Key Considerations When Letting Rooms to Lodgers in the UK

Modern kitchen ready for new lodger arriving
Modern kitchen ready for new lodger arriving

What to Think About When Considering Sharing Your Home With A Lodger

Sharing a home with either a man or a woman who you are not in a romantic relationship with and who isn’t related to you, is very normal in the United Kingdom in 2021. Living with a lodger can enhance your life and bring great company and friendship.

Shared houses have been especially popular recently. This is because the lockdowns to prevent the spread of Covid-19 have meant that many people have chosen to be part of a larger household to avoid being socially isolated during this difficult time.

Living with another adult paying guest or two can be on a temporary or permanent basis depending on your needs. Given a little time and effort a suitable person is likely to answer your advertisement. The lucky applicant will then be very happy to receive your spare front door keys and move in with their suitcases, after paying you a deposit and the first month’s rent in advance.

Agreeing to cohabitate with a carefully chosen roommate can enable you to afford running and maintaining your property. In addition there is the potential, depending on your situation, for this arrangement to lead to the possibility of having some spare funds for a rainy day, make favourite leisure pursuits possible or help to generate some precious savings for the future.

In our experience it is important to complete a simple lodgers agreement. This can be downloaded from one of the many standard templates that can be sourced easily online using a search engine like google. The important point is that the agreement contains all the main facts, payments and details of the arrangement between the two parties. Crucially the lodger agreement should outline what happens when either the lodger or the homeowner wishes to terminate the residential deal for whatever reason, so both people understand the process and are in harmony with this new living plan.

It is really important to take up references, so don’t be tempted to skip this step. If it is a lodger’s first work position, then meeting their parents or legal carers would be a good idea. There might be volunteer jobs or work experience that can provide a satisfactory reference in this instance. Younger lodgers can be very mature and happy to live a quiet life at home.

It is wise to consider what lifestyle will be compatible with you and your family and if you have time to support a young person finding their feet while living independently for the first time. If so, it can be an especially rewarding experience to see junior professionals grow and develop and progress into responsible adults, while living under your roof.

Some men and women looking for lodgings have a child or children who they would like to bring with them to an advertised house share. Sometimes the potential lodger is co parenting and they would like their child or children to be able to stay at certains times during the month.

It is wise to think carefully about whether the presence of young people or teenagers will fit into the householders currently under your roof. If it is a good match and you have the space, then this arrangement could be a brilliant solution for everyone. Children can be a joy to be around and a privilege to spend time with. They can also need quiet time at bedtimes and also be unintentionally noisy and messy so it is best to be realistic about what lifestyle your household is suited for best. Parents can be prepared to pay a higher monthly rent to find the right accommodation for their additional family member’s needs.

Similarly not everybody loves pets and some people are allergic to animal dander. If you have two bedrooms available for lodgers then if one of your lodgers moves out and you are advertising for a new lodger then having existing pets in your home could put off a new potential house sharer. This is particularly true if animals are large and could be unnerving for some people who may already find attending viewings in a stranger’s house stressful.

Alternatively it is always possible but less likely, that some brilliant future home mates may favour the opportunity to enjoy being around dogs or cats that they do not own. This is because they are unable or have chosen not to be responsible financially or in terms of the time commitment needed to care for a K9 or feline friend at this time in their lives. Pet owners can be willing to pay well over the average price per month in order to bring their fur babies to their new property. This can also provide homeowners peace of mind should any extra maintenance be required, such as replacing carpets more frequently than usual.

Parking space is in demand more than ever in our towns and cities. It is worth considering if there is a certain space on your drive to be allocated to a new lodger and how this will work with current householders and the existing neighbours. Being clear on how parking at your place will work best will avoid any disappointment after moving in day.

Interior kitchen suitable for lodgers
Interior kitchen suitable for lodgers

If you share communal areas such as the kitchen and sitting room and regularly stay in your house you are deemed to have lodgers. There is a legal difference between tenants and lodgers and they have different rights so it is important to clarify the terms of your arrangement clearly. See the Gov.UK website for more guidance. (1)

It is worth contemplating how you will feel once your new housemate has settled in about having your friends and family over to stay, especially if you are renting your spare room and sharing washing facilities. It is worth talking about how having friends over can work for all of you, at the initial stages of agreeing to be housemates, to make sure you are all on the same page about overnight guests.

The requirements of government regulation regarding letting rooms in your home includes obtaining an annual gas safety certificate. It is also essential to check any furniture provided passes the current fire safety regulations. (2)

Adding personal touches to your advert and kindly preparing an unexpected moving-in gift or home cooked meal can be a heartwarming moment for any busy person on moving day, to help them feel at ease in their new home quickly. Here on this article’s image you can see some chocolate Easter eggs ready in the kitchen ready for the arrival of two new lodgers.

Welcoming lodgers into your household can be an opportunity to meet new people, make new and life long friends and share both the good times and tough times together. The benefits can be much more than financial as sharing your home can enrich your life intellectually, socially and culturally.

(1) Rent a room in your home’ Gov.UK, 12 July 2021 ‘Rent a room in your home’ Gov.UK

(2) ‘Letting rooms in your home: a guide for residential landlords, 12 July 2021 ‘Letting rooms in your home: a guide for residential landlords, 12 July 2021