What’s your flatmate’s most annoying habit?

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Living in harmony?

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Britons splash £853 per year paying for food and bills for their flatmates, while hygiene and noise causes the most arguments, a study has found.

The research also reveals they spend almost 73 hours each year cleaning up after the people they live with, with cleaning causing the most arguments among flatmates.

The study, commissioned by specialist energy provider for the lettings sector, Spark Energy, shows hygiene and cleanliness are people’s biggest gripe when living in shared accommodation.

Nearly nine in 10 renters spend time cleaning up after their flatmate and if someone is to rent for five years, they’ll waste almost 367 hours tidying up after other people. Indeed, cleaning was the topic most likely to cause arguments.

Noisy flatmates are another bugbear for people living in rented accommodation, listed as the second biggest cause of fights and a particularly unpopular habit.

Other shock findings reveal tenants fork out an average of £600 each year replacing food their flatmates have eaten and £250 covering utility bills. This adds up to £4250 after five years.

Almost 65 per cent of respondents had been forced to bail out their room-mates when they couldn’t make rent payments while 10 per cent confessed they don’t really know the people they live with. Almost a third (30.3 per cent) couldn’t wait to move out.

The study comes as Spark Energy, the leading supplier of energy for the lettings sector, launches a nationwide hunt for Britain’s Favourite Flatmate (BFF), asking tenants to nominate roommates who have excelled in their role as a household companion.

Chris Gauld, Spark Energy’s chief executive officer said: “There are around 9 million rental households across the UK and many of those are made up of housemates or flatmates sharing.

“As the leading energy supplier for tenants, this survey gives us an interesting glimpse into the lives of our customers and helps us get to know them a little better.”

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