The new social stigma of flat sharing in your 40’s …

Rising house prices and hefty cash deposits mean higher volumes of the over 40’s demographic are having to find ways to make their cash go further. It seems that more professionals over 40 are house sharing, but popular opinion suggests that this is unusual, and almost strange.

So, the question is, would you respond to an advert offering to house share with an over 40 something?

Many potential renters over 40 have found that they are getting a much lower response to adverts when they disclose their real age, as to when they advertised their age being lower. Public opinion seems to indicate that people over 40 wanting to houseshare with younger individuals are seen as ‘weird’, ‘odd’ or even as “loners”.

Statistics from the website Spareroom, showed the number of people aged 35 to 44 sharing flats rose by 186% between 2009 and 2014, and a whopping 300% increase in the 45 to 54 year-old bracket over the same period. A quarter of the users on the site were over 35, with 9% over 45.

Soaring rental costs in London also mean that professionals are finding it difficult to find decent accommodation, with an average rental value standing at £1,560 a month in October 2015, a rise of 7.5% from the year before, and an increase of almost £749 from anywhere outside of London.

Renters are struggling to buy a home within their price range as well as being able to rent a property as a sole occupier. Currently the average UK home is worth 8.8 times your salary, according to the Office for National Statistics, making it almost impossible to get on the ladder.

The popular TV comedy sitcom Peep Show, documents the antics of two almost middle aged men who flat share. Scenes in the sitcom like post-it notes on food, and awkward shower encounters has been made for humorous viewing as well as a hit show.

David Mitchell, one of the stars from the show said that the series was coming to an end, as the cast was getting older. It seems the age factor has caused the sitcom to feel that it can no longer continue as it won’t be seen as relevant or believable. He said that “Two middle aged men getting older, sharing a flat like that is too sad”.

Live-in-Landlords can now earn up to £4,250 per year tax free a year, which may see another rise in the the over 40’s rental bracket, earning them a more normal public view.

What do you think to house-sharing as an Over 40, or even sharing with someone is hits that demographic? Is it strange or is it just how people are having to adapt due to the economic landscape?

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