Great new book on lodgers

We recently got hold of a copy of The Quick Guide to Taking in a Lodger by Tessa Shepperson of Lodger Landlord and LandlordLaw.

It’s a great introduction for anyone who’s thinking of taking in a lodger or even those who have but need a bit more guidance. It covers topics such as rental agreements, HMOs and dealing with problems in a clear and readable format that will get you up to speed with the minimum of hassle. If you’re thinking of renting out your spare room then it’s well worth the investment.

Obviously we’d also recommend The Essential Guide to Flatsharing as well (seeing as we wrote it) if you need a more general book on shared accommodation.

Someone has been busy (and that someone is us)

We’ve just been updating the figures we’ve got on SpareRoom’s market share within the UK’s flatshare websites and the figures make for interesting reading. Based on Hitwise figures averaged out over the 4 month period November 2009-February 2010, SpareRoom has over 80% more visits than our nearest competitor and, if you take all our flatshare sites into account, over 60% of the specialist flatshare market.

We looked at figures for the following sites:

SpareRoom, Easy Roommate UK,, FlatmateClick, Zoopla Flatshare, Roombuddies, moveflat,, Housepals, Time Out Flatshare

Here’s how the results look:

SpareRoom market share

Budget is a chance for govenment to make a real difference to rental market

With reports already circulating of plans to increase the stamp duty threshold to £250,000 it will be interesting to see what else the government has up its sleeve in the 2010 Budget when it comes to property.

The main change we’d like to see is an increase in the tax threshold of the Rent a Room Scheme from £4,250 to £9,000. Despite 60 MPs (including 30 Labour members) in agreement we won’t be holding our breath as the limit hasn’t been raised in almost 13 years (i.e. not at all under the current government).

The National Landlords’ Association have again voiced their support for the Raise the Roof campaign, which hopes to make it easier for people renting out rooms in their own homes (whether rented or owned). There’s a desperate shortage of rental accommodation in the UK and there’s a source waiting to be tapped into.

We’ll find out what the budget holds in due course – our guess is that there won’t be too any giveaways along the lines of an increase in the stamp duty threshold.

Latest Live Rent Free winner announced…finally

Congratulations to Ian Evans, our second Live Rent Free winner of 2010. Ian wins £368.33 which is the average monthly rent for a room in his postcode (B20).

Ian nearly didn’t win though – his computer packed up and he couldn’t check his emails so had no idea he’d won! We were on the verge of picking a new winner when he called to say he’d just got our messages. Those of you who remember the ‘Where’s Joanne’ saga last year will know that this isn’t the first time we’ve had trouble giving away money!

If you’d like to be our next winner (or the person we pick once our next winner doesn’t contact us to claim their prize) then head on over to SpareRoom and enter.



40 MPs back Raise the Roof – so far…

Support for EDM 860, which backs the Raise the Roof Campaign, is growing. So far 40 MPs have added their signatures to the list with Labour topping the party list at this point.

Totals for the main parties are:

  • Labour 19
  • Lib Dem 8
  • Conservative 5
  • others 8

See whether your MP has signed the EDM – mine has, and I got a reply to my letter telling me he was going to!

MP for North Devon, Nick Harvey, has gone a step further and issued a press release stating his support for the campaign.