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We have awarded Spare Room our prestigious Gold Award in this category, having reviewed 9 UK Flatmate Websites. Read our review below to find out why...
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Spareroom.co.uk is one of the biggest and best things to hit the property market in quite a while. One of the most popular and well-used sites in the flatshare, house share and flatmate finding websites, Spareroom has a seriously good reputation. There’s a good reason for this really, and that is because there are more people looking to find a flatmate or a room on this site than on most of the other sites we have reviewed put together!
One of the things you may have heard about Spareroom is that someone finds a flatmate or a room on this site every three minutes – an incredibly impressive record that means this site is surely a winner if you’re looking to find somewhere to stay or someone to live with, in a hurry.
Because of its supreme position in this market, it’s not surprising that Spareroom hosts more than 3 million registered users and their adverts. Popular with landlords with many properties as well as individuals looking to fill a single room, this site has added a wealth of features in order to encourage users to be more efficient in whatever type of property search they are conducting.
Spareroom has been providing these services for longer than any other site in the UK, and has been at the forefront of development in this market. Although we’ll go into detail about exactly what you can expect from Spareroom later in this review, the examples that spring to mind (such as Buddy-up – Spareroom was the first service to adopt this feature – and video adverts) illustrate the sort of quality you can expect at Spareroom.
Spareroom is well known for being an innovative and exciting online business (indeed, the Daily Express recognised this element of the site in particular in its five-star review). As such, the site is jam packed with excellent features that help make looking for something that suits you even easier. We won’t be able to do justice to all of these features, but we hope we can give you an idea of the sort of stuff you can expect if you use this service.
The first feature that deserves a mention is the “buddy up system”, which was pioneered by Spareroom and has since formed a pretty major part of most other services in this market. Buddy up is a great system that allows you to find flatmates to join you in living in a particular property. It’s a simple concept – you have found a property that you would like to rent but it has more rooms than you need, so Spareroom lets you buddy up with other users in order get together enough people to rent the property you all like. It’s really straightforward to use (you just hit “buddy up” on the property you like and wait for others to do the same) and it’s a seriously good way of finding people that share the same tastes as you.
Because of its supreme position in this market, it’s not surprising that Spareroom hosts more than 3 million registered users and their adverts.
Searching for adverts is also remarkably straightforward, with users being able to filter their search results based on more than 20 different factors. This makes it easy to thin-down the vast number of adverts on the site so as to find places that are ideal for your needs quickly.
Creating an advert is straightforward and takes only a few minutes. You can describe your property in your own words, as well as select specific features picking them from a list. This makes adverts easy to compare, especially when you’re looking at hundreds of similar properties. Another great thing about this feature, is that you are able to filter your results based on the features that you are looking for in a property – from a double bedroom, all the way up to access to a gym (as well as more mundane things like central heating!). Adverts also contain additional interactive features that make them even more useful, including “about the area” which gives you access to all of the information you need about the area surrounding a property, as well as the honest views of other Spareroom users about what it’s like to live there. As a feature, it’s a pretty amazing one and we were really impressed by it.
Spareroom is an award winning site (best customer service at the landlord and letting awards 2012 -2013, Hitwise top ten property website), and it’s not hard to see why. Not only does the site have some excellent features, it’s also renowned for its excellent service. New users can benefit from the wisdom of the millions of people who have already used Spareroom, with the site publishing great getting started guides for both landlords and prospective tenants. The site is also moderated 24/7, meaning adverts are consistently high quality and spam is kept to a minimum (indeed, we didn’t see anything like this on any of our visits to the site). If you do have any problems when using the site, you can get in touch with those award-winning customer service staff 24 hours a day, by phone or email – you really can’t ask for more than that.
Joining Spareroom is free, and you can place and view adverts without having to upgrade. Adverts that are more than 7 days old can be viewed and responded to by anyone on the site. If you upgrade your membership to “earlybird premium” membership, you can enjoy immediate access to the newest adverts placed on the site, meaning you increase your chances of getting the perfect place to live. A week’s earlybird membership costs just under £10 and while membership plans for longer periods are available, it’s unlikely that you’ll need to extend your membership for too long as Sparerooms normally helps you find the perfect place in a matter of days.
We were incredibly impressed with everything on offer at Spareroom, and it’s easy to see why this site has become one of the key players in the online property-search market in the UK. In terms of features, we can’t think of anything you could possibly want that isn’t already provided at Spareroom (And not only that, done well, too). If you’re looking to find a place to live, you really couldn’t do much better than signing up to Spareroom.
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