Spareroom founder seeks flatmates to share his £3m home with pay what you can afford

Spareroom founder seeks flatmates to share his £3m home with pay what you can afford

13:00 PM, 11th January 2016, About 7 years ago 1

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bearMore than a decade after setting up, founder Rupert Hunt is using his own site to find housemates to share his East London home.

The six-bedroom, five-floor Georgian house in Spitalfields – complete with a grand piano, taxidermy bear and Aga – has been Rupert’s home since 2013.

It’s in prime celeb spotting territory – One Direction and David Tenant have filmed in the street and it’s been a location for Great Expectations, The Woman in Black and new British film Suffragette. Keira Knightley owns the house round the corner.

Click here to see his video ad.

Rupert Hunt, founder of, comments: “I ended up living on my own a couple of years ago after I split up from my wife, so I decided to use SpareRoom to find a couple of housemates. To be honest I saw it entirely as a chance to learn something about the business, but I ended up learning that sharing with the right people beats living on your own any day. So, now my last housemate is leaving, I’ve decided to do it again.

“I’m open to living with pretty much anyone, as long as we get on and they add something interesting to the dynamic of the house. That’s why I’ve taken a ‘pay what you can afford’ approach. For me it’s all about the people so, if the person I think will make the best housemate can only afford £200 a month, that’s what they’ll pay.

“It’ll be fun to see what people make of the house too. It’s 300 years old, so can be a little spooky at night – I have to admit, on my first night there I chickened out and stayed in a hotel round the corner.”


Mandy Thomson

14:56 PM, 11th January 2016, About 7 years ago

It's great to see such a positive endorsement of shared living from the Spareroom founder, though I have to admit I’m often a bit doubtful of the success of houseshare arrangements, and actually wrote my own lodger website from the point of view of damage limitation, not endorsement of a positive lifestyle choice!

In a recent Twitter conversation I took part in, someone related yet another story of a lodger being treated badly, but then qualified it by saying, "lodgers are there to pay other people's mortgages, why else have a stranger in the house?" Fair comment, especially as the only times I've had lodgers (twice) and been one myself (once), it was primarily, if not through absolute necessity, at least because it was the most practical solution at the time.

Having said that, these were all people I already knew, so I started out with high expectations, only to see the arrangements go rapidly downhill (I actually fell out permanently with two of these people...).

Perhaps if I had been coming from Rupert’s perspective, of not being FORCED to live with housemates, but actually CHOOSING to, and not picking people I already knew, but instead choosing COMPATIBLE strangers, and MAKING EXPECTATIONS CLEAR FROM THE START, it would have worked out differently.

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