Whether it is a short term let on Air BnB or a long term flatmate, renting out a spare room in your home is a great way to help out covering mortgage payments. In addition to reliving financial pressures, having a housemate who you get one with can be fun and promote a happier living environment. But there’s always the danger that you might not get on with the tenant you rent out to. Or even worse, ending up with a housemate from hell, who doesn’t clean their share of the house and doesn’t respect your home.
To avoid this happening, Betta Living have surveyed 2500 UK homeowners for their views on what qualities make the perfect housemate.
Homeowners generally preferred tenants who were good with money, funny and thoughtful. Unsurprisingly, the main thing homeowners are looking for in their tenants are clean and tidy tenants. It is also ideal sharing your home with a tenant who shares the same taste and interests as you. Having different tastes in food, interior design and music can cause tension between landlord and tenants.
Despite “food” being ranked as the favourite interest, it was also ranked as the least favourite interest if the tenant has a different taste in food or particular diet, like being a vegetarian or having a vegan or gluten free diet.
The same could be applied if the tenant had a bad taste in art or style and started purchasing furniture which didn’t suit the existing furnishings, ruining the ambiance you have tried to create in your home.
Smoking still remains at the top of the list for the most disliked habit, turning off nearly three quarters of landlords from living with someone.
But it seems that the fitness craze has also impacted on what homeowner’s ideal tenant would look like. Nearly a quarter of property owners would find it preferable to have the tenant work in the medical sector, either as a nurse or a doctor, in addition to also wanting their tenant to be interested in health and fitness. Homeowners may be secretly hoping that by having a healthy and active housemate will encourage them to have a healthier lifestyle.
On interesting factor that plays a role in a homeowners decision when renting out their room is the gender of the tenant. While 45% of landlords said that the gender wouldn’t influence their decision, nearly half of homeowners preferred renting out to women, with a very small minority willing to preferring to rent out to men.
Possibly thinking that women are more responsible and that men make messier tenants.
However, a landlord in Manchester is may be different from a landlord in Brighton or London. Homeowners in the South West ideally wanted to live with tenants who were conscious about the environment, being keen to recycle and saving energy when they can. But for homeowners in the Northwest, caring about the environment isn’t a great concern. What does get under their skin more is when the person they are living doesn’t contribute as much to the upkeep of the kitchen, emptying the bin on a regular basis in particular.
But is the perfect housemate an unrealistic expectation? Professor Craig Jackson, head of Psychology at Birmingham City University, suggested that homeowners may be a little too demanding when looking got tenants. Saying that, “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 and 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.”
Does Professor Craig have a point?
On the one hand, if you were in the tenants position looking for a room or a place to live. Based on some of these strict criteria, we wouldn’t make the cut as a result of our age or gender. On the other hand, it is your home so you should be able to be demanding about who you choose to live with. Whether these expectations are difficult to achieve or not.
data for article supplied by Betta Living