UK-based NPower financial services summarise a survey they conducted into the ‘neighbourliness’ of the British by demographic variables such as location and age. According to this article from the Evening Standard (London), the bad news for the under-30s is – gulp – you were honest enough as a survey group to admit that if house sitting you would both do less work and get up to more mischief!
27 February 2002
IT is a question that will haunt every homeowner – who to leave in charge of your home during that much-needed break.
The answer is that friends and neighbours can be trusted to look after our homes, but only if the potential housesitter is over 30.
Almost 30 per cent of people aged 16-24 admitted they would get up to some mischief in charge of someone’s property, compared to only five per cent of the over-30s.
In addition to refraining from wild parties, the over-30s are much more likely to mow the lawn, make sure lights are left on and get fresh provisions to greet the owners on their return.
A third of the 2,000 people surveyed said they would water a neighbour’s plants, and restock the fridge, but that rose to two thirds among thirty-somethings. Anyone wary of coming home to a wrecked house should steer clear of twenty-something housesitters. The most common liberty was ‘having a party’ – 13 per cent of those asked said they would invite their friends around. One in 10 would ‘raid the fridge’ and almost one in 20 would listen to messages on the answer machine.
The survey, by NPower financial services, also highlights a lack of community spirit in London.
While half of people in the South West said they would keep their neighbours garden blooming, this fell to one in three in London.
NPower’s Phil Taylor said: ‘Britons continue to be as nosey and, in the case of young people, as naughty as ever. But the survey reveals a community spirit is still real for many people.’
Copyright 2002 Evening Standard (London)