The research shows that in 41 of the UK’s largest towns, renting a room with a live-in landlord (lodging) is cheaper than sharing a rental property.
The UK’s 472,000 lodgers put a total of £2.3billion a year in rent in homeowners’ pockets – compared to the £9.8billion spent in rent each year by the 1.9 million who flatshare with non-homeowners.
Jonathan Moore, director of easyroommate.co.uk, said: "Lodgers can get a much better address for their money in most UK cities than if they rent a flat.
"In theory their rights are restricted to just their rooms but in practice they can enjoy all the living space too. For homeowners, there is always a trade off between the inconvenience of having someone else living in your home, and the financial benefit.
"But the cost of homeownership is now so high in many cities that homeowners are increasingly looking to rent out spare rooms. In these areas, competition amongst live-in landlords is keeping rents much lower than in the wider rental market."
The biggest differences were to be found in the UK’s larger cities. Central London provided the greatest saving for lodgers, where it is 42% cheaper to rent with a live-in landlord rather than by sharing a tenancy.
The cost of lodging per month in the first two zones of the capital stands at £698 pcm, compared to £1201 pcm for someone co-renting a two bedroom flat. Over the course of a year, lodgers are saving £6036. With more than 108,000 lodgers in London, lodging is saving Londoners more than £655million collectively each year. London lodgers will contribute more than £909million this year to homeowners’ budgets.
York provided the second biggest savings for UK lodgers, where renting a room is 34% (£180 per month) cheaper than sharing a flat. Brighton & Hove and Reading also offered good deals for lodgers, with monthly rental savings of 31% (£127) and 29% (£170) respectively.
Moore said: "It’s clear that in cities with the strongest rental demand from young professionals and students, lodging provides a much cheaper alternative to co-renting. In central London, lodging for five years would save enough cash to fund a house deposit."
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