As the cost of living crisis continues and inflation sits at 9%, any available cash could be vital to pay energy bills. A “brilliant way” for retirees to earn extra money is to rent out their spare rooms to someone who can help around the house.
Older Britons can list their home with Helpful Housemates, an organization that allows a tenant to stay in someone’s home for reduced rent, but promises convenient upkeep.
Express.co.uk spoke exclusively about the process of the arrangement with co-founder Amanda Clarke, how it can benefit retirees.
She said, “There are a lot of benefits. Helpful roommates are a roommate idea, but the person who has the house gets a small rent.
“With the financial situation that many people find themselves in at the moment with high costs on utility bills and the rising cost of living, it has become even more of an issue for more people.
READ MORE: Barclays issues warning as man 76 loses over £1,000 in NHS text message scam – ‘so many triggers’
“If you have a free room, someone could come and live with you as a tenant, they would pay you rent.
But rest assured they have been thoroughly reviewed by us at Helpful housemates.
“We are finding suitable people to come and live with you. So that’s reassuring.
“You earn some rent and they come with the knowledge to give you hands-on support every week in return for below-market rent.
DO NOT MISS
“A brilliant way to use some of the space in your home is to give something but also get something.
“Certainly out of all the inflation that’s been collected during the pandemic, I think people are much more interested in that now, but not just to take, but to give now.
“I think we saw that with the war in Ukraine and people offered their homes to people there. So, if they can do it, they can offer their place to a young person living in town who is struggling to pay his rent.
Helpful housemates will look at the average rental prices in that area, and typically the tenant would pay 35-45% less than the rental value in that area.
They do this on a case by case basis but the idea is that it should be less than the market value of the rent and any help they offer will be discussed in advance eg unscrewing jars, vacuuming on the stairs or walking the dog.
Most hosts are between 60 and 80 years old and have a guest room in their house.
They like the idea of giving someone else a house, receiving the income from having a tenant, but don’t know how to find, select and “verify” someone; they may also appreciate a little companionship or light practical help around their home.
The current economic climate, coupled with the government’s Rent-a-Room incentive (of tax-free rental income of up to £7,500/year) means Helpful Housemates could be ‘a very attractive option’.
Not only do the Helpful Housemates team manage the search, but they also ensure that all applicants are vetted by DBS and suitable for such an arrangement, and they remain on hand to support the host should any issues arise.