SpareRoom founder seeks ‘pay what you can afford’ housemates in Spitalfields

London is one of the most expensive cities to live in, with many young people struggling to find an affordable place to live and lettings websites often deluged with applicants. Now the brains behind a popular lettings website has come up with a novel way to find housemates for himself. He is using social media including YouTube to help publicise his search.

SpareRoom founder Rupert Hunt posted a video on YouTube announcing he was searching for two or three housemates to live with him in his six-bedroom £3million Georgian home in Spitalfields. Rents in Spitalfields can typically go up to £1,000 per month. He is renting the available bedrooms on a ‘pay what you can afford’ basis.

Rupert Hunt in his living room. Pic: SpareRoom

Rupert Hunt in his living room. Pic: SpareRoom

Hunt declared: “I’m open to living with pretty much anyone, as long as we get on and they add something interesting to the dynamic of the house. That’s why I’ve taken a ‘pay what you can afford’ approach.”

After his previous housemate moved out, Hunt decided to look for someone willing to share his house but also his interests. In the YouTube video he not only gives a virtual guided tour, he also talks about himself, what he likes and what people should expect from living with him. Rupert founded SpareRoom in 2004 and it now claims to be the UK’s busiest flat-sharing website with over five million registered users. Rupert himself is an unlikely tech entrepreneur. According to the website, he does not have a TV or a microwave. That’s not likely to put potential house sharers off however.

Rupert Hunt Pic: SpareRoom

Rupert Hunt Pic: SpareRoom

Rebecca Jones, a member of the communication team at SpareRoom, says: “It’s not often that you work for someone who really lives and breathes the philosophy behind their brand. Rupert believes it’s the people who make or break a house share and his current venture shows he practises what he preaches.”

Hunt warns his potential future housemates he has decided to create a 6-episode series on YouTube about his journey to find the perfect match. Hunt says he wants to spread the word that “living with the right people beats living alone”. He is also hosting a party for room applicants, which will appear in the YouTube series.

If anyone is interested, here is Hunt’s ad on SpareRoom. And while waiting for the five next episodes, here is a a preview.

Follow Nina Lecourt on Twitter: @NinaLecourt

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