UK – A nation of empty nesters

September typically spells the beginning of a new chapter for a rapidly increasing number of people, as students make the move to their University of choice. Whilst the majority of Brits are aware of the feeling of homesickness that students feel, an often overlooked aspect associated with the beginning of the academic year is ‘empty nest syndrome.’ Despite not being a clinical condition, empty nest syndrome is very real for a large number of people. The syndrome refers to the feelings of grief and loneliness that parents or guardians feel when their children leave home for the first time. Having to transition from the hubbub of having a house full of children to the feelings of desolation that can often descend can be extremely overwhelming.

An analysis of the number of live-in landlords – homeowners who live in their own property whilst renting out a spare room, has shown that there has been an increase in the number of people making the decision to rent out their spare rooms. Since 2013 there has been growth of 16%. this demonstrates that more and more people are open to taking in a lodger. figures also show that vacant rooms are typically listed on the website by women, which indicates that the claims that empty nest syndrome typically affects women more than men are truthful. The overall number of female live-in landlords is more than double the number of male live-in landlords..

Easyroommate user, Ruth comments:

“Having my youngest child head off university was an extremely difficult time for me. The house went from chaotically busy to deathly quiet. A friend suggested taking in a lodger, and it was one of the best things I could have done. My house feels like a home again, the house just felt too empty without the kids.”

Whilst Janine, from Cambridge states:

“With my only child leaving for university, and also having recently gotten divorced. My home suddenly felt very empty. The decision to take in a lodger was not an easy one, but it was definitely the best decision. Not only do I now share my home with a fantastic new tenant, but I’ve also boosted my income, which means it’s now much less of a struggle to make ends meet.”

The latest figures from UCAS state that this year there over 450,000 university applicants, an increase of 4%, this growth in the number young adults leaving home this year means that undoubtedly the number of parents who will be resigned to having to having to adjust to having an empty home will be on the increase. This record number of applicants is not only clearly demonstrated in the number of people looking for accommodation on the site, but in the growth in the number of homeowners registered on the site.

Maya Harruna, spokesperson states:

“With the number of students attending university growing, there is no doubt that an increased number of parents will be having to deal with the feelings of grief that they are experiencing. A lot of people assume that this is something that they will just have to come to terms with, however we are seeing a growing number of people, and in particular women, waking up to the fact that they do not need to resign themselves to what they are feeling, and that taking in a lodger can provide them with not only an additional income but with companionship.”