UK’s rental crisis could be solved by renting out spare bedrooms

UK’s rental crisis could be solved by renting out spare bedrooms

0:02 AM, 9th June 2023, About 4 months ago 5

Text Size

With renters increasingly scrambling to find budget-friendly housing options in the UK’s rental crisis, one firm offers a simple solution.

Flat-sharing site SpareRoom says that homeowners with a spare bedroom should be encouraged to take in a lodger to help boost supply to renters.

It says there are more than 20 million empty bedrooms and a small proportion of those could be used to house tenants.

And the homeowner would benefit from an income and deal with rising bills.

‘Affordable rents are becoming even more scarce’

Matt Hutchinson, a director of SpareRoom, said: “What’s clear is that affordable rents are becoming even more scarce, at a time when they’re needed more than ever.

“One simple solution is to encourage more homeowners to rent their spare bedrooms and create more supply.

“There are over 20 million empty bedrooms in owner-occupied properties in England alone.”

He added: “Freeing a small percentage of those up would not only create desperately needed supply for renters, it would also help homeowners cope with rising interest rates and an ongoing cost of living crisis.

“Financial savings aren’t the only benefit.

“Living as a lodger can be a great way to try a new area without committing to a year’s tenancy.”

Substantial savings for renters

SpareRoom also points out that living as a lodger can lead to substantial savings for renters.

Its data reveals that, on average, renters can pocket an extra £89 every month – while lodgers in London can save an impressive £117 choosing to lodge instead of sharing with flatmates.

This translates to an annual saving of £1,068 and £1,404, respectively.

Among the top UK cities, after the capital, lodgers stand to gain the most significant monthly savings in Manchester (£504) and Edinburgh (£480).

However, SpareRoom says that by opting not to live with property owners, renters are missing out on a quarter of all available accommodations on its site.

The firm also says that as the rental market continues to grapple with supply and demand challenges, becoming a lodger is a viable alternative to reasonably priced housing.

Share This Article


northern landlord

16:30 PM, 9th June 2023, About 4 months ago

While lodgers were more common back in the fifties and sixties I don’t think many people would be lining up to invite a stranger into their home these days.. If it did catch on, the Government would regulate it any tax breaks would disappear and before long your lodger would be nigh on as non-evictable as PRS tenants are becoming.

Chris Bradley

7:25 AM, 10th June 2023, About 4 months ago

This was why the rent a room scheme was introduced several years back to encourage people to share their homes.
Most people who want to share their homes already do so

Richard Oakman

9:55 AM, 10th June 2023, About 4 months ago

Being on my own in a four bedroom house, letting a spare room or two has certainly proved the right decision and I am still letting rooms after almost 30 years!
I am now limited to two lodgers to avoid HMO regulations but this leaves a third bedroom for guests - theirs or mine. Having two lodgers and ones that get on with each other is a bonus as is sometimes keeping to the younger generation who haven't developed too many bad habits.. I have been able to use the (below market level rent) to add more bathrooms and keep the place in good repair - all rooms have double beds and good quality mattresses!
As a pensioner, I don't find the generational divide that is talked about and indeed had twenty-five applicants in 24 hours for a recent vacancy here in North East London.
I think Spareroom are right to encourage lodgers and, whilst there are some disadvantages (it pays to be broadminded), many needing occasional company as well as the lodgers themselves would really benefit. My next lodgers reunion is scheduled for the Autumn.....


16:44 PM, 10th June 2023, About 4 months ago

I think Welsh and Scottish homeowners should think twice about this idea as lodgers have more rights there.

Reluctant Landlord

8:53 AM, 12th June 2023, About 4 months ago

not a chance . My home is a sanctuary away from tenants...

Leave Comments

In order to post comments you will need to Sign In or Sign Up for a FREE Membership


Don't have an account? Sign Up

Landlord Tax Planning Book Now