House Rules For Lodgers

House Rules For Lodgers

As many folks are finding it more difficult to make ends meet, today I thought we would take a look at what kind of house rules you should set if you were to take in a lodger. Before you set out on looking for a lodger, remember that there aren’t any statutory rules governing lodgers, so it’s up to you to make your own rules in the form of a contract between you and your lodger. Legally, a lodger has a “license to occupy”, not a full tenancy, which makes it a lot easier to remove them should the need arise.

Some Quick Facts & House Rules For Lodgers

  • Taking in Lodgers can be a great way to earn some extra income with that added benefit of being tax efficient.
  • As a first time buyer being a lodger could help you to save and eventually afford to buy a property of your own.
  • Most areas have a good demand for lodging rooms.
  • As a homeowner a trusted lodger help to keep your property safe you if you are away.
  • Lodgers can become good companions for people who live alone or for older people with big houses.
  • Screen your lodgers well and make sure you have written agreement which state; some rent in advance,the deposit, amount, what notice is required, how they should pay you, the rent due dates, and your house rules.
  • Always collect the rent by standing order to make it easier if rent payments are late.
  • Your new tenant wont stay long if there is no flexibility. Sharing a home can cause friction if both parties do not have respect.

Lets Talk Money & Tax

Rent-a-Room scheme allows the homeowner to earn £4250 per year (around£350 per month) tax-free. Colleges (especially for foreign students), universities or large local employers provide high demand for lodging from both students and staff.

As a landlord you can only have 2 lodgers maximum in a private house. More than this makes the house qualify as before an HMO (House in Multiple Occupation). Then you would require a license and other items to remain legal.

In financially stressed times such as we have now, demand for single accommodation is likely to be a growing trend.

House Rules For Renting A Room

  1. The letting room must be in your main residence, beware! if you move out at any stage the lodger could legally become a full tenant-and they wouldn’t have a proper contract, meaning it would leave you high and dry if you wanted to evict them.
  2. A lodger needs to share all facilities with you- not have self contained accommodation. Any agreement should allow you access to enter the lodgers room for cleaning which in turn makes the “exclusive possession” rule compliant.
  3. The room you let must be fit to live in only, not to run a business from, put this in the agreement too.
  4. Existing tenants will need landlords permission to take in a lodger because their mortgage will probably forbid it.
  5. Don’t forget about informing your insurance company, they will want to adjust your cover slightly for a lodger to be taken into account, and check that your insurance policy fully covers you for any liability claims.The lodger should insure their own possessions.
  6. Don’t forget to contact your mortgage lender in case they have any objections.
  7. You must not have more than 2 lodgers in a private house, unless you are prepared for the house to become an HMO.
  8. Take house safety into consideration and get an annual gas safety checks done.
  9. Any furniture and furnishings you provide for your lodger should meet current safety standards.
  10. Screen lodgers as you would tenants. Have a formal Lodger Application Form, get references and do similar checks as you would do with a regular tenant etc.

And Finally…

Always carry out credit checks and referencing on prospective lodgers, even if they come recommended. Providing an information pack can help them settle in. Include the house rules, local information, shopping, transport, entertainment etc, plus safety information for emergencies. Show them where the stop taps and isolator switches are, and lastly, give them instructions about how to operate appliances.

This video may also help: How To credit Check Your Tenants

About The Author

Roberta WardOur ethos is to help people to really understand property investing without all the guff and marketing hype and bias. We are proud to be wholly independent and ethical. No nonsense advice about tax, pensions, property investment and finance via our blogs and social media channels.

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  • Tessa Shepperson

    Good post.   I used to have lodgers before I was married – mostly overseas students studying short courses at my local University.  It was on the whole a positive experience.  And helped with the cash flow of course!

    **external links removed**- moderator

  • C Reid-adam

    One issue that is concerning is that of the lodger’s use of gas and electrcity in their room. It is hard to control this and as they do not pay for it directly, they can be very careless, ie leaving the window and curtains open and the radiator on, leaving the room for work and leaving the radiator on and the curtains open. 

  • Kevin Hay

    dont forget to inform the Local Council if you get the single occupancy discount on the council tax

  • don

    hi just about rent my share room.I have council flat can i do this?

    • Roberta Ward

      There are restrictions on subletting a council property-most do not allow it, but some do. You need to check with your local council- or on their web site.

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