Woman shares way pensioners can make hundreds of pounds extra each month – ‘a win win’

Martin Lewis gives three money saving energy bill tips

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As the cost of living crisis continues, and inflation sits at nine percent, any spare cash could be vital to put towards energy bills. A “brilliant way” for pensioners to earn extra cash is by renting out their spare rooms to someone who can help them around the house.

Older Britons can list their home with Helpful Housemates, an organisation that allows a lodger to stay in someone’s house for reduced rent but promises practical upkeep.

Express.co.uk spoke exclusively about the process of the arrangement with co founder Amanda Clarke, about how this can be beneficial for pensioners.

She said: “There’s a lot of benefits. Helpful housemates is a home share idea but the person who has the home receives a small amount of rent.

“With the financial situation that a lot of people are finding themselves in at the moment with high costs on utility bills and cost of living rises, it’s become even more of an issue for more people.

“If you have a spare room you could have someone to come and live with you as a lodger, they would pay you rent.

“But rest assured they have been thoroughly vetted by us at Helpful housemates.

“We find suitable people to come and live with you. So that’s reassuring.

“You earn a little bit of rent from it and they come with the knowledge to lend practical support each week in exchange for below market rent.

“They can receive some money to help with the bills and the council tax and the cost of living.

“It’s a complete win win for both sides.”

Helpful Housemates was launched just as the pandemic started but now more than ever may be the time it’s necessary as average rent prices are increasing.

She continued: “People are really struggling.

“A brilliant way of using some of the space in your home is by giving something but getting something as well.

“Certainly from all the inflation that has been collated during the pandemic, I think people are much more interested in this now, but not only taking, but giving now.

“I think we’ve seen this with the Ukrainian war and people offering their homes to people there. So if they can do that, they can offer their homes to a young person living in the city and struggling to pay rent.”

Helpful Housemates will look at the average rent prices in that area and as a general rule, the lodger would be paying between 35 and 45 percent less than the rental value in that area.

They do it on a case by case situation but the idea is that it has to be lower than market value rent and the help that they offer will be discussed in advance e.g unscrewing jars, vacuuming the stairs, or walking the dog.

Most hosts are in their 60s to early 80s and have a spare bedroom in their home.

They like the idea of giving someone else a home, receiving the income from having a lodger, but are not sure how to find, select and ‘vet’ someone; they may also welcome a little companionship or light practical help around their home.

The current economic climate, coupled with the Government’s Rent-a-Room incentive (of a tax-free rental income of up to £7500/year) means that Helpful Housemates could be “a very attractive option”.

Not only does the Helpful Housemates team handle the search, they also make sure that all candidates are DBS checked and suited to such an arrangement, and they remain on hand to support the host if any issues arise.

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