What would make the ideal housemate?

Warren Lewis
7th October 2016

A new report from Betta Living has revealed what qualities UK property owners are looking for in their ideal housemates.

According to the research, the ideal housemate would have an annual income of £25-35k and be in fulltime work. Generally, homeowners aren't bothered about what occupation their housemate has, with 42% of respondents not caring as long as they are able to pay them rent.

Though, there are certain careers which are viewed as preferable over others. A quarter of landlords show a preference to sharing a house with someone working in the medical profession (25%), which was followed by 10% of landlords wanting to live with those working within the financial services.

While 45% of homeowners said the gender of housemates wouldn't influence their decision, there is a strong preference towards having female tenants. Nearly half of property owners (48%) say that they prefer living with a woman, leaving a very small minority of homeowners (7%) wanting to live with a male roommate.

When it comes to personality traits, over 70% of homeowners would share their home with someone who is tidy and hygienic. 69% of homeowners also want to share a sense of humour with their tenants, which was closely followed by having a thoughtful and considerate roommate (65%).

With homeowners overwhelmingly preferring tidy tenants, it's no surprise that most also have a minimum expectation of cleanliness. In fact, up to 76% of landlords expect simple chores from tenants, like cleaning their room and replacing the toilet roll when it runs out.

Smoking is still the number one pet hate, with 74% of homeowners reluctant to rent a room out to a smoker and 62% of homeowners not wanting to rent out to excessive drinkers.

Sharing similar interests with your tenants would promote a happier living environment. Those surveyed said that, ideally, they would want to share an appreciation of food, music and fitness with their occupants.

However, disagreements may be taking place if the taste in food differs between tenants and landlords. As Landlords said that the least popular tenants were those who were passionate about adhering to a particular diet, such as a vegan, wheat-free or gluten-free diet (5%).

Tenants having a particular diet were even less favoured than Tenants who regularly enjoy going out and partying, with only 6% of tenants willing to live with them.

Needless to say, the dislike of partying tenants comes as a disadvantage for young professionals and students. Younger renters are the least favoured age group among homeowners, with only 3% of 55+ year olds willing to share their home with an 18-24 year old.

Property owners mainly want to share their house with those who are a similar age. As a result, the favourite age group to live with are those aged 35-55 years old, with 55% of property owners wanting to live with this age group. This is followed by 20% of homeowners preferring to rent out rooms to those over 55 years old.

Professor Craig Jackson, head of Psychology at Birmingham City University, commented on the findings of the study, saying, “The results show there is a paradox when looking for potential living-partners – we seem to want people who are just like us (age, habits, personality) but at the same time we also want that person to be “better” than we are with no faults or flaws. That can be quite an unrealistic way to go into the relationship with a living-partner.”

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