Sharing With Strangers: Success Stories

Sharing with strangers might seem an incredibly risky or even unwise thing to do, but what if we said that in doing so, you might all end up happily owning your own property for the first time? Failing that, you can sometimes find a sharing situation, whether renting or otherwise, where the situation really compliments both of your lives.

A recent media report gave some excellent examples of where people from diverse backgrounds made common cause.

Homeshare - Andy and George

Andy, a divorced man in his late 60s, used Homeshare (click to find out more), an organisation which links up older people with young people looking for a cheap rental, to find George, a 30-year-old, and the arrangement has proved to be a great success.

George pays a lower-than-market rental to live in Andy's Manchester home and also pays towards utilities. The conditions include George spending at least 10 hours a week with Andy and sleeping in the home at least 5 hours per week. Homeshare carries out screening of all potential sharers before allowing them to go ahead. The arrangement has resulted in the pair sharing a real friendship, particularly enjoyed by Andy, who had become steadily more isolated and TV-bound indoors in the 20 years which followed a divorce.

Refugees at home - Gijs, Emily and Areej

Refugees at Home (click to find out more), an organisation which connects refugees and asylum seekers with people with a spare room, was the connector which resulted in Areej sharing the rented flat of Gijs van Amelsvoor and his partner Emily.

After a couple of months of Areej sharing their flat, the couple found that they'd become friends with her and offered to put her on the tenancy agreement, an offer she took up. Even though the couple had been prepared to offer emotional and other support, which might have been expected regarding the needs of a refugee, Areej had her own large social network already in place and quickly found a job as an administrator. The arrangement has happily worked for the more than 18 months.

Airbnb - Louis and various guests

Louis was a picture editor who'd been made redundant and needed to make some income. He decided to use his spare room for this purpose and advertised the room with Airbnb (click to find out more).

Since then, he's had various guests staying and has more or less had the room permanently filled. He's made friends with many of the stayers who've come from a variety of international destinations. Tax laws allow you to earn up to £7,500 per year tax free when you rent a spare room, something which has greatly helped his finances.

Shared Lives - Alison, Gary and Jonathan

Shared Lives schemes (click to find out about a Shared Lives scheme in your area), which operate nationally, help vulnerable people, for example, those with autism, to find a safe and supportive home environment where the person lives as part of a family. This can be long term or on a short term basis.

Gary and Alison, a married couple in Taunton, share their house with Jonathan, a man with autism in his 40s, who previously lived with elderly parents and who had challenges with day-to-day life including, for example, cooking for himself.

The couple have found the experience to be very rewarding and Jonathan has not only started to open up, talking where previously he'd just write things down and working 4 days per week.

Share a Mortgage - Jo and Mark

Jo and Mark, her Facebook friend, used Share a Mortgage's service to buy a home in London, along with Mark's girlfriend. You can read more details about this success story, along with a number of others, by clicking on Share a Mortgage Case Studies.

Join Share a Mortgage and make a positive step towards home ownership, whether you want to share with a family member or friend or someone new who you've found through our platform whose home-buying wishes suit your own.