Who is the perfect flatmate?

Posted 13 October 2016 by Ben Salisbury

Reflecting the demographics of property ownership, young tenants are the least favoured but women aged around 35 working in medicine are the most popular

New research suggests that the perfect housemate is a woman, aged 35+ who works in the health or medical services professions.

The ideal housemate has an income of £25,000-£35,000 and is in full-time work, according to new research from Betta Living.

The survey found that 42% of landlords don’t mind too much which profession their tenants work in as long as they pay the rent on time but certain professions are more popular than others.

A quarter of private landlords showed a preference for sharing a house with someone working in the medical profession, followed by 10% who said they would prefer to share with someone working in financial services.

Although 45% of homeowners said they don’t mind if they live with a man or a woman, 48% said they would prefer sharing with a female, with just 7% choosing a man.

Unsurprisingly, smoking is the number one pet hate with 74% of homeowners reluctant to rent a room to a smoker and 62% not wanting to rent to excessive drinkers.

In terms of personality traits, hygienic and tidy is the most popular choice with 70% of respondents citing this as very important, followed by a sense of humour closely behind on 69% and then a thoughtful and considerate roommate on 65%.

The survey also highlighted what landlords expect a minimum expectation of cleanliness from their tenants. Up to 76% of landlords expect tenants to carry out simple chores like cleaning their room or replacing the toilet roll when it runs out.

Ideally homeowners would also like to share some of the same interests as their tenants, including an appreciation of food, music and fitness to help promote a happier living environment.

However, tenants who are very passionate about certain foods or sticking to a strict diet are the least popular with just 5% happy to live with someone who has a strict vegan, wheat-free or gluten-free diet.

Landlords are also not keen on tenants who go out (or stay in!) and party a lot. This translates into a disadvantage for students and young professionals, with just 3% of those aged over 55 willing to share their home with an 18-24 year old.

In general, property owners refer to share their home with someone of a similar age. This means those aged 35-55 are the most popular, with 55% happy to share with them, followed by 20% who would prefer to share with someone aged over 55.

Professor Craig Jackson, head of Psychology at Birmingham City University, said: “The results show there is a paradox when looking for potential living-partners – we seem to want people who are just like us (age, habits, personality) but at the same time we also want that person to be “better” than we are with no faults or flaws. That can be quite an unrealistic way to go into the relationship with a living-partner.”

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