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    • dunroving
    • By dunroving 16th May 18, 9:47 AM
    • 1,425Posts
    • 1,018Thanks
    Tips for taking on a lodger?
    • #1
    • 16th May 18, 9:47 AM
    Tips for taking on a lodger? 16th May 18 at 9:47 AM
    After a few years without a lodger in the UK (had several in the US), I've decided to rent out a room in my new house. Part of the motivation is the tax-free Rent a Room Scheme aspect, and the other motivator is a niggling social conscience every time I listen to news pieces about the housing shortage.

    As it turns out, I know of an excellent tenant whose contract ends at just the time my room will become available, so it's almost definite that's who will move in (which removes the hassle of advertising, interviewing, and then worrying if you have the right person in your house).

    I was wondering if any of you good people have recent experience of this and lessons you can share? I have searched a few online sources and found some interesting things such as:

    "If you plan to take in a lodger, you'll have to check their immigration status before renting the room.

    Checking that the lodger has a right to be in the country is a legal requirement for private landlords." (CAB page). Yikes.

    I was thinking to have a written agreement, and a deposit (I'm not sure if this needs to go into a protected account if it's "only" a lodger, but was planning to do this).

    Any practical or legal tips? I think this lodger will make things easy, but didn't want to make any common mistakes, especially legal ones.

    [Tips especially welcome from anyone who is a lodger!]
    (Nearly) dunroving
Page 1
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 16th May 18, 10:40 AM
    • 11,366 Posts
    • 15,110 Thanks
    • #2
    • 16th May 18, 10:40 AM
    • #2
    • 16th May 18, 10:40 AM
    From things I've read on here recently:

    - don't put a lock on their door
    - don't protect their deposit
    - definitely have a written agreement (a copy each)
    - I'd only really want one week's notice from either side. A month at the absolute most
    - don't sign them up for any length of time like six/12 months

    Good luck!
    2019 wins: Still waiting...
    • pinklady21
    • By pinklady21 16th May 18, 10:48 AM
    • 858 Posts
    • 630 Thanks
    • #3
    • 16th May 18, 10:48 AM
    • #3
    • 16th May 18, 10:48 AM
    Be clear about any "house rules" from the start.
    What can they use or not use on your home for example.
    How will bills be split? Simple divide by 2 or by use of say the phone?
    In the winter, when will the heating be on and who controls the thermostat?
    What is policy on guests, friends visiting. Any restrictions? Can they stay over?
    What is notice period if either of you intends to end the agreement?

    Someone I knew who had experience of lodgers in their home said the Golden Rule was "never share a bathroom...."
    Best of luck.
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 16th May 18, 1:07 PM
    • 7,692 Posts
    • 7,375 Thanks
    • #4
    • 16th May 18, 1:07 PM
    • #4
    • 16th May 18, 1:07 PM
    use the search function - this has been discussed many, many, times. Here's 2 to start with
    Last edited by 00ec25; 16-05-2018 at 1:09 PM.
    • Rambosmum
    • By Rambosmum 16th May 18, 1:08 PM
    • 1,982 Posts
    • 2,488 Thanks
    • #5
    • 16th May 18, 1:08 PM
    • #5
    • 16th May 18, 1:08 PM
    What hazyjo said.

    We've had lodgers, mainly good experiences. Just set down the ground rules first.

    I've always just photographed their ID (usually a passport).
    • jonnygee2
    • By jonnygee2 16th May 18, 1:46 PM
    • 932 Posts
    • 900 Thanks
    • #6
    • 16th May 18, 1:46 PM
    • #6
    • 16th May 18, 1:46 PM
    I've been a lodger many times. I think my advice would be - think about what you are actually comfortable with.

    Several times I moved in somewhere on the promise that it was fine to use the living room, having friends around etc. But when I actually used it, the homeowner clearly struggled with someone sharing these spaces or having guests. This inevitably caused a lot of friction. In one case, I moved into a house where it was clear that the person needed the money, but had given almost no thought to the realities of living in a shared house and was uncomfortable with my presence from the beginning - making a very difficult few months for the both of us.

    Basically, think through how you could be comfortable sharing your house, and set expectations based on that. Don't over promise at the beginning just to get someone is or make yourself sound hospitable. The best places I lived were where I knew exactly what was expected right from the start.

    And most importantly - be fully conscious you'll be sharing your home with someone else, and make sure that's something you want to do
    • dunroving
    • By dunroving 16th May 18, 1:54 PM
    • 1,425 Posts
    • 1,018 Thanks
    • #7
    • 16th May 18, 1:54 PM
    • #7
    • 16th May 18, 1:54 PM
    Thanks, all, some great personal insights there that I hadn't thought of or seen on other threads. Will send a potted response to some of the comments later but just wanted to say this was exactly the sort of personal advice and experience I was looking for. Especially interesting to hear a lodger's point of view!
    (Nearly) dunroving
    • Strebor123
    • By Strebor123 16th May 18, 2:00 PM
    • 88 Posts
    • 38 Thanks
    • #8
    • 16th May 18, 2:00 PM
    • #8
    • 16th May 18, 2:00 PM
    I've had a lodger for about 6 months now and it's all been going fine.

    I think the key thing to recognise is that you're living with each other, so they don't just have to be OK with you, you need to be happy with them too. The lodger I have in at the moment came for a viewing and ended up staying for about an hour. We basically went room by room and had a chat about our habits, how clean we like things, anything we don't like etc. And then a general conversation at the end. Big things for me are cleanliness and social habits. I made it clear that the house was for down-time, chilling out, doing work etc. and not for friend meet-ups. We both follow the same rules. So sit down and have a thing about anything you would consider complete no-go's that would mean the living arrangements wouldn't work and make sure you bring those up. If you get a bad feeling about someone and don't really want them to move in, make up an excuse and tell them the room isn't available. I've lived in rentals when I was at uni with some unclean people and I would much rather have less money but be happy where I live!

    Legally, as they're a lodger I believe the only thing you really need to worry about is getting a gas safety certificate for your boiler.

    Don't set the notice time to much more than a couple of weeks (so you can get rid of anyone if they're awful)

    Do an inventory of the room when they move in. Do take a deposit - you don't need to keep it in a deposit scheme.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 16th May 18, 2:11 PM
    • 30,419 Posts
    • 78,068 Thanks
    • #9
    • 16th May 18, 2:11 PM
    • #9
    • 16th May 18, 2:11 PM

    Basically, think through how you could be comfortable sharing your house, and set expectations based on that. Don't over promise at the beginning just to get someone is or make yourself sound hospitable. The best places I lived were where I knew exactly what was expected right from the start. (/QUOTE]

    And if something starts to niggle, deal with it immediately - donít let it fester and become a big issue.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 16th May 18, 5:23 PM
    • 47,033 Posts
    • 57,187 Thanks
    LODGERS (Licencees/Excluded Occupiers)
    A lodger (broadly) lives in the same property with a resident landlord & shares facilities. Unlike tenants, lodgers have few rights.

    The Housing Act 1988 provides definitions of 'Resident Landlord' & 'same property' (S31 & Schedule 1 (10).


    LodgerLandlord (21 tips from solicitor Tessa Shepperson + General information site)

    Landlordzone (Various articles on taking in lodgers)

    Renting out rooms in your home (Government info)

    Rent a Room Scheme (HMRC guide for tax-free income from lodgers)
    • saajan_12
    • By saajan_12 17th May 18, 10:51 AM
    • 1,571 Posts
    • 1,174 Thanks
    Have a written lodger agreement detailing
    1. Rent, payment dates, what if late
    2. Licence dates - suggest periodic so no minimum term
    3. Notice periods - suggest no more than 2 weeks so they can find somewhere but you're not stuck in a hostile situation for a month if things go wrong
    4. Whats included - furniture? bedding? kitchen utensils? laundry?
    5. Cleaning rota / rules - who, when
    6. Guests - can both use common areas? max overnight guests? what if lodger's partner moves in?
    7. TV licence - need one if they want TV in their room?

    the last few are more 'house rules' and would be difficult to enforce - you'd just serve notice, but having them written down ensures everyone is on the same page and reduces the small disputes.
    • buggy_boy
    • By buggy_boy 17th May 18, 11:18 AM
    • 547 Posts
    • 407 Thanks
    Something often overlooked you will need an annual gas safety certificate..
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