Can commuter savings help tenants overcome the cost of renting? | Ome

June 3, 2020
Press release

Can commuter savings help tenants overcome the cost of renting

With many of us still restricted to working from home or on furlough, our latest research, shows the average UK commuter is saving £66 a month that would have otherwise been spent travelling to and from work.

Now that the rental market has reopened for business, tenants will be looking to move to rental properties after being 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 those unable to work.

The silver lining is that the three months of travel costs saved by being a furloughed commuter could help to boost their finances by £199. While this won’t pay the rent, it will account for 18 per cent of the average rental deposit of £1,107.

This benefit is highest in the North East, where a three-month commuter saving of £212 could pay 35 per cent of the average rental deposit.

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

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

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

Our Deposit Replacement Membership provides an alternative option to overcome the initial upfront 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 per cent of their first months’ rent.

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

Co-founder of Ome, Matthew Hooker, commented:

“Now that there is an element of normality returning to the rental market in an operational sense, many tenants who needed to move may now be eager to do so.
However, the reality of a lengthy lockdown will mean many have seen their finances shrink meaning that housing affordability may be more of an issue that it previously was.
The silver lining is the potential money saved in relation to commuter costs while many work at home. and whilst this saving may not 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 outgoings and saving on commuting, social activities and holidays should help with this. Our Deposit Replacement Membership offers an alternative way for tenants 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. There is plenty of advice readily available in the sector as well as plenty of products that can also help with other areas such as utility costs.”