Renters lose out on £552 a year due to flatmates not paying their share of the bills

BRITS who share a flat with their mates are £552 worse off per year due to nightmare housemates not pulling their weight financially.

This adds up to a staggering £434million annually across 747,000 households, according to new research.

A staggering 54% of people admit they are worse off because of an unreliable flatmate.

As a result, 66% say they're reluctant to live with a good friend in case it ends up ruining their friendship.

The research, by Barclays Money Mentors, polled 1,200 people in the UK – not including couples or related people – currently living in a house-share or have within the last 12 months.

Despite the good intentions from 31% of people living in flatshares who open shared bank accounts with their flatmates, 37% need to regularly remind their flatmates to put their share of the funds in the account.

Top tips for sharing financial responsibilities with flatmates

RELATIONSHIP expert Jo Barnett has partnered with Barclays to offer tips on how to regain household harmony when it comes to money.

She said: “Maintaining positive relationships is a huge part of our overall happiness – especially with those you see day in, day out, such as your flatmates.

“There is no question it has been a tough year for everyone and this has been heightened for people living in shared accommodation up and down the country.

“My simple tips for how to maintain household harmony will help keep rows with your roomies at bay.”

  • Set house rules: Boundaries are important, so make sure you up house rules that you all agree on. Once you have your bespoke set of rules, be respectful of them and away you go.
  • Set up a house WhatsApp group: This will help you keep on track with the house rules. You can use this to share reminders for bills and household matters – but you can also use it as a place to bond with your housemates.
  • Set up a separate kitty and budget ahead: Sit down with your housemates, discuss and agree financial household needs, set up a joint account and ask your flatmates to deposit the required funds.
  • Have regular house chats: Face-to-face chats as a group really go a long way. You can always disguise one of those "house chats" by ordering in a takeaway and making it part of a wider catch-up.
  • Stay on friendly terms: Take the time to say hello to your housemates when you see them and ask how they are doing. Some people could be struggling without you knowing it.

And £46 was revealed to be the tipping point after which people will no longer let their flatmate’s debts slide and will confront them over the money they owe.

But this has led to 46% seeing a good friendship go sour as a result of living with a friend.

With household un-harmony rife, 47% of housemates would wait a month to see if things got better over time before bringing it to their attention.

On the flip side, 25% would speak up immediately and 15% would take the pragmatic approach of waiting three months to see if things got better.

The research also uncovered the most annoying behaviours winding up flatmates.

For more than a third, their co-habitants not cleaning up after themselves (35%) was the top pet peeve, followed by stealing food without replacing it (29%) or inviting friends over without asking (28%).  

But three in 10 have lost their cool over their flatmate not contributing to shared staple household items like toilet paper, tea bags and milk.

And 27% admitted to going nuclear over their flatmate not paying bills on time.

Predictably, 66% of people living in shared households found it more difficult during nationwide lockdown in March, with arguments becoming more intense.

For six in 10, lockdown has even made them reconsider their preferences for a flatmate, according to the OnePoll data.

Zainab Kwaw-Swanzy, millennial finance expert at Barclays Money Mentors, said: “Living with others can be tough – something that lockdown certainly heightened for many people across the UK.

“With financial struggles being something that is often argued about, our Money Mentors sessions – which offers free, impartial financial advice – may help turn ‘flatmares’ back into flatmates.”

The Money Mentors sessions, open to members of any bank, offer cohabiters free, impartial financial guidance.

The virtual appointments can be booked online at: barclays.co.uk/money-mentors.

It comes as separate research shows UK adults spend an entire year worrying about money over their lifetime.

Meanwhile, a study in April found that 80% of Brits were "worried about their money" and had cut back on their spending since lockdown.

If you're looking to save cash, we tried six money-saving challenges that saved us hundreds of pounds – here’s how we get on.

Source: Read Full Article