Strangers Are Top Choice For Flatmates – Arts London News

Published on February 7, 2014 | by Lucy Mercer

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Strangers Are Top Choice For Flatmates

Friends are great, but when you live with them it can be quite a different story. Suddenly, your best mate John becomes ‘that annoying guy who leaves his dirty plates everywhere’. So perhaps it comes as no surprise that most people prefer to live with strangers in a shared house, according to a recent poll by Sparerooms.co.uk.

The company hosts regular ‘Speed Flatmating’ events, where people come and meet their potential roomies for the first time over a drink and a chat. Director of Sparerooms Matt Hutchinson says these events allow people to “find the little quirks that either make them your sort of person or not”. Interestingly, flatsharing with strangers isn’t purely something that’s done by young people either – Matt told me, “People in their seventies, eighties and even nineties use Spareroom; maybe to get some help in the house or just because it’s more affordable for them.”

As house prices in London soar, it seems natural that people are looking for alternative ways to live in London. Being a property guardian is one option – this involves a person moving into another person’s empty house through an agency. Ciaran Logue is a property guardian who lives in Bow. He told me his rent is almost half what he was paying a year ago when he was living in a normal property in London. But, he said, there are drawbacks. “You could be asked to move at two month’s notice, and you could be put in any type of property.”

It may not be ideal, but living with people you don’t know may just be the answer to London’s high rent prices.

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