Introducing SpareRoom’s flatshare agony aunt

Have you got a problem with your flatmate(s) that needs sorting out? Let us help with advice from SpareRoom’s new resident flatshare agony aunt Oonagh O’Hagan.

Oonagh is the author of the brilliant ‘I Lick My Cheese and Other Notes: from the Frontline of Flatsharing’, a book described by Esquire as:

“…a collection of nasty notes and petty Post-its that will strike a chord with anyone who’s ever shared a flat with a borderline OCD sufferer, or found an unidentified pube in their toothbrush and been moved to action”

If you’ve got a flatmate dilemma, chances are Oonagh’s heard worse (there’s a challenge if we ever heard one!). Email us with your horror stories, your nightmare flatmates or just those embarrassing niggles you don’t know how to handle. Every week we’ll pick the best (or at least most entertaining) and give you Oonagh’s top tips on what to do.

Just email agonyaunt@spareroom.co.uk

4 great ways to find a flatshare in London

London flatshare search options

There have always been several ways to search for a London flatshare on SpareRoom but they’ve been a little hidden away – until now.

With a bit of design tweaking we’ve been able to create a much easier way for you to access them. Here are the 4 ways you can search:

  1. Location – Simply type in the postcode or name of the area you’re looking in and away you go. Easy
  2. Commute time – Select your ideal commute time, let us know which station you work nearest to and tell us your budget. We’ll show you all the flatshares you can reach in that time
  3. Travel zone – Looking in a specific zone or, say, between zones 2 & 3? Cut out rooms in places you’re not interested in and zone in on the relevant ones
  4. Tube line – If you want to live on a specific tube line tell us which and we’ll show you all the best flatshares you could be living in

We hope these tools make it easier for you to find a London flatshare. Happy hunting!

Matt & the SpareRoom team

SpareRoom’s iPhone App Is Here

We’re delighted to announce the launch of our new SpareRoom iPhone app. The app (available on the app store or through iTunes) allows users to search for rooms and flatmates throughout the UK. Ads can be managed and upgraded and you can also call or email other users straight from the app using our messaging system.

Other features include:

  • Full retina display graphics
  • Full landscape mode
  • Location-based searching
  • Browse and contact thousands of adverts on-the-go
  • Phone advertisers directly from the app
  • Full synchronisation with your account on SpareRoom.co.uk

The app is free so have a look and let us know what you think

Cheers

Matt

Great new London area info tool

Where to live in London

Choosing an area in London can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you’re new to the city. Most people either end up in one of the few areas they’ve heard of or choose somewhere based on where their frinds are or to be near work. There’s nothing like a bit of local knowledge though when it comes to living in a new city – luckily, with hundreds of thousands of Londoners using SpareRoom every year we’re not short on local knowledge.

So, to take advantage of this (and make things easier for you), we’ve now added a new ‘area info’ feature to SpareRoom’s London ads. This shows you the average monthly rents for a single and double room in the area (including bills), plus a handy list of the tube and train stations you’ll find there. The best bit though is information on what each area is like based on real feedback from SpareRoom users who live there. Whether you’re looking for somewhere leafy, chilled, good for pubs or multi-cultural we’ve taken the recommendations of thousands of Londoners to help you decide where to live.

Every London ad on SpareRoom now has an area info link (next to the postcode at the top of the details):

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Click the link and it’ll take you to the info for the area in question (in the example the area is Brixton).

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If you know the area already there’s even a link so you can tell us what you think.

Happy hunting – don’t forget to come back and let us know what you think of your area once you’ve moved in!

Cheers

Matt

UK homeowners chip in to help stranded travellers

As UK airspace continues to face severe disruption due to the cloud of volcanic ash over the country, thousands of people are finding themselves stuck in the UK and facing expensive hotel bills with no help from their airline. We’ve been busy contacting people with rooms advertised on SpareRoom to encourage them to offer their rooms short term to travellers stranded  in the UK – within the first hour 400 people had added their rooms to the list – as I write the number has risen to over 700.

We’ve created a special page for stranded travellers at www.SpareRoom.co.uk/stranded

SpareRoom’s MD Rupert Hunt, stuck in Tokyo, is one of thousands affected by the shutdown of Euoropean airspace. He’s lucky enough to be able to cover a hotel bill for a short amount of time (with no assistance from the airline) but most aren’t so lucky. Hopefully by renting a room while they wait for flights a few hundred people here could save themselves money. Rupert was due to fly back to the UK on the 17th but has been told that the next available flight is on May 3rd and to count himself lucky as many will face far longer waits.

Matt

The SpareRoom Rental Index

As from today we’re making the SpareRoom.co.uk Rental Index available to download free of charge for our registered users – previously the index has only been made available to journalists.

Whether you have a large portfolio of properties or just need to know how much to charge for your spare room, the index is a valuable set of info on room prices across the UK.

There are 2 Indexes for you to view and download (free of charge – you’ll just need to log in or create a free account if you’re not an existing user). The first is a snapshot of the UK listed by post town and the second goes into more detail, both in terms of geographical location and data.

What does the index cover?

The index covers average rents for a room in the area listed (either post town or postcode). This is the average (mean) rent for a double room including bills.

Note – The figures in the index are averages across the previous 3 month period (ie. September’s index contains averages for June-August).

Other information covered includes:

  • Quarterly change – The % change in rent over the past 3 months
  • Demand index – Takes the average number of views per advert in each area and gives higher ratings to areas with the highest number of views per advert. A good indication of how much demand there is for rooms in an area – the longer the bar the higher the demand
  • Median rent – This is the typical rent you’ll see in the area, worked out by taking the exact middle point of the range of adverts in that postcode (in contrast to the mean weekly rent which takes the total amount of rent charged in the area and divides by the number of rooms). This is displayed according to whether the room in question was priced per week or per month (see below)
  • Median pw/pcm – Useful in busier areas as it gives an indication of whether rooms are likely to be advertised by the week or month in that area
  • Min/max pw – The lowest and highest rents charged in the area over the past 3 months

We’ll be making the index available every month from now on.

Download the latest index

Matt

SpareRoom goes mobile

Over the past months we’ve seen the numbers of people accessing SpareRoom from their mobiles increase rapidly so we thought it was time to make the site a little easier to use for the small screen. As a result we now have http://www.spareroom.mobi/

The mobile version of the site lets you search for a flatmate or flatshare anywhere in the UK and keeps the features that has made SpareRoom so popular (such as room photos and location maps). By logging in you’ll also be able to check and send messages to advertisers, see who’s interested in your ad and save your favourite ads.

As the site is new we’d welcome your feedback so just use the ‘your feedback’ link on the site’s homepage to let us know what you think.

Cheers,

Matt