Recalculating what you save by house sharing

Cost of living - house sahring saves 29 to 41 per cent per person

Back in 2017 we did some basic calculations and wrote a story on Cohabitas about how much money you can save by house sharing. Larger cities, especially London and New York have always had inflated prices for rental properties, but we wanted to check, five years later, how things might have changed.

Today we’ve just had the energy cap increase announced. It’s an 80% increase on the cost of gas and electricity to be included in our estimate.

The pandemic caused some people to move out of the big cities, although they are returning now. This allowed city rents to dip for a year or so in 2020-2021, but now rent rises are back with a vengance. Reports of difficulties getting viewings and more expensive rents are growing daily in London. So what you can save by house sharing is not higher up the news media agenda.

Cost savings drive house sharing

Young people struggling with rents are in the news as usual, but so are older renters. On Cohabitas we feature mainly live-in landlords with a spare room or two and many longer-term renters become friends with their landlords. They appreciate each other’s company – so it’s not just about saving money – but the cost savings drive are very important to both the home owner and the housemate.

How can anyone afford to rent a one-person flat unless earning well above average earnings or getting financial help? Also, from the owner perspective, how can they afford to live in a property with one or two unused bedrooms? With heating costs rising, sharing is a solution, and is one that is especially relevant right now.

What you save by house sharing

We have updated our analysis from 2017 to illustrate the point. The results are similar but greatly inflated. We are using a Zone 2 London location (Clapham Common is a nice area) but it could be for anywhere – in fact utitlies will cost the same anywhere in the country – only local rents and council tax rates vary greatly.

London – Clapham Common example (August 2022)

Household ExpenseMonthly Costs
(For one)
Shared by two
(Per person)
Shared by three
(Per person)
1 bed rent£1,650n/an/a
2 bed rentn/a£2,300
= £1,150 p.p.
3 bed rentn/an/a£3,000
=£1,000 p.p.
Council tax (Band B,C,D)£122£69£56
Contents insurance£25£15£12
Water rates£70£40£32
Electricity and Gas£216£270£306
Broadband basics£51£25£17


164 p.p.
(+37% 2017) 
£1,505 p.p.
Save 30% p.p.

(+36% 2017)
£1,276 p.p
Save 41% p.p.

(+42% 2017)
Flat sharing cost of living. Illustration on 26th August 2022 after increase in energy cap.
Sources: Lambeth Council,, BT, Sky, Zoopla, August 2022.


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