Taking In Lodgers- ‘Rent-A-Room’ Scheme Guide For Landlords

Ever considered taking in a lodger? A lodger can be a great way of generating income; many thousands of homeowners earn extra income in this way. Interested? Let’s take a look at the details…

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The positives of taking in a lodger

  • most obviously, it’s a great way of earning extra cash, which can ultimately help you pay your mortgage and support other financial expenditures you may have
  • The Inland Revenue allow you to earn up to £4250 per year (Just over £350 per month) tax-free through the rent-a-room scheme. To be valid for the scheme (tax-free policy), you need to stick to a few rules, which I’ll cover later.
  • Your lodger has a license to occupy your premises and not a full tenancy – no interest in the property – therefore it’s a much simpler process to remove unsuitable lodgers than it is tenants You have much more control over the situation with a lodger than you do with full tenants. This is because Lodgers occupy your home on licence, and they do not have security of tenure – unlike tenants. Lodgers cannot call the place their own, therefore they have no right to stay on if you give them notice to leave.
  • If you live alone, a lodger’s presence alone can provide you with security
  • Good lodgers can become great friends; they can even become free house sitters, child and pet minders. Let’s face it, living with someone new and random could be fun; you may find yourself with a new drinking partner

The negatives of taking in a lodger

  • you could potentially end up living with a stranger. So it’s important you get someone trust worthy in. It’s always best if you can get a friend in, or a friend-of-a-friend; basically anyone that comes with a good recommendation from someone you can trust.
  • you’ll have to provide a communal area, such as a bathroom and kitchen, which means you’ll have less “private” areas.
  • you may find it more difficult to gain personal space and “alone time” around the house. So walking around in your undies or cooking naked may no longer be an option. Unless, of course, by some miracle you’re both nudists! In that case, game on.
  • Lodgers and landlords aren’t always going to agree on everything, so the odd debate here and there is more than possible.
  • Your tenant has the right to invite guests over, so you may have to play host for random guests and have unknown faces around your house.
  • If you live alone, you will lose the 25% single person discount on your council tax. There may be some exceptions, for example, if the subtenant is a full-time student.

The Rent a Room scheme

The main benefit of getting a lodger is that you can apply for the “rent a room scheme”, which as mentioned, entitles you to a tax free income of up to £4250. The Rent a Room scheme is an optional exemption scheme from renting furnished accommodation in your only or main home.

To avoid creating full tenancies (this scheme does NOT apply to “tenants” or “sub-tenants”, only lodgers) and to qualify for the rent-a-room scheme, you must meet the following requirements:

  • The room you let must be in your main residence, where you live most of the year. If you move out the lodger could become a full tenant by default.
  • The lodger must not have exclusive possession of a self-contained part of your property. Cooking facilities and bathroom etc. need to be shared with you.
  • The room you let must be for the lodger to live in, not to run a business.
  • If you are a tenant yourself you will need permission from your own landlord before you take a lodger. You will need permission in writing.
  • You will need to inform your insurers – they may want to change the cover slightly, and it’s a good idea to ask the lodger to insure their own possessions. It’s unlikely your household insurance will cover the lodger’s possessions.
  • You need to inform your mortgage lender, though it’s unlikely they will have any objections.

The advantages and disadvantages of the scheme

Although the scheme sounds like a decent deal, it might not be for you; it’s simply a matter of working out what is best for you. The principal point to bear in mind is that if you are in the Rent a Room scheme you can’t claim any expenses relating to the letting, for example, wear and tear, insurance, repairs, heating and lighting.

To work out whether you will be better off joining the scheme or declaring all of your letting income and claiming expenses on your tax return you need to compare the following:

  • how much income you are left with after your expenses
  • the amount of your receipts (rent plus any income from laundry services, meals, etc) over £7,500 or £3,750 if letting jointly per tax year
  • If you opt out of the scheme (or simply do nothing) you will pay income tax on the first amount. If you opt into the scheme you will pay tax on the second amount.
  • All UK landlords, including live in landlords, must get a Gas Safety Certificate (CP12), which must be renewed annually.
  • From 1st of Feb 2016 all landlords in England need to ensure their tenants have the “Right to rent” in England.

    In most cases it should be fairly straightforward- all you need to do is keep a copy of your tenant’s passport with your paperwork and record the date you took the copy. For more details, go to the Landlord ‘Right to rent’ guide.

Extra “rent a room scheme” notes

  • As mentioned, you’re taking a huge risk when taking in a stranger as a lodger. We all tend to be too trusting of people we don’t know – letting a complete stranger into your home is a risk.
  • It is most advisable to verify the lodger thoroughly. You should carry out credit searches and referencing on prospective lodgers, just as you would a tenant – unless you know they are genuine or they come recommended from a reliable source.
  • Legally you don’t need a formal agreement, but it is an extremely good idea to have one, as it can prevent a lot of arguments later.
  • Renting out a room may also affect your contents insurance. Most insurers will put up premiums, but it’s still important to inform them if you want to be sure that your belongings are protected. If you don’t tell them, the insurance may not be valid.
  • Taking in a lodger will most likely affect the amount of benefits you get if you’re claiming. For example, if you’re receiving housing benefit and you take in a lodger, the amount you get will almost certainly be reduced as they’ll assume your lodger is paying rent. This will be the case even if your lodger is living rent-free. If you simply don’t tell them, you may end up having to repay an overpayment, or be prosecuted for fraud.

FAQ

How do I find a lodger?

The good thing is, you don’t need to pay a letting agent to find you a lodger. You can find one relatively easily and quickly by advertising your vacate room on one of the following websites:

Who do I need to inform that I have a lodger?

You may need to inform the following (if applicable):

  • Mortgage lender – get their permission in writing.
  • Possibly your freeholder for a leasehold property – check your lease; it’s unlikely permission will be necessary for a lodger (as opposed to a tenant), but if it is it should be in writing.
  • If you’re a private tenant, whether or not your rental agreement mentions subletting, you must get permission from your landlord which should be in writing.
  • If you rent from a housing association (although some housing association tenants have the same legal right as council tenants to take in a lodger – see below) there may be a clause in your letting agreement to the effect that taking in a lodger is not allowed, but with the current housing shortage, many housing associations will be prepared to waive this.
  • If you rent from a local authority in England or Wales, provided you have a secure tenancy (which you’re very likely to have unless you’re in temporary accommodation – check your rental agreement), you actually have the legal right under the Housing Act 1985 s 93(1)(a) to let a room in your home provided this doesn’t mean your home becomes overcrowded.
  • You home insurance provider must be informed or future claims could be refused.
  • Local Council Tax department if you get a single occupier’s discount or your council tax is paid for by benefits.
  • If you claim universal credit, you can keep the full rent without this affecting your benefit, but you should still inform the DWP and/or your local council, making it clear the new occupant is a lodger paying rent under a written lodger agreement and not a common law partner or family member.
  • If you claim means tested benefit other than universal credit, again you must inform the DWP in writing. The first £20 per week benefit is unaffected, but how the rest is affected depends on whether you provide any board for the lodger; see Lodgersite.com.

Will my pension get affected if I have a lodger?

Only if you receive pension credits, which are a means tested income supplement paid to retired people who are on a low income and didn’t pay enough into their state pension while they were working.

Do I have to pay tax on the rental income from my lodger?

If your income from renting your spare room is the rent a room scheme ceiling of £7,500 (which increased from £4,250 on 6th April 2016) or under – regardless of your overall income from other sources, you don’t need to take any action as far as HMRC is concerned, unless you already do a tax return for other reasons.

If you DO pay tax on your rental income (because it’s over £7,500), you can ask HMRC to tax you through PAYE, in which case it would be on your P60. Otherwise, if you needed to prove your rental income, in the absence of an accountant, you would need to request an SA302 – so even if you were using your rent a room exemption, you would need to do a tax return. Whether your rental income is over £7,500 or not, you can still opt out of rent a room if you need to claim a rebate on your room rental. See the Rent a Room Scheme Ready Reckoner tool on Lodgersite.com for full details for your own particular circumstances.

I already have a lodger, can I increase his/her rate?

Legally, you are entitled to raise the rent, provided you’re not within a fixed period on your rental agreement. For a guide to rates in your area, download Spareroom’s Rental Index (this covers the whole UK, not just London).

Where can I buy a Lodger Agreement?

You can buy hard copy agreements from WHSmith – either their online store or on the high street, or there many others you can download. However, beware some free agreements, even those purporting to be written by lawyers – many of these contain wording which could compromise the legal status of the room let!

Here’s an agreement which you can purchase off Amazon, which has received good reviews:

Will renting my room out affect my tax credits?

Tax credits are regarded as a means tested benefit, which means that if you have a lodger you can keep the first £20 per week rental income without it affecting your benefit, but the remainder is affected – unless you provide meals for the lodger, where you can keep half of the remainder.

For example, say you’re paid £90 per week rent, but you always provide a cooked breakfast for your lodger, you would make £55 per week rental income (made up of the first £20 that is disregarded, plus one half of the remaining £70, which is £35).

Can my lodger have overnight guests? If so, how often?

As far as the law is concerned (in all countries, not just England), a lodger has absolutely no right to have overnight guests, unless it’s been agreed as part of the letting contract (the lodger agreement, which can be written or verbal – though if verbal, very hard for either party to prove in a dispute – if it can’t be proved, the basic default legal standard would then stand).

However, having said that, in practice if a lodger is paying rent and behaving properly, it should be regarded as their home too, and it’s not unreasonable to expect to have your partner overnight on occasion in your own home, except if it’s a house share of any description, your house mates and pre-agreed house rules obviously must be considered and there should be give and take.

The Lodgersite.com website says that 2 nights a week is reasonable, but Spareroom.co.uk suggest the partner stays the same number of nights the lodger stays over at their place (which assumes the partner is in a position to have a regular overnight guest).

Can I have a relative “rent a room”?

When the landlord and tenant or lodger are related, if you claim housing benefit, local housing allowance or the HB or LHA element under universal credit, your claim may be affected, unless your relative is unable to afford your rent. Other benefits would only be affected if the person was married to you or living with you as a married or civil partner.

My lodger is frequently away, is he still liable to pay the full-rate?

The assumption is still that the room is let full time – unless the lodger and landlord have agreed otherwise (typically a midweek let where the landlord gets full use of the room when the lodger isn’t in occupation on weekends and holidays and the lodger doesn’t pay rent for those days).

Generally, the lodger is liable for paying full rent while he is away, unless you can get his agreement that you can use his room while he’s gone (you could let it short term to another lodger). However, make sure it’s put clearly in writing (email or even text will do, provided you get a response with his clear agreement) and you agree on dates, or at the very least get a cast iron commitment from your lodger as to a minimum notice period he will give you when he wants to return.

If you do let his room to a temporary lodger while he’s away, get that person to sign a lodger agreement that clearly sets out a time period with 1 week’s notice in case your main lodger wants to return. Also, even though this would only be a temporary lodger, it’s crucial you that you run a tenant reference on them, if only to ensure you don’t get someone who refuses to move out after the main lodger wants to return!

Note: Many of the FAQ’s have been answered by the brilliant lodger expert Mandy from Lodger Website (there’s a lot more information on lodging there, highly recommended) in the comments section below. She’s always giving sound advice and willing to help.

Any information provided is not legal advice. I will always recommend you seek legal or professional advice on any legal matters!

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157 Comments- join the conversation...

Showing 107 - 157 comments (out of 157)
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Diane 14th March, 2015 @ 10:44

Hi can anyone tell me where i can buy a Lodger Agreement ? Ive looked online but you have to have a printer & ive not got one. I would like to be able to get one delivered to my home....Thanks in advance

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Mandy Thomson 16th March, 2015 @ 20:51

@Diane

You can buy hard copy agreements from WHSmith - either their online store or on the high street.

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Yvonne 19th March, 2015 @ 11:34

Hi I own my own home that I live in with my daughter I work 19hours a week and get tax credits.can I rent a room out and if so will it affect my tax credits ? How much rent can I charge a person ?

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Mandy Thomson 24th March, 2015 @ 14:14

@Yvonne

Sorry for the delay in responding to this. Tax credits are regarded as a means tested benefit, which means that if you have a lodger you can keep the first £20 per week rental income without it affecting your benefit, but the remainder is affected - unless you provide meals for the lodger, where you can keep half of the remainder.

For example, say you're paid £90 per week rent, but you always provide a cooked breakfast for your lodger, you would make £55 per week rental income (made up of the first £20 that is disregarded, plus one half of the remaining £70, which is £35).

To determine your rent, please see http://www.lodgersite.com/Rent.html

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Lucy 7th April, 2015 @ 12:35

Hi, I am a landlord who rents a master bedroom with ensuite for £350 which includes use of the kitchen, driveway, garden. My lodger has been with me since December and appears to be of the opinion that however many nights I have a guest to stay over, that he can have the same. For example, my son has just been visiting and stayed for 2 nights, so the lodger had his girlfriend stay for 2 nights without asking. We have a lodger licence agreement which states a verbal agreement that his girlfriend can stay on Saturday nights, which she has done since he moved in. Now suddenly he's claiming he knows his rights and she can stay more often. I can't find anything anywhere which covers the lodgers having people staying overnight. He signed a licence agreement when he moved in for the verbal agreement and now he is moving the goal posts. I also know that he is smoking in the room, and I don't mean normal cigarettes, when he knows the room is non smoking.
Can anyone shed some light on this please?

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Mandy Thomson 8th April, 2015 @ 07:28

Hi Lucy

As far as the law is concerned (in all countries, not just England), a lodger has absolutely no right to have overnight guests, unless it's been agreed as part of the letting contract (the lodger agreement, which can be written or verbal - though if verbal, very hard for either party to prove in a dispute - if it can't be proved, the basic default legal standard would then stand).

However, having said that, in practice if a lodger is paying rent and behaving properly, it should be regarded as their home too, and it's not unreasonable to expect to have your partner overnight on occasion in your own home, except if it's a house share of any description, your house mates and pre-agreed house rules obviously must be considered and there should be give and take. I have said on my website that 2 nights a week is reasonable, but Spareroom suggest the partner stays the same number of nights the lodger stays over at their place (which assumes the partner is in a position to have a regular overnight guest).

I suspect in your case, your lodger might have been reading some of this ideal best practice advice and either misinterpreted it as his legal right or is trying it on....

As I've said, this does assume an ideal scenario, where the lodger is someone you know for certain is of good character and you not only trust them, but you feel comfortable with them in your home - therefore, before letting to a lodger, it's crucial to run proper references, interview them and get to know them a bit first, be aware of your own trigger points and what you can realistically live with, and ensure you and your lodger agree on house rules before either of you commit yourselves to the arrangement.

It sounds to me like this isn't the case here, as the lodger is breaking your agreement on at least 2 counts, and it doesn't sound like there's a good relationship between the two of you - you can't have someone living in your home on that basis. Therefore - assuming you don't have a fixed term agreement - I suggest just telling your lodger politely that you don't think it's working, and you're giving him a month's notice to move out (a month is the maximum legal standard - he will have no basis to argue that, provided you he's not owed rent or deposit, and the agreement isn't fixed term).

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Mandy Thomson 8th April, 2015 @ 07:39

PS I forgot to say to put the notice in writing, as well as telling him. Email is fine, provided you keep a copy and can prove he received it.

If he does dispute receipt, I'd advise posting and getting proof of postage. While it sounds OTT to post to your own home, it will give you piece of mind that he can't possibly dispute it.

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Lucy 8th April, 2015 @ 19:02

Thanks for the advice, he will be getting his marching orders!

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Mandy Thomson 8th April, 2015 @ 20:24

He certainly sounds like a keeper - NOT!

For further advice on serving notice on a problem lodger, please see http://www.lodgersite.com/Serving_notice_and_eviction.html

Good luck.

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Gareth 10th April, 2015 @ 15:34

Parents who now have a spare room should really consider what they want to do with it, lodgers can come in really handy. I have some more information here to help parents with empty rooms: https://www.flatmaterooms.co.uk/blog/parents-filling-empty-bedrooms

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Mandy Thomson 11th April, 2015 @ 08:26

@Gareth

Yes, that is a good idea and a good way to use the room. However, living with a lodger isn't for everyone. There's more to it than simply having a spare room and considering your tax position - you have to really think about your tolerance levels first, and be very honest with yourself, and only when you believe you really can tolerate another adult in your living space find someone compatible, REFERENCE THEM THOROUGHLY and agree on house rules - before either of you make any commitment to the arrangement. See here for how to prepare for a lodger: http://www.lodgersite.com/BeforeLodgerMovesIn.html

Empty nesters particularly need to get over their feelings of loss and loneliness before letting their child's room. If they don't, they may find themselves subconsciously resenting the lodger, as I believe might have been the case when I rented my empty nester friend's spare room (the fact she insisted on keeping most of her daughter's belongings in the room while I was supposed to be living in it was my first clue...:-) ).

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mary 21st April, 2015 @ 18:37

I live off my work pension. Can I have an elderly (88 yrs old )relative "rent a room" and have housing benefits pay for it.
I currently receive carers allowance for this person.

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Mandy Thomson 22nd April, 2015 @ 08:19

Hi Mary

When the landlord and tenant or lodger are related, you will normally be required to satisfy the local authority that it isn't a contrived claim - that is, the landlord can't do without the rent and would be forced to evict the lodger or tenant if they were unable to pay. The benefit claimant is also normally required to produce a valid rental agreement (in this case, a lodger agreement signed by both parties).

As your relative is already living with you, and particularly given her needs, you're unlikely to throw her out for not paying rent, so you're likely to struggle to convince the council that it's not a contrived claim - indeed, as you're family, they are likely to see you both as forming one household, particularly as you're also caring for the lady (for example, live in child carers - nannies and au pairs - are generally considered to be part of the same household as the family they work for and live with). I'm not aware of anyone successfully claiming local housing allowance (LHA - housing benefit for private tenants and lodgers) to rent a room in the home of a relative.

However, although she may not qualify for LHA, she may well qualify for other benefits on top of what she currently receives, attendance allowance for example. Your local Age UK branch will be able to offer advice, and even help you or your relative to complete the claim forms. I personally know someone who had suffered a stroke and successfully claimed attendance allowance after an Age UK advisor helped her to complete the claim form.

Please visit these links from Age UK for further information: http://www.ageuk.org.uk/Documents/EN-GB/Information-guides/AgeUKIG43_More_Money_In_Your_Pocket_inf.pdf?epslanguage=en-GB?dtrk=true http://www.ageuk.org.uk/Documents/EN-GB/Information-guides/AgeUKIG13_Advice_for_carers_inf.pdf?epslanguage=en-GB?dtrk=true
http://www.ageuk.org.uk/money-matters/claiming-benefits/benefits-calculator/

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mary 23rd April, 2015 @ 23:45

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

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Danny Cole 24th April, 2015 @ 23:15

Thanks for the info, I'm 100% sure I qualify (as a lodger) but how do I apply? I had a copy of the bulky housing benefits form and when I shown it to the landlady (who lives with me now) she said it is the wrong form because it asks questions about the income of everyone in the household and asks questions as if I'm the home-owner. She said I need the 'rent-a-room' form and claims she has filled one out before and it's only about 3 pages. I have been to the council, spoke to 5 people including the head of housing department and they said there is no such thing as the form. I can't remember what form the councillor mentioned but she recons it's a form for when you're already claiming housing benefits and are just changing address. Is this right? Am I supposed to fill out the housing benefit form just to apply as a lodger? Also the rent is pay-as-you go if you like so do I tick the 'I live in permanent accommodation' or 'temporary accommodation' box? Thanks in advance!!

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Donna 1st May, 2015 @ 18:38

Hi
I have my ex partners disabled mother living with me, she pays me rent and I receive carers allowance for her, I work part time and receive. Working tax credits also receiving child tax credits for my daughter, do I need to inform anyone ? I did declare to tax credits that I received carers allowance for my daughters grandmother. Any advice would be appreciated

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Mandy Thomson 3rd May, 2015 @ 10:20

Hi Donna,

As I've commented above, a relative who lives with you is not counted as a "sub tenant" (lodger) and as such, "rent" payments would simply be regarded as her keep, which is allowed.

If the lady receives pension credit, this will NOT count against your tax credits, neither will the carer's allowance you receive for her. If in doubt, complete the HMRC Tax Credit calculator (obviously, assume you are on your current income MINUS the tax credits) - the carer's allowance counts as "social security": http://taxcredits.hmrc.gov.uk/Qualify/DIQHousehold.aspx

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Mandy Thomson 3rd May, 2015 @ 10:41

Hi Danny

Each council will have their own forms, and ways of applying for local housing allowance. As far as I'm aware, there is no difference in the process for applying whether you're renting a room, a flat, or a house.

I would assume that this would be covered when they ask you to specify the actual premises you're renting, which in your case will be a room, an essential question, as anyone single and under 35 will only qualify for the single room rate even if they ARE renting a whole house or flat.

BTW, your household is just you; you and your landlord form two separate households as you are her lodger, not her a member of her family or her employee. And yes, you would state that you live in PERMANENT accommodation, unless your lodger agreement is for a short term, such as a few weeks. Last but not least, you will need a paper lodger agreement, signed by both you and your landlord.

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frank 4th May, 2015 @ 14:56

hello,my brother owns a house (that he doesn't reside in) and has decided to rent the rooms out individually rather than the whole house,would i be able rent one of the rooms and claim housing benefit for it?(i am on sickness benefit). thanks

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Mandy Thomson 5th May, 2015 @ 08:20

Hi Frank

As you wouldn't be living with your brother, there's no reason why you shouldn't be eligible - however, you will both be interviewed and will need to convince the council that it's not a contrived tenancy - that is, your brother/landlord is not in a position to make a concession for you if you can't pay the rent, and a proper tenancy agreement (AST) is in place.

You and your brother are probably well aware of this, but just for the record, you wouldn't be a lodger, you would be a full tenant on an AST and your brother is likely to need an HMO licence (either mandatory, or it might be subject to something called additional licensing - depending on the number tenants and your particular council's policy) - see https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/15652/HMO_Lic_landlords_guide.pdf

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Tina 30th May, 2015 @ 20:54

A friend has been renting out a room in his house to a previous partner. They both share bathroom kitchen and living area. This guy is now bringing drugs into the house, getting high, causing arguments and damaging the property. He has insufficient money to last the month so even though rent paid, after two weeks he starts eating my friends food. When argument starts he says his mother is a lawyer and he knows his rights. There is no written agreement. Can my friend give him notice to leave - he says he has tenants rights.
My friend is worried about the drugs, the people he brings home and how much more damage will be caused. Lighting and tv ruined so far.

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Mandy Thomson 31st May, 2015 @ 12:02

Hi Tina

If his mother is a lawyer (whatever that means - UK lawyers are usually known as solicitors or barristers, with a small number of supporting professions such as para legals), he should clearly understand the difference between a tenant and a licensee, which he is most likely to be in this situation, as he lives in his landlord's home and shares living accommodation with the landlord - that is assuming the resident landlord didn't move in AFTER the lodger and/or the two housemates didn't sign a joint tenancy agreement with an external landlord to rent the property.

If the resident landlord stayed away long term and/or the lodger has a lock on his room that the resident landlord can't unlock, the lodger might try to argue that he has a common law or excluded tenancy (http://www.lodgersite.com/What_is_a_Lodger.html) - though whether he would be successful would depend on the circumstances.

However, from the information you've provided, I would say this is just a bog standard lodger agreement (the lodger being a licensee) which means he only has the right to a month's notice maximum, which under the circumstances you describe could quite reasonably be shortened!

Please see http://www.lodgersite.com/Serving_notice_and_eviction.html for more detailed guidance on evicting a lodger.

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Jane 1st June, 2015 @ 18:45

Can a ex partner let out rooms under the rent a room scheme without permission from the joint mortgagee who has moved out until the house can be sold?

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Mandy Thomson 2nd June, 2015 @ 08:33

Hi Jane

Legally, a landlord (even of a whole property) does not necessarily have to be the owner, so in your situation, legally there is no reason why the partner who still lives at the property can't be the sole landlord of a future lodger.

However, the legal position and the tax position don't always match. Where HMRC are concerned, how the joint owners are taxed will depend on how the property is owned. As you may be aware, joint owners can own the title to their property as joint beneficial owners or as tenants in common. If the owners hold the title as joint owners, they are assumed to have an equal 50/50 share of the title and HMRC will also treat them as having a 50/50 share of any rental income.

I would seek advice from an accountant or solicitor who is familiar with renting property with joint owners, but as I would interpret it, in your situation, if the property is no longer the MAIN HOME of the owner who has moved out, that person CAN'T be a live in landlord to a lodger living in that property, so HMRC's DEFAULT position would be that that person is liable to pay tax on their share of the lodger's rental income as a regular live out landlord.

There is however a way around this. Tenants in common can divide the property as they see fit, so even 99/1 is possible (lenders are not concerned about this arrangement, as both owners are still liable to pay the mortgage). If you're separated, holding the property as tenants in common would be advisable in any case. To divide shares unequally, you will need to draw up a declaration of trust between you.

If the property is held as tenants in common in unequal shares with a supporting declaration of trust, you can then advise HMRC that only the live in landlord is liable for tax on the rental income, and if this falls below the rent a room threshold, no tax is payable. However, as this is a more complicated situation, they may ask you both to complete tax returns.

Finally, to be fair to the lodger, and to prevent a nasty dispute, I would be upfront from the start about the temporary nature of the letting arrangement and stipulate an end date on the lodger agreement for well before the date you would expect the property to be sold. Also, make sure the lodger is referenced thoroughly http://www.lodgersite.com/Can_I_Trust_Them.html as the last thing needed in this situation is the lodger from Hell and an acrimonious dispute with the lodger!

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Esther 4th June, 2015 @ 16:52

Hi
My cousin has a lodger staying with her and just found out
through company check that her lodger has used
her address to registered a business as a Limited
company.

What are the implications and what is suppose to
do.

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Mandy Thomson 5th June, 2015 @ 09:50

Hi Esther,

As you aware, your cousin's address is the official address of that company, and as such is a matter of public record for anyone and everyone to see. That means that any customer, creditor or anyone else with an interest in that company could come knocking at your cousin's door. This DOESN'T mean that your cousin is in any way liable, or that her credit record could be affected.

You cousin may also need permission to carry out a business from home from her mortgage provider or landlord (whether that's the freeholder if her property is leasehold or a landlord she rents from).

Assuming this isn't a part time lodger, it is the lodger's home too but even so, he isn't the main householder and he IS sharing with someone else - as such, he is really out of order to not at least mention this to your cousin first, though he should have sought her permission - as should anyone who lives with someone else, in whatever capacity.

This might just have been thoughtlessness and ignorance on the part of the lodger, or at the other extreme, could be a cover for fraud or mismanagement. Anyone setting up a business can easily obtain a local virtual address that's not a P.O. number, so why didn't he do this?

Your cousin should raise the matter with Companies House https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reporting-fraud-about-a-company-to-companies-house/reporting-fraud-to-companies-house and depending on the lodger's reaction, perhaps serve notice on him: http://www.lodgersite.com/Serving_Notice_and_Eviction_Notice_Periods.html

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Liam 22nd June, 2015 @ 10:46

Hi

I have found a potential lodger who wants to move into a very large double bedsit room for my London house.

I do not get housing benefit and do not pay mortgage nor rent for my house as I owe my house outright.

The rent is £675 which is sufficient enough for me to give up my jobseeker allowance as I am currently unemployed & disabled.

Currently I get child benefit and tax credits for my sole child.

I would like to find out if the rent of £675 would affect my child tax credits.

I have plans to become self-employed once I get lodger for the bedsit room.

Would it be possible for me to declare myself as 'self-employed' and rely on rental income?

I also am thinking of making a claim for working tax credit because I have plans to become freelance designer, working from home and rely on small income from freelance design work.

Please advise me

many thanks

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Mandy Thomson 22nd June, 2015 @ 13:52

Hi Liam

As I advised Yvonne already on this thread, you can keep the first £20 per week room rental income without it affecting any kind of means tested benefit, including child tax credit, but there is a way you might be able to keep more: please see http://www.lodgersite.com/Who_To_Inform.html - go to the paragraph that starts, "If you claim any kind of means tested benefit...".

I strongly suggest you do not simply give up your job seeker's allowance or any other benefit as £675 a month simply isn't enough to live on - especially with a child (believe me - I tried it and I was single and childless)!

JSA claimants can get a grant and assistance toward starting their own business under the Enterprise Allowance Scheme https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/new-enterprise-allowance-campaign, which is naturally a much easier transition than simply terminating your claim and going it alone. The advisors at your job centre will be able to help with this; it's probably also worth checking for certain that there aren't disability related benefits you might be entitled to that you're not currently claiming.

As for paying tax, as you'll be making way in excess of the current £4,250 rent a room scheme tax annual threshold, I'm afraid you'll be filling out a tax return each year (which you'll have to do anyway if you start your own business), but you will only have to pay income tax when your total annual income exceeds the personal allowance, which is £10,600 for this tax year. However, you can still declare the first £4,250 of your room rental income as a rent a room tax exemption, and only pay tax (assuming your TOTAL income is over £10,600) against the portion of rental income that's above that. As this is a complex subject, I've written a handy rent a room tax wizard for my site which will take you through the different scenarios: http://www.lodgersite.com/INTRO.html.

How you'll be taxed against your design business will depend on whether you operate as a sole trader or start a limited company, which the Enterprise Scheme should be able to advise you on.

Best of luck with your room rental and design businesses!

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Mandy Thomson 22nd June, 2015 @ 14:04

@Liam

PS Your ability to claim working tax credit once you start your business will depend on what sort of income you make from it and the number of hours you'll be working on average.

You also described the room you'll be letting out as a "bedsit". If this will mean the lodger won't share your bathroom, kitchen or lounge (i.e. living accommodation) then you won't be eligible for the rent room tax exemption.

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Liam 23rd June, 2015 @ 19:55

Many thanks for your replies

The room that I plan to rent out actually is a very large double room. The potential lodger will be sharing the kitchen with us. The shower room with a toilet is located next to the kitchen which means that the toilet will be shared by us, visitors and lodger.

The most pressuring issues is council tax. At this moment I am paying only £5 per month for my council taxes as I am the sole adult in the house with a dependent child under age of 18 years old.

I currently am in receipt of JSA, Child Tax Credits, child benefit for my daughter and also am in receipt of my Disability Living Allowance.

If the lodger moves into the room & will be paying £675 per month, will I have to inform my council of the changes?

Will the council increase the council tax charges from £5 to higher?

many thanks

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Mandy Thomson 24th June, 2015 @ 09:40

Hi Liam

Yes, you will have to inform council tax. This would apply even if you were currently working and simply getting the single occupier's 25% discount, but DEFINITELY will apply in your present situation.

As I explained in my original response, the first £20 per week room rental income is disregarded for ALL your means tested benefits, but (as I've set on my website, http://www.lodgersite.com/Who_To_Inform.html - go to the paragraph that starts, "If you claim any kind of means tested benefit...".) you can keep 50% on top of the first £20 if you provide at least one meal a day for your lodger.

I would make an appointment at your jobcentre for an assessment of your potential income before you commit to taking the lodger or starting your design business: https://www.gov.uk/moving-from-benefits-to-work/starting-your-own-business

I don't know how much you're currently getting on benefits, but it must be much more than you would get if you were renting your room without providing meals.

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Fiona 29th June, 2015 @ 12:09

Hi
I've just gone self employed after quite a bit of time on sickness benefit. I am hoping to get tax credits sorted whilst I get my business up and running. I had pondered with the idea of letting my spare bedroom out at the moment I receive council tax benefit reduction for myself and my daughter and wondered how this would be affected. Also I pay part payment to my mortgage my ex partner pays the rest...the house is mine in the court settlement but at the moment his name is still on the mortgage for legal reasons. Any help and advice would be gratefully received

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Emma 7th July, 2015 @ 16:58

Hi

I am married since 2011 however we have been separated since 2012. I moved in with him in feburary 2015 but things didnt work out. we have a 2 years old daughter. We both work full time. However I may have to hand in notice as i have been diagonosed with Rhumatoid Arthrits and struggling. I have been off on sick note for 4/5 weeks now.

My question is, I have my mums place to go back but shes disabled and is unable to look after my daughter while I am ill myself. My husband has some other family members living at his place who used to look after my daughter while I was at work. He is offering me to stay if I wish in a room in the house as a lodger. We were not eligible to claim anytrhing due to our income but now that i would be on my own I would need financial assistence. He would be paying weekly support for our daughter. How would I prove we have separate household if I need to claim tax credits/income support.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks

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Peter 24th July, 2015 @ 12:55

A few years back me and my partner split up, I stayed in the house and rented two rooms for £300 each month, this helped pay mortgage and bills etc. I still own the property jointly with her, but she lives elsewhere. The mortgage on the property is around £600 most of which being interest, the electricity bills are high and it takes about £900- £1000 a month to cover costs of the house. I work full time. I was unaware of the rent a room scheme or informing HMRC, and now a little concerned that I owe some tax, do I contact them and let them know or just leave it? is it likely I would be faced with a high bill? or will the expenses I have to pay counterbalance I don't make any profit at all, some months in the summer about £50 - £100 which I save for repairs and winter bills.

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laura 9th September, 2015 @ 18:05

My grandma wants to rent out two room on her house, but the person needs to claim housing benefit. Will the income of rent affect the amount of pension she is currently getting?

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Dave 10th September, 2015 @ 07:47

My ex wife and I are divorced, and she is currently living in a one bed house on housing benefit and income support.However, she can no longer afford the top up on the rent

I have a large house in my own name. Can I rent out a room with shared facilities in the rest of the house to her while she still retains either / both of

a) Housing benefit
b) Income support

Can I let her live there rent free, but with an agreed contribution to utilities that she will pay for out of her income support?

Would any contribution to utilities be taxable?

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Sarah 21st November, 2015 @ 20:02

I am getting child tax credit, but was wondering if I took in a lodger and only charged £20 a week, would that be acceptable as if I charged any more I wouldn't be any better off anyway. This would be for someone stopping Mon-Fri?

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ihita 29th November, 2015 @ 08:28

I have had a lodger for some time with no problem. We made no formal written agreement at the time and things have been sorted out verbally. He was retrenched a few months back and since he has now no time restriction is planning to go overseas on holiday for a couple of months. In the past when he has been away I have never asked for any "holding fee" and his room and effects have been left intact until his return. This time, since he will be away longer, am I right to ask him for a "holding fee" and if yes, how do I sensibly estimate it? Your tips would be much appreciated.

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Mandy Thomson 29th November, 2015 @ 09:31

Hi Ihita

When a tenant lets a whole property (or even just a room in a shared house) and they go away for a time, they still remain the tenant and they are still liable for paying full rent. Where a lodger is concerned, the assumption is still that the room is let full time - unless the lodger and landlord have agreed otherwise (typically a midweek let where the landlord gets full use of the room when the lodger isn't in occupation on weekends and holidays and the lodger doesn't pay rent for those days).

Therefore, in your case, I would say your lodger is liable for paying you full rent while he is away, unless you can get his agreement that you can use his room while he's gone (you could let it short term to another lodger). However, make sure it's put clearly in writing (email or even text will do, provided you get a response with his clear agreement) and you agree on dates, or at the very least get a cast iron commitment from your lodger as to a minimum notice period he will give you when he wants to return.

If you do let his room to a temporary lodger while he's away, get that person to sign a lodger agreement that clearly sets out a time period with 1 week's notice in case your main lodger wants to return. Also, even though this would only be a temporary lodger, it's crucial you that you run a tenant reference on them, if only to ensure you don't get someone who refuses to move out after the main lodger wants to return! Visit this webpage for referencing a lodger: http://lodgersite.com/Can_I_Trust_Them.html

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Hannah 24th January, 2016 @ 15:43

Not sure if this is too old of a post to get a reply but,

I am looking to Move into my friends Nans Home {whom is claiming pension} as a lodger as she is looking for some extra money to pay the bills for her room she has spare, I would need to claim housing benefits as she is going to charge me rent of course, I only have a part time job and would need the benefits.
Does me moving in as a lodger cost her any of her pension money?

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Mandy Thomson 24th January, 2016 @ 16:17

@Hannah

Only if she gets pension credits, which are a means tested income supplement paid to retired people who are on a low income and didn't pay enough into their state pension while they were working.

How a lodger's rent affects means tested benefits can be seen here: http://www.lodgersite.com/Who_To_Inform.html (see the last 2 paragraphs).

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Rebecca 30th January, 2016 @ 20:02

I claim ESA and DLA (lower rate care and mobility - not yet migrated to PIP) and am thinking of having my son move back in. Is it right that the Council will deduct a set amount for rent as he will be earning?

Or, given that I claim DLA and may migrate onto PIP, is it permissible for me to have him live with me without them charging him rent?

Obviously I would expect him to make a contribution towards the bills and furnishings - but as I have health issues I am thinking that I may rather have him live with me than get someone i don't know to sub-let the room to. However, if he has to pay full rate then he may prefer to live with friends.

Thanks for any advice you are able to offer.

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Mandy Thomson 31st January, 2016 @ 09:59

Hi Rebecca

I don’t think moving in your son or another carer WHO DOESN’T PAY YOU RENT would affect your ESA, which I’m assuming is the means tested type, (as that is a personal benefit that would only be affected if you lived with a partner) but it WILL affect your housing benefit or local housing allowance, as your son is a non dependent family member (i.e. an independent adult who will contribute toward the rent).

Where DLA is concerned, I don’t know much about this benefit, but it is complex and I would want to ensure that having someone living with you who could theoretically be seen as your carer wouldn’t affect this. I would therefore advise you to make an appointment with your local Jobcentre Plus branch for an assessment with an experienced advisor (ask them if they can assess your housing benefit at the same time).

If the DWP can’t assess your housing benefit entitlement, please ask Housing Benefit at your local authority for an assessment with your son living there, once you’re aware of how your DLA might be affected.

You will need to supply full details of your son’s income for your benefit assessments, and the hours he works.

Once you have the income assessments made, you will then be best placed to decide if your son should move in.

Your son obviously won’t be your lodger, but if for the sake of argument you DID decide to take in a rent paying lodger (as opposed to a carer who wasn’t paying you rent), this affects means tested benefit (but NOT universal credit) as we’ve previously set out on this page.

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Diane williams 4th March, 2016 @ 00:44

Hi.my mum and ex step dad have seperate .but still live in the same house owned by my ex step dad .but live seperate lives .I am 23yrs old living in a hostel which I really dnt like it's affecting my health there .my step dad offered to rent a room to me .but I am not sure if allowed ?the you

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Charlie 11th April, 2016 @ 18:06

Hello,

Fascinating comment thread. A lot of insight in here.

Upon my particular situation, I have a 4 bedroom flat. I plan to rent out all 3 rooms.

Would the following be legitimate or would it be deemed as a break of the rules:

1. I have one lodger who pays me around the £7k threshold per year for the rent a room scheme (not a tenant; but a lodger). With their expenses, I can't and won't offset it against my tax.

2. I then have 2 tenants rent the other 2 rooms from me. They are contracted like tenants and they combined pay me £10k per annum. Can I offset maintenance, part of my mortgage, and expenses against these 2 tenants, keep my threshold above and allow my rent a room scheme benefit to stay in place, and therefore my tax is only based on the £10k, not £17k in total.

Would that be allowed by law, or is it really one or the other?

I'm hopeful I could combine and keep the rent a room scheme in place.

Your comments appreciated.

Thank you.

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Mandy Thomson 16th April, 2016 @ 10:12

Hi Charlie

Sorry for the delayed response. I have set out my answers to your questions below.

Firstly, the rent a room scheme is purely about tax, not the renter’s legal status, so they can be a licensee (typically just renting a room and sharing bathroom and kitchen) or a tenant (renting say, a granny flat or they might just have exclusive possession of a room – more below), the only qualifications for the rent a room scheme is that the landlord must share his/her main home with the renter(s) and the accommodation must be furnished.

You asked:

1. I have one lodger who pays me around the £7k threshold per year for the rent a room scheme (not a tenant; but a lodger). With their expenses, I can't and won't offset it against my tax.

As you know, you have the choice as to whether you use your rent a room allowance or you choose to offset it. However, this begs the question: how come you’re in a situation where you’ve run up £7,500 (or even £4,250, the allowance before 6 April) on expenses for a lodger?

2. I then have 2 tenants rent the other 2 rooms from me. They are contracted like tenants and they combined pay me £10k per annum. Can I offset maintenance, part of my mortgage, and expenses against these 2 tenants, keep my threshold above and allow my rent a room scheme benefit to stay in place, and therefore my tax is only based on the £10k, not £17k in total.

As I touched on above, the legal status doesn’t matter so long as they live in your main home. The rent a room allowance remains the same whether you have one lodger or 10; you are only entitled to the first £7,500 (or £4250 for previous tax years) against the rest of your income.

You can forego your rent a room allowance and claim expenses, but these would have to be greater than the rent a room allowance for this to be worthwhile. In other words, you would have to have had a lodger who caused a great deal of damage (for example, a fire), to the extent where you’ve had to completely redecorate and replace furniture. Please copy and paste this URL to see how this works: http://lodgersite.com/INTRO.html
You can’t claim for enhancements, only replacements, and rent a room assumes the room is already adequately furnished. As a resident landlord, you are also unable to claim against your mortgage. This is because this a residential mortgage, not a buy to let one, and is therefore not a business finance expense (in other words, you would have to pay it if you didn't have lodgers).

This has nothing to do with the rent a room tax scheme, but how come these people are “contracted as tenants” when they are only renting rooms? Do they have exclusive possession (i.e. they have locks on the doors and you can only enter with their permission, except in emergencies)? Is your mortgage provider aware of the arrangement?

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Ben 3rd May, 2016 @ 10:25

I have a lodger on a weekly rate. I am wondering how I should calculate the revenue for the tax year. We do not have fixed payment dates. She pays when I ask her, which is about every six weeks or so. By way of example, if I receive income on 8 April 2016 in respect of the previous six weeks, is that income in the 15-16 tax year or the 16-17 tax year? Does anyone know the answer to this?

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Mandy Thomson 3rd May, 2016 @ 10:31

Hi Ben

That would be in respect of 15/16 tax year just passed. However, you can add it to 16/17 tax year instead if you wish, as long as you keep accurate records.

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Londongirl 20th May, 2016 @ 10:09

I read other Landlord sites - I have come across lodgersite.com, rentergirl.blogspot.co.uk and a couple of BTL Landlord blogs, even spareroom.com so very helpful info, as well as Tessa Shepperson's Legal blurb. They are all (I feel) incredibly leaning towards the lodger and making it amenable for the lodger to the point of almost half your house is the lodgers. Lodgersite even suggesting putting a TV/DVD in the lodgers room!! What is it now a bleeding Hotel/B&B/Inn!!

There is a suggestion for House Rules but then a ridiculing of them if there is too much detail eg a five minute shower or asking the lodger to use a table mat. (I don't write that kinda stuff but long to!) They promote sharing the living room and that there is no way around the aggravating issue of overnight guests. Insisting that the calibre of lodger will not be very good if these things aren't offered. They promote House Sharing. Hmm. Its that FRIENDS TV sitcom shit again. The way I see it is if the Lodger is going to pay precisely half of all the bills, half the upkeep of the property, half every god dam thing then thats House Sharing. But in my mind the Lodger is renting a part of the house ie the Spare Room. The Lodger is sharing the kitchen and bathroom. Why should this translate to Entire House Sharing with half of the benefits without half the Costs is beyond me...(totally baffled)

Now several years have passed and I have had several lodgers. THIS I NOW KNOW. I, the Live in Landlady, do NOT want to share my living room, and I do NOT feel safe with UNKNOWN overnight guests, and I do NOT want to have a movie night with my lodgers, and I do NOT want to hang out with them for five minutes. (I have shared cake in the kitchen!) I do NOT want to be your friend. I do NOT want your companionship. So my ads are clear and straight forward reflecting all this. The result is I have applicants who literally say to me. "This is exactly what I was looking for!" "I don't want to be obliged to socialise", "I don't want to eat together", I don't want my flatmates girlfriend here every night","I just want to be in my room, put my head down and study without social pressures."

I have a market: Parents love me! I have my niche and those who come here - it ticks their boxes. So sod all those who say I must share my living room and allow boyfriends to overnight. No No No you absolutely do not have to!

If you don't like my ad, then please do me a favour and click on another page. If you don't like and you don't follow my House Rules then please close the door behind you and step (leave). I haven't had any voids. I haven't had any major issues that mean my Rooms are on a black list and no one wants to live here. So I do think some of the stuff 'rentergirl' and 'lodgersite' refer are not to be taken as concrete.

Do your own thing, set your own rules - always of course within the Law. If they need a shag (and its never just a shag, its dinner [my gas/electric], breakfast [my gas/electric] a shower [my heating] and a shit [my toilet paper]) from their partner more than once a week then they can find a room together elsewhere.

None of my lodgers have ever had a TV in their rooms, not one. They watch Netflix and catch up. BOOM. Things have changed.

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Mandy Thomson 21st May, 2016 @ 19:00

@Londongirl

I did write Lodgersite with the intention of making life easier for lodgers, but I also wrote it for the benefit of resident landlords (after twice being a resident landlord and once being a lodger myself, as well as being a landlord letting whole properties for 5 ½ years).

When you are a landlord, any kind of landlord (even if you only let your small box room on occasion), you are running a business, your lodger or tenant is your customer, and to some extent it is your job to take care of their needs, within reason (often going beyond the minimum the law obliges) – in short, to a certain extent, you work for that person, and to the same extent, you are accountable to them.

That is not to say I advocate putting up with a bad lodger (or tenant for that matter, though that is beyond the scope of this subject). If you read my site more closely, you will see that I’ve provided detailed information on minimising the risk of getting a bad lodger in the first place, and evicting one as swiftly and painlessly as possible if you do get one.

There is a world of difference between making an extra effort to make a good lodger feel welcome, and letting a bad one walk all over you!

You are correct and right about knowing what you can and can’t live with, and being clear with the lodger about these things before they move in – forcing yourself to tolerate something you’re not really happy about isn’t doing the lodger nor yourself any favours.

However, I wouldn’t describe the four pages I wrote (in “Interview Questions” and “House Rules”) as not detailed; in fact if anything I’d say they were extremely detailed, even over the top, as I’ve attempted to include just about anything and everything that could be an issue between most landlords and lodgers. However, there is a difference between DETAILED and PROSCRIPTIVE, beyond semantics – and you know it.

From what you’ve said, your rules DO come across as too proscriptive. Detailed and clear rules ensure both parties know what to expect and if stuck to ensure a more peaceful co-existence between the two, but overly proscriptive rules strip lodgers of their right to a normal home life, and ensure they’re stepping on eggshells. A lodger is paying rent, mostly for the room, but yes, also for a share of the rest of the property too (unless they have an apartment in that house with separate cooking, toilet and washing facilities) – in short, unless they’re a midweek or short term lodger, they’re paying rent for a home. In return for that, the landlord has to sacrifice some space and privacy – you can’t expect the lodger to pay rent and never to have to share with them or interact with them!

Everyone is different and every house share is different – some want to interact, even socialise, others want their space – provided both parties actually WANT the same (as opposed to the other party FORCING it on them), this is fine. However, your post is angry, aggressive, defensive and downright offensive, and your attitude to your lodgers is coming across that way too – you say the most interaction you’ve ever had, or wanted to have, was 5 minutes in the kitchen eating cake.

While no lodger landlord should set out to be great friends, you do need to have a friendly business cum flatmate relationship. And as for your remark about the lodgers’ partners and their use of your toilet paper…. BTW, an electric shower that’s not a power shower costs around 30p per day to run; “luxury” toilet paper brands cost around 50p per roll (‘basic” around 30p). The real cost here is your lost pride in conceding some of your House Rules and losing some of your space.

You are absolutely right about unknown partners – which again, I’ve made clear in Lodgersite – I’ve suggested that no one’s partner should be staying overnight until the other housemate has met them and feels comfortable.

I am aware that many people prefer to stream TV and movies now – I do it myself, and didn’t have a TV when I rented. However, streaming TV and movies over 6 months can cost much more than a basic TV/DVD player – you would need an unlimited broadband subscription – not cheap; or pay additional “fines” for use over your limit – again, not cheap. My suggestion of supplying the TV/DVD player was because it makes good BUSINESS SENSE (happy lodger = happy landlord, and it means lodger will want to use the lounge less, if at all).

For the record, Lodgersite has been read by many leading landlords, including Mary Latham and Mark Alexander, and they approve of my approach.

Where I myself am concerned, I spend a lot of my time passionately trying to defend landlords from more and more anti landlord politics, legislation, taxation, anti landlord propaganda, scapegoating, hatred and absolute misconception about decent landlords and the PRS. However, after having read your little rant, I can absolutely see why so many people are anti landlord.

Mandy Thomson
Landlord, author and developer of Lodgersite.com

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Londongirl 22nd May, 2016 @ 11:24

I agree with some of your points and suggestions. SOME. I am under no obligation to concur completely. We just do things differently.

Our lodgers are never ever going to be flatmates.

We only take student Lodgers. They go home to their parents after 8 to 9 months. We had one professional who I realised didnt work in our family set up as he wanted to have dinner, hang with us go out with us and we couldnt talk privately as he was always around!

I try real hard to forget about the negatives but here are a few episodes in about 20 years.

The girl who slit her wrists because she couldn't cope with her uni studies. If there wasn't a paramedic in the house I dread to think what could have happened!

The girl who never got out of bed because she was permanently stoned. Her room stank of marijuana!

The girl who regularly stole items from us including the valuable wedgewood China teapot I had inherited from my grandmother. No I didn’t report her to the police.

The girl who I thought was having vigorous sex in her room but whose head was being battered against the wall by her coke head boyfriend! My son home from a 14 hour shift as a paramedic had to drag him off and throw him out! I had to comfort a hysterical girl while i was silently hysterical! (the double bed was switched to single immediately)

The girl who had to go home after four weeks she was so painfully homesick.

The girl who was nearly raped after getting into an situation she couldn’t handle, in fact I am pretty sure she was. Her parents begged us to keep it quiet and took her home.

The girl who didn't have a bath for weeks. Same girl who never washed her clothes including underwear for six weeks. I had to tell her - she had no idea how to even begin to use a washing machine!

The girl who let four strange lads into our living room to watch a match on our TV an they trashed the room! Beer cans fag butts everywhere.

The many girls who had no qualms using and eating our food without permission! Good wine included! Never replaced.

The girl who chanted loudly for hours at night. Buddhist I think. My husband the most quiet man ever, screamed at her to "fucking shut up". She obliged.

The girl who had four long baths a day.

The girl who slept all day and prowled all night.

The girl who had a different guy over every night!

The anorexia girl who I finally had to ask her parents to come and collect in case she died in my house!

The many times I have gone to A&E to sit with or collect a silly drunk girl.

The parents we have lied to and said "lovely girl no trouble"

The girl I have to tutor privately with no charge to get through her resit exams after a year partying!

The many dissertations i have proof read, edited and rewritten.Those for lodgers who had shocking English!

The girls my paramedic son has had to checked their pulse as they lay semi comatosed at the front door.

The girl whose "brother" came to visit and stole two of my sons trainers from the shoe rack in the Hall.

The girl who couldn't understand why she couldn't float around my house just in knickers and bra! And the one who was in the kitchen naked! Dont ask!!

The girl who said she was deeply insulted not to sit with us at a private dinner party in our home! We told her several times!

The girl whose ex boyfriend threw a brick in our window!

The many ex boyfriends my husband has had to threaten to call the police on if they didn't piss off!

The day the police came looking for a girl we thought had gone home, no she had disappeared! That's an extremely long and very sad story, she ran away from an impending forced marriage.

The mother from up north, who came for one night, then subsequently every week end! Only stopped coming when my husband said she had to pay as we were not a Free Hote!

The girl who just couldn't understand why her two parents from overseas couldn't stay in her room with her for three weeks!

The girl who made a pass at my 15 year old daughter! Lol.

This happened to my friends: came home on day early from a washout camping trip. Tiptoeing quietly so as not to disturb their lodger who they figured was asleep, entered their bedroom. Lodger and her boyfriend shagging in the Homeowner bed!!

Another came home every day from work (for about a week) at 6pm, lodger having a deep long bath - Homeowner had to pee in a jam jar. Threaten to charge her only then the afternoon baths stopped.

My house is large, each room is large in fact the two largest rooms have lodgers. In addition to bed, wardrobe desk etc, they have a sofa and coffee table and a silient Caldura mini fridge, so they are able to entertain comfortably. One brought her piano as the rented room was so large. We have unlimited Broadband. The Kitchen/Dinner is Huge. There is bottomless filter coffee. We are a third cheaper than the rest of the street. (I check regularly!)

I would rather spell it out than have such ###! It is exhausting. We could just leave the rooms empty as there is no mortgage. Now theres a thought.

Many thank us for saying exactly what we want, because it matches their own requirements.

There have been some lovely girls like the Russian whose parents took our entire family to lunch at the Savoy as a thank you.

Now to share that home made lemon cake.

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