How to find the perfect housemate - or tenant

Latest figures show increased mortgage choice and better rates post-Brexit

Latest figures show increased mortgage choice and better rates post-Brexit - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Landlords and sharers alike: Save yourself the stress of a frustrating flatmate or tricky tenant by following this blueprint for the perfect housemate.

In a study by More Than Landlord Insurance, over 1,000 UK sharers were quizzed about the personality traits they most want in a housemate – and the ones they’d rather avoid.

This is officially the UK’s ideal housemate, an individual who….

1. Is single, and aged 27, young enough to still want to go to the latest gigs, but old enough to have respect around the house

2. Is considerate and respectful of others, clean and tidy both in private and communal areas, with a positive attitude

3. In full time employment, meaning they are out of the house at work for a set number of hours every day/night

4. Is interested in TV, food & cooking and film & cinema, so they are able to add some culture to the house

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5. Throws no more than five house parties a year that must end at 12pm and that have consent if the rest of the house

6. Has friends or a partner round no more than four times a month

7. Spends 2 hours and 18 minutes with their housemates a month, enabling them to get to know those they are living with;

8. Would rustle up a meal for their fellow housemates four times a month, ensuring the house as a whole is eating together regularly

9. Would clean up their mess in less than 26 minutes after cooking and clean communal areas three times a month

10. Is silent as a mouse past 9pm on a weeknight, to ensure respect to other housemates that may need to get up early for work

11. Contributes £15 a month to the house for communal goods such as cleaning products, milk and tea bags

12. Always pays their bill on time, without any delay or chasing whatsoever

So what makes a bad housemate? Being too messy was a no-no with 77 per cent of respondents, as well as too loud (56 per cent) and too fond of cigarettes (30 per cent don’t want to share with a smoker).

Almost half (45 per cent) confessed they’d had a ‘bad’ housemate in the past, with 40 per cent admitting their housemate has caused considerable damage, resulting in an average of £260 worth of damage per house.

Not great news for the UK’s growing army of landlords, which increased by 7 per cent to 1.75 million in 2013-2014, according to HMRC.

The most common damages recorded in the More Than survey were spillages on the carpet (64 per cent), marks on the walls (38 per cent), broken door handles (29 per cent) and broken appliances (28 per cent).

This kind of damage has caused 27 per cent to lose their deposit, with the average landlord claiming back £175 per housemate in compensation.

Anthony Taylor, More Than’s Business Product Manager, said: “Finding the right tenants is a big challenge for landlords whether they are living with the tenant or renting out the property – especially for first time or accidental landlords who have the least experience.

“Having housemates who respect each other and so reduce the risk of property damage is a great thing and this blueprint highlights what landlords and tenants are looking for – someone who is social, solvent and sensible.”