New research from SpareRoom reveals the majority of sharers now want evidence of kindness, empathy and thinking of others in people they live with.
It’s just one of the changes inspired by Coronavirus and the spring lockdown according to the website, which says 48 per cent of sharers admit the qualities they look for in a flatmate have changed directly as a result of the pandemic.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, 71 per cent say they are now more cautious when choosing who to live with.
For those who stayed in their flatshare during lockdown the classic flatmate qualities like watching TV together (36 per cent), sharing meals (32 per cent) and having drinks in the evening (31 per cent) were popular ways to create a happy houseshare.
However they are now joined by something else: respecting Coronavirus rules.
Almost half - 44 per cent - say that observance of Coronavirus rules contributes towards people getting on in their flatshares. And 55 per cent admit breaches of the rules have led to in-house tension.
Almost a third of flatmates who stayed in their flatshare during lockdown believe the experience made them more patient toward behaviour that would normally cause irritation; house rules and cleaning rotas were listed as the most important contributions to a positive flatshare.
In the dramatically altered world of 2020, the ideal flatshare isn’t a cosy flat next to a Tube or train station - the previous most popular characteristics.
Now it’s a spacious property (38 per cent), a garden or balcony (30 per cent), under a 10-minute walk to a larger green space (53 per cent), half an hour from the open countryside (22 per cent), and within 10 minutes of a supermarket (53 per cent.)
“We weren’t surprised to see an increase in flatsharers wanting better access to green space, gardens and bigger rooms, but we didn’t anticipate the size of the shift, especially in such a relatively short period of time” explains SpareRoom director Matt Hutchinson.
“Amidst accusations that young people are ignoring social distancing rules, our research suggests the opposite, certainly during lockdown. A huge number of flatsharers, many of whom are in their twenties, said observing of coronavirus rules was a make or break quality in a potential flatmate.”
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