend with rents ranging between £542 and £677 (GBP) per month.
Spareroom Director Matt Hutchinson, said: “It’s not surprising that the lodger population is expanding so rapidly as home owners look for ways to boost their incomes. With the Government’s Rent a Room scheme allowing people to earn the first £4,250 (GBP) per year without declaring any tax on the income, it is still one of the easiest ways for struggling home owners to earn some extra cash. For some people, the monthly income from a lodger will be the difference between losing their home and keeping it. In parts of the country such as London, where demand for rented accommodation is soaring, live-in landlords are helping to ease the pressure on the rental market by providing an additional supply of rooms to meet increasing tenant demand.”