Getting a lodger

If you are thinking of renting out a spare room then this is a guide to the things you need to think about.

Depending on the type of tenancy you have you may be able to take in a lodger.Be aware that having a lodger may affect your entitlement to may benefits you claim.

You cannot sublet all of your home to someone and live somewhere else. You must live in your home and it must be your only or main home. You may be allowed to sublet part of your home if your tenancy agreement allows it.

If you are thinking of getting a lodger or subletting part of your home you will need our permission so please call us on 0300 7906 555

Someone who lives with you and pays you rent they are not family members you allow to stay as guests in your home.

You provide your lodger with a furnished room and use of the other common areas such as the kitchen and bathroom. You can also provide other services like meals and laundry.

The lodger can only live at your property while you have a tenancy there. You must not make your home overcrowded by taking in lodgers.

  • Housing Benefit
    • If you claim housing benefit you can keep the first £20 of any rent the lodger pays you, without it affecting your benefits. If you provide meals for the lodger 50% of anything over £20 will also be ignored. Any additional rent will affect your housing benefit. You will then need to pay the increased rent.
  • Benefits
    • your other benefits may also be affected. Make sure that you get some independent advice on what it will mean for you.
  • Tax
    • You can earn up to £4,250 a year from renting out a room without it affecting your tax
  • Council Tax
    • If you get a 25% discount because you live alone you will lose this if you have a lodger.

You may already have someone in mind to share that’s great. If not there you can advertise your room for rent on the internet.  Take a look at www.spareroom.co.uk

You can also advertise in local newspapers or on local notice boards. You may also want to check out local colleges and universities.

Always ask for references and check they can afford the rent. You must be happy that the lodger is suitable for your household and you can ask for a police check if you have children or vulnerable adults in your home. If the lodger causes damage to the property or causes anti social behaviour we will hold you responsible under your tenancy agreement.

Rates range from £150 to £450 per month depending on your area where you live and what you are going to provide. If you are providing meals or laundry make sure your rates reflect this. Ask for a month’s rent in advance and you can also ask for a deposit. Ask your lodger to set up a direct debit to pay you.

Make a list of what is in the room and both sign the list to agree that it is right.

We recommend you have a written agreement with your lodger, it may help prevent problems if you do. The agreement should contain details about how much the rent is and what it includes, how long the letting will last for and how much notice you will give if you want them to leave.

Lodgers must leave if you ask them to, you need to give them reasonable notice. It will be your responsibility to ask them to leave.

Taking in a lodger may also affect your home contents insurance policy and how much its costs. You should check with your insurance company. Your lodger will need their own insurance for their belongings.

Its up to you to make sure your home is both safe and fire proof.

Remember that having an extra person in the household may increase the amount you spend on things like gas, electricity and water. Make sure this is reflected in the rent you charge.

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