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Brits pocket £3.3bn a year from their spare rooms

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An estimated 1.7m UK homeowners now have a lodger in their home, up 3% from 2011, according to new research from Santander Mortgages.

The ‘rent-a-room’ trend provides UK homeowners with over £3.3bn per year in rental payments – an average of £164 per month for each recipient.

Nearly three quarters of UK homeowners have at least one spare room in their home that currently is either rented out or has no-one living in it.

The research showed that there is currently a potential £38.9bn of rental income to be made in the UK from renting out spare rooms. However, nearly nine out of 10 UK homeowners with a spare room still choose not to rent it out.

Of those who do rent out their spare rooms, more than a third of those who rent out a spare room do so to help out a friend or family member.

A further 11% do so to pay-off the mortgage and help with monthly outgoings while a further 15% need the money to supplement their disposable income.

Phil Cliff, director of Santander Mortgages, said: “The ‘rent-a-room’ trend is clearly on the rise as the squeeze on the cost of living drives homeowners to look for ways to supplement their disposable income and cover their mortgage costs.

“There is clearly still plenty of scope for this market to expand, as homeowners with unoccupied rooms put their property to work by renting rooms to friends, family or tenants. It is also worth bearing in mind that the UK Government’s ‘Rent a Room’ scheme enables homeowners to earn up to £4,250 per annum tax free from renting out a spare room.

“We advise that before taking this step, anyone with a mortgage should speak to their mortgage lender to ensure they stay within the terms and conditions of their mortgage agreement.”

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