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Outrage as Italian expats in UK offer room for £400 a month – but there’s a huge catch | UK | News

Outrage as Italian expats in UK offer room for £400 a month – but there’s a huge catch | UK | News
Outrage as Italian expats in UK offer room for £400 a month – but there’s a huge catch | UK | News

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A family of Italian expats offered a room at their London home for rent at the bargain price of £400 per month, but there was a catch.

The offer for the room in Clapham was only open to tenants who were willing to babysit for three hours a day and live somewhere else at weekends.

In the advert posted on SpareRoom the couple said they wanted someone “calm, clean and organised” to look after their children, aged between one and three, between the hours of 3pm and 6pm from Monday to Friday.

The family said the successful renter would preferably be a student or au pair, and would be provided with a double bedroom and bathroom at a cost of £400 a month.

In the advert the family said their children were “very sweet” adding that the person who took on the room could not have parties.

The listing prompted a furious backlash online accusing the family of trying to “cheap out” on childcare and forcing them to change the post.

It was then relisted on the site at £600 per month without the requirement to babysit, although tenants will still have to find alternative accommodation at weekends.

The description then read: “Hi, we are renting out a room in our family house. You will have a double room and bathroom. Living room and kitchen are shared. We are looking for someone very clean, organised and respectful.”

But the listing has still prompted fury with one Reddit user saying the £200 difference was a “wage”.

One post read: ” [The landlord] obviously considered the £200 difference a ‘wage’. This, somehow, is worse (and I bet you’ll be left with the little cherubs anyway).”

Another added: “It never fails to amaze me how people will cheap out on paying people to look after their most precious possessions ie their own children.”

Following the controversy, a spokesman for SpareRoom has now confirmed the family’s listing has been removed.

He told LBC: “We review each of these ads on a case-by-case basis, factoring in the help requested, the hours involved, and the rent amount.

“On this occasion, after taking these things into account, we decided to remove the ad.

“Ads with discounted rent in exchange for help around the house do come up from time to time and they can work well for both sides if the setup is suitable.

“The advertiser has now relisted the room, removing the childcare element. They’ve offered the room Monday to Friday, which is nothing new and is reasonably common when people are taking in lodgers, particularly in London.

“With so many people now working in the office on a hybrid basis, having somewhere to stay during the week, then going home for the weekend, can work well for both the lodger and the person offering the room.”

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