Brits renting rooms to beat the downturn

Santander has claimed that one in 10 UK homeowners now has a lodger in their home.

Those doing so collectively accumulate over £3.9 billion per year in rental payments – an average of £182 per month, the research suggests.

The lender claims that there is currently a potential £52 billion of rental income to be made in the UK from renting out spare rooms. However, 92% with a spare room still choose not to rent it out though there are 3.7 million homeowners who have considered doing so.

35% of those who rent out a spare room do so to help out a friend or family member. 18% do so because they need the additional income to meet their outgoings whilst 17% need the money to supplement their disposable income.

Homeowners in the South of the UK accumulate the most amount of rental income from their spare rooms. 14% of people in the South West and 11% of those in the South East rent out a spare room. Meanwhile Brits living in the East Midlands (4%) are less enthusiastic about taking in a lodger.

Three quarters of UK homeowners would not consider renting out a spare room with 52% not wanting to do so because they don’t want a stranger in their home. 33% keep the spare room free purposely for guests, 21% do not need the additional income and 21% use the room for storage.

Of 25% who would consider renting out their spare room, 11% would do so if they needed to financially and 15% would rent out the room if a friend or family member needed it. Some 7% would consider it if they could find an appropriate tenant and 4% would do so if they were able to make decent money from it.

The findings also reveal that storage space is the most popular use of a spare room in the UK (37%). Also, 35% of Brits use their spare room as an office whilst just 3% use the spare room as a nursery.

Phil Cliff, director of Santander Mortgages, said: “It’s interesting to see that so many Brits are weathering the economic storm and showing such entrepreneurial spirit by renting out spare rooms in their home. This can make a real difference to how much money you have left at the end of the month.