We’ve found this year’s LiveRentFree top dog…

A 25-piece samba band, four SpareRoomers in dog fancy dress and a giant cheque for £6,708. It’s the stuff dreams are made of, right?

Or at least it was for 29-year-old Nicola Bodfish, a Brighton-based canine-grooming enthusiast and the latest winner of our annual LiveRentFree competition.

But let’s paws (sorry) and go back to the start. In May, we invited renters to share their dreams of how they’d spend a year’s free rent. Over 80,000 entries (and a LOT of hilarious responses) later, we found our winner Nicola, whose dream was quitting her job to start a dog grooming business.

Such an insane prize deserved an equally insane reveal, so we decided to surprise Nicola on Saturday 1st July, while she was (aptly) studying at The Dog Hut Canine Studies college in Polegate. Our squad included a samba band, four SpareRoomers dressed as giant dogs, a banner with Nicola’s name plastered across it, and a HUGE cheque for £6,708 (a year of her rent) hand-delivered by Rupert, our CEO and Founder.

Her reaction? Worryingly cool, calm and collected on camera, but overall as chuffed as you’d expect: “Saturday was absolutely crazy. I really can’t thank you guys enough for such an awesome surprise – you don’t know how much this will help me progress the business plans. I don’t think it’s even sunk in yet!”

Keep your eyes peeled for Sussex-based canine updates, and in the meantime why not have a think about what you’d do with a month’s free rent? Our monthly LiveRentFree competition could make it happen sooner than you think…

Rent – you can’t give it away (really!)

You may have noticed that the winners page for our Live Rent Free competition hasn’t been updated this month. That’s because we haven’t been able to get hold of the person who won yet! If you’ve been a SpareRoom user for a while you may remember this isn’t the first time we’ve had trouble giving away money – in 2009 we almost didn’t manage to give away a whole year’s rent due to an over-zealous spam filter! The current prize is one month’s rent, so will be considerably less, but I’d hate to think the person who won will miss out.

The winner gave their name as Benjamin and we suspect he’s in York (based on the email address). We’ve sent 3 emails so far with no response so if you know a Benjamin in York who entered the competition you might want to get them to check their emails, just in case it’s them.

Matt

Another month, another Live Rent Free winner

This month’s recipient of a whole month’s rent, courtesy of SpareRoom, is Alex Fisher.

Alex lives in lives in Peckham (SE15), where the average rent for a double room plus bills (and therefore her prize) is £546.

alex

Alex says:

“That’s amazing news!! I can’t beleive it! I’ve literally never won anything ever!! And after entering every month for over 2 years I’d almost given up hope! I’m a Quality Assurance Analyst working in Aldgate and living in the mighty Peckham, SE London. I moved to London in 2008 after a year teaching in Japan and moved straight into a shared house. Living in London is so expensive and, with rent going through the roof, sharing is a really excellent way to make it affordable and meet some great friends along the way. I’ve met a boatload of fun and interesting people and sharing definitely helped me settle into London life! The money will come in really handy as, being 28, apparently I’m at ‘that age’ and all my friends have started to get married! So I think I’ll be using the cash to make sure I’ve got some fantastic outfits for the 4 weddings I have lined up this year! Maybe it will stretch to a few glasses of champers too.”

To be in with a chance of getting your rent paid next month head to our competition page. Alex, like 90%, of our winners, won with one of her loyalty entries (extra entries we give away free) so don’t forget to check out the ways you can earn more chances to win while you’re at it.

Good luck!

The SpareRoom team.

Who’s living rent free in March?

Natashka is.

Congratulations to Natashka Brown, who lives in East London (E1). She wins £654.33, according to SpareRoom’s Room Rental Index.

natashka

Natashka says:
“I’m a West End theatre lighting technician and had been living alone for seven years before I found my present flatshare on SpareRoom last year. It was a good way for me to move into a new area and find out what to do and where to go. Having just ended a six month contract, I’m using the site again to find my dream share apartment, hopefully with a great social element and in a great location. I’ve entered the competition on numerous occasions and never thought I’d win, it has come just at the right time. I’d like to use the money to go to Barcelona and celebrate a friend’s 50th but I’m sure it will come in handy with my room deposit too!! Thank you SpareRoom”

Don’t forget, for your chance to win a month’s rent enter now

A month’s free rent and an iPad goes to…

We have a winner for our latest Live Rent Free competition.

The lucky winner of a month’s free rent (courtesy of us) and an iPad (courtesy of Sarah Beeny’s mysinglefriend.com) is Natalie Ross.

Natalie lives in LS13 (Leeds)  so wins £320.66 – taking the total we’ve given away so far to £20,327.17.

Natalie says:

“I live and work in Leeds. I’m sharing at the moment so I can afford to live somewhere a bit nicer than I could afford on my own. I have had a tough year so it was great to have a bit of good luck for a change, I can’t believe that I won in the month you were giving away an iPad too!!! I’ve wanted one for ages but couldn’t justify the cost. I have a couple of weekends away planned, visiting friends in Galway and Zurich so I’ll be changing the money into Euros and treating myself to Guinness and glühwein.”

natalie-large

You’ve got one more chance to enter Live Rent Free in 2011 – enter now for your chance to start 2012 on a high.

Another month, another winner – £20,000 given away so far

As we do every month, SpareRoom has paid another lucky winner‘s rent in October. This month it’s the turn of Maurizio who lives in west London.

maurizio-large Maurizio enters Live Rent Free every month and won with one of his loyalty entries (free entries SpareRoom give to regular competition entrants as a reward for their…you guessed it…loyalty.

Maurizio says:

“I’ve used SpareRoom a few times before and started entering the competition religiously every month, so it now finally paid off! I have also recommended it to a number of people I know. I live in a very expensive area, Kensington (W14) and thanks to this great news I can pay off my credit card and buy a nice gift for my mum who lives in Italy.”

Maurizio’s prize takes the grand total we’ve given away in rent to a whopping £20,006.51

For a chance to win your month’s rent in November don’t forget to enter now.

As an added bonus, this month’s Live Rent Free is run in conjunction with Sarah Beeny’s Mysinglefriend.com. They’ve donated an iPad so November’s prize is a month’s rent plus an iPad.

Win a month’s rent and an iPad with SpareRoom and mysinglefriend

live-rent-free-banner Screen shot 2011-10-04 at 11.17.13

beenyset2This month’s Live Rent Free competition is being run in association with our friends at mysinglefriend.com, Sarah Beeny’s dating website. As always we’ll be giving away a month’s free rent to one lucky winner but, on top of that, mysinglefriend have donated an iPad.

That’s right – your rent paid for a month AND and iPad.

So, how do you enter? Simple – just go to SpareRoom.co.uk/liverentfree

In the spirit of mysinglefriend you’ll also get an extra free entry every time you refer a friend and they enter the competition.

That’s all – good luck!

Matt, Sarah and the SpareRoom & mysinglefriend teams

Live Rent Free in September winner announced

SpareRoom’s Live Rent Free in September competition has been won by Tanne. Tanne lives in Vauxhall (SE11), so wins £567.66, according to SpareRoom’s Room Rental Index.

Tanne says:
“I’ve used SpareRoom a couple of times, and I have been entering the competion each month since last summer. I’m sharing with one other in Vauxhall at the moment, but until recently was living in a house of four girls in Fulham and found SpareRoom really useful for finding new flatmates each year. I’ve built up quite a number of entries – it’s so easy to click on the link in the email each month, but I never thought I’d actually win! The timing is perfect as my laptop has just broken so I will put the money towards a new one, and I am also going on holiday in a couple of weeks so it should fund a few nights out! ”

Don’t forget, for your chance to win a month’s rent enter now

tanne

Another lucky Live Rent Free winner

Once more we have another winner for our Live Rent Free competition.

This month’s winner is Rachael who lives in Edinburgh and wins £351

Rachael says:
“It was a huge surprise when the e-mail arrived telling me I’d won and I’m still in shock about it. I always enter the competition as it only takes a minute to click on the link from the e-mail. I’ve found my past two flatmates on SpareRoom as the website was really easy to use and I got loads of responses. I’m going to Madrid this summer so this will make it an even better trip. ”

This month’s prize takes the total we’ve given away to £17,471.52 and it’s now 19-7 to the girls.

Rachael won with one of her loyalty awards, which you get if you enter the competition regularly. Fancy entering now and winning next month’s rent? Enter now (it’s free)

Live Rent Free – May winner

Another month, another year, another winner (and another one for the ‘girls’ column). Live Rent Free has now been running for 2 years – who’d have thought it!

So far we’ve given away a total of (gulp) £17,120.52 and it’s 18-7 to the girls.

Our Live Rent Free in May winner is Gemma Harrison, who lives in SW19 (Wimbledon). According to SpareRoom’s Room Rental Index the average monthly rent in the home of British tennis (and therefore the prize) is £546.

Gemma says:
“I used SpareRoom when I first moved to London in August 2009 – I thought the best way to meet people would be by living in a shared flat. I found the website really easy to use. I also used SpareRoom again when a flat mate was moving out – the response we had was great and we filled the room in no time! I enter the competition every time I see the email, it’s free to enter so there is no harm in trying. I never thought I would win but it goes to show you have to be in it to win it! The money will come in handy, I will hopefully put it towards a nice holiday somewhere hot!”

gemma

Don’t forget, for your chance to win a month’s rent enter now

Matt