Home is where the housemate is

Posted 23 August 2016 by Helen Christie

New research has set out to reveal the blueprint for the perfect housemate…

Whether you’re looking for a lodger or a housemate, you’ll want to find the perfect person.

Exactly what constitutes a good housemate has been deliberated for decades, but today, MORE TH>N Landlord Insurance has set out to end the debate once and for all by revealing the blueprint for the perfect housemate. The study arrives in the wake of new official figures revealing the sharpest fall in homeownership across the UK since the early 2000s, meaning that finding the perfect tenant is now more important than ever before.

Based on a comprehensive survey of over 1,000 people living in shared accommodation from across the UK, the criteria for the blueprint draws in 12 of the most common types of interaction Brits typically have with the folks that they live with.

From the practical (such as the frequency of their cleaning rituals) to the more personable (including the amount of times they’ll cook and socialise with you in a given year), MORE TH>N Landlord Insurance has gotten under the skin of the UK’s renting generation and can reveal the perfect housemate:

  • Is single, and aged 27 years’ old, young enough to still want to go to the latest gigs, but old enough to have respect around the house
  • Is considerate and respectful of others, clean and tidy both in private and communal areas, with a positive attitude
  • Is in full time employment, meaning they are out of the house at work for a set number of hours every day/night   
  • Is interested in TV, food, cooking, film and cinema, so they are able to add some culture to the house
  • Throws no more than five house parties a year that must end at 12pm and that have consent of the rest of the house
  • Has friends or a partner round no more than four times a month
  • Spends 2 hours and 18 minutes with their housemates a month, enabling them to get to know those they are living with  
  • Would rustle up a meal for their fellow housemates four times a month, ensuring the house as a whole is eating together regularly  
  • Would clean up their mess in less than 26 minutes after cooking and clean communal areas three times a month
  • Is silent as a mouse past 9pm on a weeknight, to ensure respect to other housemates that may need to get up early for work
  • Contributes £15 a month to the house for communal goods such as cleaning products, milk and tea bags
  • Always pays their bills and rent on time, without any delay or chasing whatsoever

The need for the perfect housemate is becoming increasingly important to Brits, with 93% confessing they do care about who they live with, and over half (58%) admitting that they would pack up and leave the house if they didn’t live with the right roomie.  43% of those surveyed even confessed if they had to choose they would prefer to live with a female over a male.

So what makes a bad housemate?

The long debated rules of courtesy have been settled in this search, with more than one in four (26%) believing a cleaning rota is not necessary, and that it’s OK to take someone else’s food from the kitchen (28%). Over one in five (21%) also believe that they shouldn’t have to let their housemate know if they are planning to play music in their room.  

The research has also revealed the worst characteristics in a housemate, which include being too messy (77%) and too loud (56%). Smokers were also singled out, with just under a third (30%) admitting they wouldn’t want to live with someone that smokes. Almost half (45%) of Brits have confessed they have lived with a ‘bad’ housemate in the past, and this has also been to the detriment of the landlord, with a shocking 40% admitting their housemate has caused considerable damage to the house, resulting in an average of £260 worth of damage per house.  The most common damages include spillages on the carpet (64%), marks on the walls (38%), broken door handles (29%) and broken appliances (28%). These damages have caused 27% to lose their deposit, with the average landlord claiming back £175 per housemate in damage compensation.

Anthony Taylor, business product manager, MORE TH>N comments: “Finding the right tenants is a big challenge for landlords whether they are living with the tenant or renting out the property – especially for first time or accidental landlords who have the least experience. Having housemates who respect each other and so reduce the risk of property damage is a great thing and this blueprint highlights what landlords and tenants are looking for – someone who is social, solvent and sensible.”


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