British Sharers Pay the Highest Rents in Europe

British Sharers Pay the Highest Rents in Europe

15:20 PM, 24th November 2011, About 13 years ago 3

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Sharers pay an average £360 per month for a room – which is 5% more expensive than anywhere else in Europe.

The figures were revealed from a study comparing rents in Britain, France, Italy and Spain by letting firm Easyroommate.

The findings show flats are around 56% more expensive in Britain than Spain, the average room rents there for £230 a month, while rents in Italy are an average 22% cheaper at £282 per month.

France is the second most expensive country to share a flat, with monthly rents of £342.

Flat sharers in Britain also paid the highest proportion of their gross salary in rents – but at 15%, they were only just ahead of renters in France and Italy, who paid 14%. Best off were those in Spain who paid 12%.

London was also the most expensive city, with average monthly rents of £520 per month – 21% higher than second-placed Paris’ average room rents of £419 per month, Milan came third.

British and French cities were the most expensive – taking eight of the 10 most expensive placings.
Spain was cheapest for city living, with Valencia, Seville and Zaragoza in the bottom five. Zaragoza was cheapest, with monthly rents averaging £201 per month.

Easyroomate director Jonathan Moore said: “Flat sharers in the UK face much higher bills than their European counterparts. The combination of high house prices with the ongoing lending crunch in the UK is leaving hundreds of thousands of frustrated buyers dependent on rental accommodation.

“Although UK renters may be taking home bigger pay cheques than those in Spain and Italy, a far bigger chunk of these earnings must be put towards rent each month. With rents rising in the UK at nearly double the rate of the average salary, this is only going to get worse. In contrast, although Spanish workers may be taking home much less than the average in the Eurozone, this is softened by rock-bottom rents.”

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Mary Latham

15:09 PM, 25th November 2011, About 13 years ago

My nephew lives in Bologna, Italy and has been searching for a flat for almost a year. Recently he thought that he had found one. When he viewed he found that the whole flat needed to be redecorated - as his expense, there was no furniture, the kitchen and bathroom were just about ok. The Agent told him that he was lucky because most landlords do not provide kitchens - this is in fact true and tenants move "fitted" kitchens around with them. He was desparate because of the shortage of rented property and agreed to take the flat. The flat was in fact what we would could a bedsit but in Italy a room divided by a curtain is considered to be a separate room. Then the blow. He was asked for 6 months rent up front, 1,100E deposit and a rent of 800E a month. He had the money for the first month and the deposit but he could not afford to pay 6 months advance rent and lost the flat. He told me that this was the cheapest "flat" he could find at the moment and since he and his partner only bring home just over 2000E a month between them he could not afford more.

My nephew told me that my tenants are lucky and that the flats that I rent would cost at least 50% more in Bologna but would not but up to my standards.

In most of Europe a ;person needs to prove that they have a contract not just a job, often has to provide a guarantor, and up front rents of up to one year are fairly common.


8:56 AM, 26th November 2011, About 13 years ago

I let property to sharers: the benefits from a landlord's perspective are a more stable income because if you lose one sharer through a job move or relationship change, you don't risk a void on the whole property. Houseshares can also be attractive places to live for young tenants who are new to an area, and they tend to change jobs more frequently than most people. The negatives are greater wear and tear and it's much harder to enforce an inventory on a whole house where the mix of tenatns might change 3 or 4 times in a year. You also get a greater churn of tenants as the arrangement is inherently more flexible from their point of view than, say, a couple renting a flat for a year: the sharers travel relatively light and are analogous to mature postgraduate students. However when houseshare tenants fall out, there can be a lot of extremely childish behaviour!

Houseshare rents may be a littler higher in absolute terms compared to Europe, but compared with renting an apartment they are the cheapest form of private-sector accommodation available. The article fails to compare the additional cost of utility bills: council tax alone split 4- or 5-ways in a houseshare is much more affordable than renting a flat yourself or with one other person. And it takes no account of the cost of furniture - a lot of British houseshares include furniture, which saves the tenant a small fortune on capital costs and the cost of lugging the stuff around.

Sam Addison

13:02 PM, 29th November 2011, About 13 years ago

The comparisons rather depend on currency exchange rates. A drop of 6% in GBP compared to the Euro would apparently put France as higher than the UK. Nonetheless, it is a point well made that flat sharing is not cheap in the UK. On the other hand, property is relatively expensive here but regulations are different.
As Mary and Tony demonstrate above, we may not be comparing like with like here. Take it all with a pinch of salt!

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