The pandemic has prompted a drop in the number of people wanting to flat or house share while more tenants now want to live with smaller groups of people.

A survey by the University of Bath and flat-sharing site Ideal Flatmate reveals a big shift in attitudes since the start of Covid, with trends likely to remain beyond the lifting of lockdown restrictions.

The site, a matchmaking service that pairs up compatible flatmates, found that 64% of respondents would feel uncomfortable living with people who broke the social distancing rules, which it reckons could affect flatmate preferences in the future.

Most (68%) flat-sharers still prefer to live in cities although there has been a shift towards rural locations, such as villages, towns or suburbs. Many young sharers have relocated back home to families during the pandemic.

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Working from home

The study also found an increased desire for gardens and green spaces, with a 33% rise in flat-sharers saying this would be a key factor in the future. Meanwhile, 55% of flat-sharers now work from home more than they did before Covid.

covid tenants gatzen

Tom Gatzen (pictured), co-founder of Ideal Flatmate, says it was aware of anecdotal evidence about sharers discussing attitudes to Covid before they move in with strangers.

“This is borne out by the research, with two-thirds not wanting to live with people who have broken the rules,” says Gatzen.

“This is likely to remain a factor as we move out of lockdown and the vaccine campaign is rolled out amongst the youngest population groups in the UK.”

Read more about Covid and tenants.

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