Increase the Rent a Room Scheme threshold to help combat the UK housing crisis - #raisetheroof

This petition made change with 21,190 supporters!

The Rent a Room Scheme lets anyone renting out a room in their home earn up to £4,250 a year tax free. This amount hasn’t changed since 1997 and is drastically out of date. 

We should encourage more people to rent out their rooms because it benefits:


Renting out a room is the single most effective way for homeowners to generate extra income and deal with the current cost of living crisis. It also helps combat the threat of repossession.


There simply aren’t enough properties available in the UK. More people renting out rooms means a supply of affordable accommodation, largely for the younger generation, but also for the increasing number of 40- and even 50-somethings who can’t afford to rent on their own. With ownership drifting out of the reach of millions we have to provide suitable, affordable alternatives.

The environment

Two people living together have a 40% lower carbon footprint (per person) than they would living separately; this rises to 59% for people sharing a 5 bed house.

The economy

London and the South East face acute shortages of affordable housing and businesses are struggling to recruit in these areas. Increased supply keeps rents down and enables people to live where jobs are being created. 


There are an estimated 15 million empty bedrooms in owner occupied properties in England alone. Under-occupancy amongst homeowners stands at 49%, compared to 10% in the social sector and 16% in the private rented sector. If we free up just a fraction of these rooms we’ll have affordable accommodation for hundreds of thousands more people without having to lay a single brick.

The average UK rent for rooms let to a lodger is £5,593 - £7,667 in London, where demand for shared accommodation is highest - an increase of 103% since 1997. If the allowance had risen in line with inflation the threshold would now be at least £6,500. 

SpareRoom would like to see it increased to a minimum £7,500 a year

Help us convince the chancellor to #raisetheroof by signing our petition. Visit to find out what else you can do to help and learn how empty bedrooms can help combat the UK’s housing crisis.

Today: is counting on you needs your help with “George Osborne: Increase the Rent a Room Scheme threshold to help combat the UK housing crisis - #raisetheroof”. Join and 21,189 supporters today.