Over a decade ago, legendary snowboarder Rupert Hunt started a website that would morph into SpareRoom.co.uk, the flatshare site that, today, has more than 5 million users and is the fourth biggest property site in the UK.
SpareRoom hired Rhizome to put it on the map in a big way and really boost awareness about it in every corner of the UK.
Our PR efforts focused on championing the rights of tenants in what is now a rather treacherous rental landscape, and reporting on the situation for flatsharers facing rising rents, a dearth of supply and a lack of regulation.
We generated so much fantastic media coverage for SpareRoom there's no point listing it. Instead here are some press release headlines we came up with:
Rhizome started working with SpareRoom in 2009 to boost the profile of its Raise the Roof campaign, which was all about helping hard-pressed homeowners get more tax relief for renting out a room and, in doing so, boost the rental market with much-needed supply.
The government’s Rent a Room scheme tax-free threshold hadn’t changed from £4,250 per annum in 18 years, in which time, as most people know, rents had increased dramatically.
But in the 2015 summer Budget, Chancellor George Osborne announced a substantial rise in the amount of tax-free income that homeowners could earn from renting out a room in their property – up to £7,500 per year. After six years, SpareRoom's campaign was finally victorious, and they received a call from the Treasury to confirm it.
In the two weeks before the summer Budget, Rhizome and SpareRoom worked closely with Solihull MP Julian Knight to submit a Budget submission to the Chancellor, stating the case to increase the threshold.