Shared Rented Properties Central Housing Group

Shared Rented Properties Costs Warning

The overwhelming majority of people who live in shared rented properties say that the rising cost of household bills is likely to cause more arguments between them and their housemates.

A survey by Comparethemarket shows that nearly three-in-five say that higher energy bills are already causing tension among renters in shared homes.

Nearly half of people in shared rented properties believe their housemates use more than their fair share of electricity and over half of renters are concerned about the cost impact from housemates leaving the heating on for too long.

A similar proportion have frustrations with their housemates not switching lights off, leaving appliances on and using the washing machine or dryer too often, all of which increase household energy usage and therefore household expenditure.

Other gripes include housemates taking long baths (a worry for 50 per cent of respondents) and using more than their fair share of communal groceries such as milk and toilet roll (52 per cent), reflecting concerns around rising food prices and affording heating bills. 

Renters are even moving homes due to tensions over household bills; 38 per cent of housemates have ended up moving out and finding a new home due to arguments with housemates.

With nearly two-in-five saying their shared homes aren’t energy efficient, some landlords have taken steps to remedy this. 

According to the same survey nearly a third of landlords have installed a smart meter in the past 12 months, almost a quarter (23%)  installed insulation, and one fifth have installed a more energy efficient boiler. However, over one-in-five renters say their landlord has not done anything to make their home more efficient.

To be able to afford higher bills, just over half of renters say they will likely need to go into their overdraft. More than two-fifths expect to take out additional loans, 51 per cent think they’ll need to borrow money from friends or family, and nearly three-in-five say they’ll likely have to take on an additional job to help them pay their share of rising household bills.

Comparethemarket director Alex Hasty says: “Rising costs are not only impacting household budgets but also friendships and relationships. In shared homes, conversations around energy efficiency and splitting bills may not be comfortable but are necessary at a time when financial anxiety is understandably high. To reduce risks of arguments, households can team up and search for ways to save money. By doing a quick comparison online, you can see what savings you could achieve on various bills, such as insurance, broadband or phone deals.”

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