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Brits pocket billions renting out spare rooms

Nia Williams

November 8, 2013

The ‘rent-a-room’ trend provides UK homeowners with over £3.3 billion per year in rental payments – an average of £164 per month for each recipient.

Nearly three quarters (74%) of homeowners have at least one spare room in their home that currently is either rented out or has no-one living in it, while 26% have no unoccupied rooms in their house.

The research shows that there is currently a potential £38.9 billion of rental income to be made in the UK from renting out spare rooms. However, nearly nine out of 10 UK homeowners (87%) with a spare room still choose not to rent it out.

More than a third (35%) of those who rent out a spare room do so to help out a friend or family member. A further 11% do so because they need the additional income to meet their mortgage payments and outgoings whilst 15% need the money to supplement their disposable income.

Of the one in three (34%) homeowners with unoccupied rooms who would consider renting out their spare room, 18% would do so if they needed to financially and 23% would rent out the room if a friend or family member needed it. Some 11% would consider it if they could find an appropriate tenant and 6% would do so if they were able to make decent money from it.

The research further reveals that of those currently renting out a room, 13% believe that the rental income would cover more than 50% of their total mortgage payments each month. On average, respondents said that 27% of their mortgage payments are covered by spare room rental income per month.

Phil Cliff, director of Santander Mortgages, commented: “The ‘rent-a-room’ trend is clearly on the rise as the squeeze on the cost of living drives homeowners to look for ways to supplement their disposable income and cover their mortgage costs.

“There is clearly still plenty of scope for this market to expand as homeowners with unoccupied rooms put their property to work by renting rooms to friends, family or tenants.”

However the lender does advise anyone with a mortgage to speak to their lender before taking the step to ensure they stay within the terms and conditions of their mortgage agreement.


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