THE majority of us have had at least one, they live in close proximity to
THE majority of us have had at least one, they live in close proximity to us, and they can either enrich our lives or be the source of constant irritation — they’re our housemates.
With the number of UK private landlords increasing on average by seven per cent year on year — currently numbering approximately two million — finding the perfect tenant is now more important than ever.
What constitutes a good one has been deliberated for decades, but More Than Landlord Insurance has set out to end the debate once and for all by revealing the blueprint for the perfect housemate.
Based on a comprehensive survey of more than 1,000 people living in shared accommodation from across the UK, the criteria for the blueprint draws on 12 of the most common types of interaction Brits typically have with the folks 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 Than Landlord Insurance has gotten under the skin of the UK’s renting generation and can reveal that the perfect housemate:
1. Is single, is aged 27 years old, is young enough to still want to go to the latest gigs but old enough to have respect around the house.
2. Is considerate and respectful of others, clean and tidy both in private and communal areas, with a positive attitude.
3. Is in full-time employment, meaning they are out of the house at work for a set number of hours every day/night.
4. Is interested in TV, food and cooking and film and cinema, so they are able to add some culture to the house.
5. Throws no more than five house parties a year that must end at midnight and that have consent of the rest of the house.
6. Has friends or a partner round no more than four times a month.
7. Spends two hours and 18 minutes with their housemates a month, enabling them to get to know those they are living with.
8. Would rustle up a meal for their fellow housemates four times a month, ensuring the house as a whole is eating together regularly.
9. Would clean up their mess in less than 26 minutes after cooking and clean communal areas three times a month.
10. Is silent as a mouse past 9pm on a week night, to ensure respect to other housemates that may need to get up early for work.
11. Contributes £15 a month to the house for communal goods such as cleaning products, milk and teabags.
12. Always pays their bill on time, without any delay or chasing whatsoever.
The need for the perfect housemate is becoming increasingly important to Brits, with 93 per cent confessing they do care about who they live with, and over half (58 per cent) admitting that they would pack up and leave the house if they didn’t live with the right roomie.
Revealingly, 43 per cent of those surveyed confessed that if they had to choose they would prefer to live with a female rather than 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 per cent) believing a cleaning rota is not necessary, and that it’s okay to take someone else’s food from the kitchen (28 per cent). More than one in five (21 per cent) 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 per cent) and too loud (56 per cent). Smokers were also singled out, with just under a third (30 per cent) admitting that they wouldn’t want to live with someone that smokes.
Almost half (45 per cent) of Brits have confessed that 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 per cent admitting their housemate has caused considerable damage to the house, resulting in an average of £260 worth of damage per dwelling.
The most common damages include spillages on the carpet (64 per cent), marks on the walls (38 per cent), broken door handles (29 per cent) and broken appliances (28 per cent). These damages have caused 27 per cent of tenants to lose their deposit, with the average landlord claiming back £175 per housemate in damage compensation.
Anthony Taylor, business product manager for More Than, said: “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.”