4 October 2014
The number of couples being forced to share rental homes with others is booming, according to the latest research from flatsharing website, easyroommate.co.uk.
Since May 2010, the number of couples looking to share a flat with other tenants has
Jonathan Moore, director of easyroommate.co.uk comments: "The boom in rental prices is taking its toll on couples as much as it is individual tenants. Thousands of couples are finding that even when they pool their monthly income, renting a whole property of their own let alone buying is currently out of reach. For many, the idea of sharing an intimate flat with their partner has had to be placed on the backburner, and sharing with flatmates has become a financial necessity."
Couples do typically pay a premium for sharing a room. The average room available to couples costs £426 per month, a 2.6% increase from the cost a year ago (£415). This is 6% (£24) more than what a single occupant would pay per month.
Despite the premium, sharing a flat with others is 38% cheaper than having a whole place to themselves. The monthly rent for the average UK property stands at £687 a month - £3,132 more expensive over the course of a year. In fact, from the savings from renting a joint room rather than a property, it would take a couple just over eight years to accumulate enough cash to fund the average house deposit.
Moore continues: "A fast growing minority of couples is feeling the pinch of soaring living costs and increasing rents. It's becoming more and more difficult for young would-be buyers to find the financial space to save for impossibly large deposits. Couples desperate to get on the property ladder are weighing up the drawback of living with others against less time spent in rental accommodation at all."
The number of landlords who are advertising rooms in flatshares for couples has risen to match the surging demand, with three times the number of rooms available (198% more) than a year ago. However, despite this increase, the vast majority of live-in landlords do not cater towards couples. Although one third of all rooms listed on easyroommate.co.uk include double beds, just 16% of flats will accept a couple.
Jonathan Moore continues: "Live-in landlords are starting to wake up to the growing appetite for rooms from flatsharing couples. But the market is still highly competitive for renting pairs. Many landlords still don't want to feel outnumbered in their own homes by lodgers, and tend to ban couples - just one in six landlords will accept them. For the limited number of rooms, couples are competing against single tenants - who are often preferred. But landlords who will tolerate couples get a welcome extra boost by sharing monthly bills among more people."