The number of people taking in lodgers has doubled to almost a million this year as homeowners seek to boost their income, according to new research.
A study by insurance firm LV showed that the increase was being driven by the economic climate, with a third of people saying they were renting out rooms for financial reasons.
A survey of more than 2,000 adults revealed that the extra rent was being used to help pay bills and mortgages as well as make up a shortfall from reduced benefits.
The average age of a lodger has risen to 29, with an increasing number aged over 45, said the report.
John O'Roarke, managing director of LV home insurance, said: "As people struggle to keep on top of their bills and mortgage payments, it makes sense to look for other sources of income.
"For homeowners that have a spare room, taking in a lodger can be a great way of getting in some extra cash."
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