Tenants offsetting rent costs through commuter savings


As the lockdown continues and many of us still restricted to working from home or on furlough, new research has revealed that the average UK commuter is benefitting to the tune of £66 a month that would otherwise be spent travelling to and from work.

Now that the market has reopened for business, tenants will be looking to move to rental properties having been restricted since the end of March. However, the financial barrier of securing a rental deposit at a cost of five weeks rent will have increased for those on furlough or unable to work.

According to Ome, the silver lining is that three months of furlough commuter cost savings could boost their finances by £199. While this won’t pay the rent, it will account for 18% of the average rental deposit of £1,107.

This help over the financial hurdle of renting is highest in the North East, where a three-month commuter saving of £212 could pay 35% of the average rental deposit.

The average commuter saving in the North West (25%), Yorkshire and Humber (24%), East Midlands (24%) and West Midlands (23%) would also chip away more than 20% of the average rental deposit.

This boost is predictably lowest in London, but with the average commuter cost accounting for 12% of the average rental deposit, it’s certainly better than nothing.

At local authority level, these cost savings become even more notable. The biggest boost is in Wales, with three months of commuter outgoings accounting for nearly half of the average rental deposit in Blaenau Gwent, while in England, this saving accounts for 39% of the average rental deposit in Middlesbrough and 32% in Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland.

Today, deposit alternative products such as Ome provide an alternative option to overcome the initial cost of a rental deposit. For the average UK tenant opting to take this route, three months of commuter cost savings could also help reduce ongoing rental costs, covering 24% of their first month’s rent.

Again, this is highest in the North East where three months of money saved working from home could cover 43% of your monthly rent, with London again the lowest at 15% of the average monthly rent.

Matthew Hooker, Co-founder of Ome said, “Now that there is an element of normality returning to the rental market in an operational sense, many tenants who needed to move will now be rushing to do so.

“However, the reality of a lengthy lockdown will mean many have seen the finances required to do so shrink and affordability will be more of an issue than it previously was.

“The silver lining is the money saved in commuter costs and for the majority, this will be far higher than the average UK commuter, so while this saving won’t be huge when compared to the wider cost of renting, it will certainly help.

“In the current climate, tenants will be doing all they can to reduce their outgoing and saving on commuting, social activities and holidays should help with this. Products such as Ome also offer an alternative way to manage their rental outgoings with a far smaller upfront cost and a more manageable monthly fee.

“Those currently looking to move who are worried about their financial situation should do their research to maximise any reduction in upfront and ongoing costs, as there is plenty of advice available and plenty of products that can also help with other areas of life such as utility costs.”