Clapham couple offer £400-a-month room for renters who can babysit and live elsewhere at weekends

The room has since been relisted on the home-sharing website at £600 a month without the requirement to babysit
The room has since been relisted on the home-sharing website at £600 a month without the requirement to babysit

A family advertised a room in their London home at £400 a month for tenants willing to babysit for three hours a day and find somewhere else to live at weekends.

In an advert posted on SpareRoom, the parents said they wanted someone “calm, clean and organised” to care for their children, aged between one and three, from 3pm until 6pm Monday to Friday at their property in Clapham, south London.

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

The description read:

The description read: "Hi we are an Italian family looking for a student/au pair preferred Monday to Friday but we can consider full week for the right person (respectful of privacy)."We are looking for someone who can help regularly with babysitting 3 hours per day 3-6pm. Our children are very sweet but very young 1-3 years old so we are looking for a calm, clean and organised person/no party."You will have a 9sqm room and a bathroom mostly for your self. The family uses another bathroom."

But the family were later forced to alter the listing after it prompted a backlash online with critics accusing the family of trying to “cheap out” on childcare.

The room has since been relisted on the home-sharing website at £600 a month without the requirement to babysit, although tenants will still have to find alternative accommodation at weekends.

The new description reads: “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 despite the change, the new advert has still drawn criticism online.

“[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),” one wrote on Reddit.

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.”

Advert removed

In a statement provided to LBC, a spokesman for SpareRoom said: “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.”