Financial pinch sees record number of homeowners taking in lodgers
Thursday 16th February 2012
January 2012 saw the highest ever number of homeowners renting out rooms, swelling the UK’s lodger population to record levels, according to figures compiled by flat and house share website, Spareroom.co.uk.
The website saw a massive spike in lodger numbers in early January, with almost 6,000 new homeowners renting out spare rooms by the end of the month. New lodger numbers in January were also up 83% on December 2011 and 22% higher than January 2010.
Consequently, January was a record month for new lodger numbers, up 15% on the previous record month, which was August 2011.
With households struggling to keep on top of their mortgage payments, utility bills and accumulating personal debts, renting out a spare room on a short or longer term basis has proved an easy way for homeowners to earn some extra tax-free income.
Thanks to the government’s Rent a Room scheme, homeowners can receive up to £4,250 a year tax-free (£2,125 if letting jointly) by letting furnished rooms in their home.
The UK’s lodger population has exploded in the past five years, and 2011 saw a record number of new homeowners taking in lodgers, up 14% on 2010, and more than double (120%) new lodger numbers in 2007.
“It’s not surprising that the lodger population is expanding so rapidly, as homeowners look for ways to boost their incomes,” said Matt Hutchinson, director, Spareroom.co.uk.
“For some people the monthly income from a lodger will be the difference between losing their home and keeping it.”
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