This article focuses on making space in your home for professional lady lodgers which can be a wonderfully positive experience.
The motivation for posting a house sharer ‘wanted’ advert on one of the leading property websites, can vary from person to person. You may be a single person that could do with a hand paying the mortgage or you may be a family looking to help pay the cost of rising house bills. Whatever your situation, if your accommodation allows, the presence and amiability of a hard working intelligent female or two can be a very special and rewarding aspect of modern living.
Ladies that have permanent jobs are sought after in terms of the ‘houseshare marketplace.’ This is because they are usually conscientious, hard working, reliable, responsible, clean, tidy and they nearly always stick to any agreements they make. Most ladies are keen to be polite and helpful. These fabulous females frequently have a very considerate manner as well as being organised. This makes this gender group ideal housemates as well as being hired by their employers for their potential as wonderful work colleagues.
All ages of women can make great home buddies. The combination of an older and a younger female can work out to be an unexpectedly successful alliance in a single residence, if there are enough rooms available.
Smart women particularly value their own dedicated facilities. If your residence has an ensuite bathroom you can charge more for your houseshare and your place will be in demand. A dedicated kitchenette as part of a ‘studio’ is rare but would also be an extra alluring asset for lodgers seeking their perfect pad.
Our favourite website for linking up with a new lodger is called spareroom.co.uk. We can recommend SpareRoom as being a trusted and straightforward option that is reasonably priced. (1) Other websites include Cohabitas (2) which specialises in lodgers over 40 years of age and RoomBuddies (3) FiveNights allows homeowners to rent their room from Monday to Friday which can be a perfect option for some people who want their own space at the weekends. (4)
Do decorate your interior so it looks as inviting and new as possible and keep it simple when it comes to the layout of furniture. “Less in more” as architect Le Corbusier famously said. It is a good idea to declutter your house and garden (if you are lucky enough to have one) before embarking on a new lodger project.
You will need to create storage space for a new person in your home and this will usually include the kitchen so don’t forget to allocate shelves in the refrigerator and freezer in advance. We all like a clean fresh space to live and work in so focus on ‘clearing the decks and getting ship shape’ for your incoming home team member.
Most lodgers will expect a part furnished room at least and this should include existing window treatments such as curtains. This means a bed with a good quality clean mattress. The bed doesn’t have to be a double or king size but bigger is usually better, even if you are advertising for just one extra person. Mattresses are expensive so make sure high quality waterproof mattress protectors are purchased ahead of moving in day.
Also add at least one comfortable chair, a desk space that can double as a dressing table if required and some storage for clothes and/or a wardrobe. A full length mirror and an up to date television is always appreciated. Remember to put hangers in the wardrobe if your new lodger is arriving from abroad. Dressing gown hooks, towel rails and small bins are usually well received essentials.
Smart contemporary lighting is ideal. Choose products that can be flexible between working and relaxing activities. This design helps make a multifunctional space comfortable. Most lady lodgers will enjoy adding their own bedding and home accessories and will probably own a lot of these already. Think of introducing minimal styling that appeals to everyone when shopping. It is a good idea to imagine the basics you would be happy to find at a Premier Inn or a new Travelodge.
The exception to this rule is if your new resident is travelling to your area from abroad in which case they will most likely need a complete selection of furnishings and equipment much like an upmarket hotel to give them a homely feeling from the moment they arrive.
We recommend purchasing good quality cabinet furniture in a second hand store or from an online merchant such as Ebay or Facebook Marketplace. Wood, metal and glass cabinets, tables, chairs, drawers and armoires and more can be easily cleaned and painted. It is good for the environment to reuse and recycle furniture.
Preloved goods can be sturdier than new merchandise and can add character and warmth to your interior scheme. Fabrics that can be washed at high temperatures such as cotton linen curtains can also be worth procuring at a thrift store. Freshly laundered and ironed second hand curtains can be a fraction of the cost of selecting new drapes.
Ask friends and family on social networks if they have any spare furniture if you need it in advance of advertising your room. Let them know your plans in case they have pieces they would like to donate and possibly even a friend or relative that is looking for a new place to live in your town.
In almost all circumstances it is more hygienic to buy any soft furnishings in pristine condition from a home furnishings retailer. Ikea can be a good retail store to purchase any furniture and homeware that you are missing in advance of the arrival of a happily anticipated renter. Supermarkets like Sainsburys, Asda, and Tescos offer elegant ranges that can be much more reasonable than more expensive department stores like John Lewis, House of Fraser and Marks and Spencer.
Remember the time it takes to put self assembly furniture items together. Be realistic about your DIY talents to avoid any unwanted stress. Ikea does have a special team of handy people that can assemble pieces for customers quickly for a modest extra fee.
Usually there is a reason why professionals are looking to live in somebody else’s abode for a while. This can often be as they are looking to live in the area for a limited period as they have relatively short term contractual work limitations or career progression goals that may mean they are expected to relocate in the short or medium term.
Other lodgers might be saving for their own apartment or looking to strike out on their own after a relationship break up or changes in family circumstances. Some applicants may be trying out living and working in an area they have always wanted to live in, this can be true especially if you live in a major city or by the coast.
You cannot do anything about the location of your property but it is worth knowing that good transport links are a big plus to those looking for a place to rent. It is worth getting timetables ready in advance of answering your enquiries. Knowing how many minutes walk you are from the station or bus stop and which routes are serviced in your immediate area makes a big difference.
Street lighting is important for female lodgers and installing extra safety lighting will make a potential lady lodger feel relaxed about selecting your welcoming abode. CCTV and secure door entry systems are favoured and lady lodgers like being able to lock their bedroom door.
It is important they are happy that you will want to regularly enter and check the room at least every month or so and carry out routine cleaning and maintenance as appropriate. This distinction is worth noting as it helps define the mode of renting as lodging in your home as opposed to having a tenant in a house of multiple occupancy, for example. For this reason living with one or two lodgers is fine. However if you are welcoming any more paying house guests than two, the status of your home becomes a completely different multi occupancy arrangement, that is governed by specific legal and building regulation criteria. For more information see the government’s HM Rev website pages on HMO’s.
Don’t forget to put battery tested smoke alarms in every room as appropriate. Also install a carbon monoxide monitor and check it works perfectly. Get your boiler serviced professionally and a gas safety certificate printed in advance of receiving your first house sharer. Think safety first and add fire safety equipment and make sure walkways and stairways are always clear and any ‘means of escapes’ throughout your property are carefully checked in advance of your flatmates moving in day.
Create an attractive folder with all the relevant documentation and also local and neighbours telephone numbers if appropriate. Include maps, information about transport, restaurant, sporting and leisure activities and any other relevant amenities about your area. Add recycling, rubbish collection and local recycling centre details and when your days for collection are. Don’t forget to write out or print out the recycling and garden waste and general waste rules which are different in every council area in England.
It can be fun to cook and dine together for at least the first day or two to help your new householder settle in and get to know you and all your kitchen appliances easily. Enjoy the stimulating experience of meeting some great people from all over the world and the privilege of enjoying the company of some smart ladies.
(1) ‘Find Home Together’ SpareRoom, 29 June 2021 SpareRoom
(2) ‘It’s Better Living Together’ Cohabitas, 29 June 2021 Cohabitas
(3) ‘Find a Roomate Near You Today’ RoomBuddies, 29 June 2021 RoomBuddies
(4) ‘Rent Your Room Mon to Fri’ FiveNights, 29 June 2021 FiveNights