Almost 12,000 homeowners rented out rooms to lodgers last month, the highest figures recorded by SpareRoom.co.uk
The flat and house share site reports that advertisements placed by new ‘live-in landlords’ rose by almost two thirds compared to January 2012 and by more than a third over the same period last year.
Homeowners taking in lodgers on a Monday to Friday only basis have risen by 56 per cent over the past two years.
Aberdeen saw the biggest annual increase in people becoming live-in landlords, up 60 per cent, with monthly room rents rising by 11 per cent to £494 in the past year. Liverpool experienced a 41 per cent increase and Belfast lodger numbers were up by more than quarter. The top ten UK cities with the highest growth in homeowners becoming live-in landlords are:
SpareRoom also reports that while it saw a 20 per cent surge in the number of people looking for rooms to rent across Britain over the past year, there was only a 0.5 per cent increase in rooms available.
Matt Hutchinson, director of Spareroom.co.uk, said: "It is not surprising the number of homeowners taking lodgers is at all-time high. Millions of families are looking for ways to combat the rising cost of living, while first time buyers are looking for ways to offset the costs of starting a home. Whether it's to cover mortgage repayments, credit card debts or just to increase the overall household income, taking in a lodger can provide a much-needed financial boost.
"With increased pressure on the rental market, especially in London, homeowners hold the key to boosting supply, particularly in the short term. In England alone homeowners are sitting on an estimated 15 million empty bedrooms. As rents skyrocket in many UK cities, and getting on the property ladder proves increasingly difficult, renters are looking for alternative forms of accommodation. The tax-free threshold offered to homeowners renting out furnished rooms needs to rise, and fast, if we are to boost supply."