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Getting a lodger? Help!


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Good afternoon everyone!
 

Looking for some advice. I'm currently in the process of purchasing my first property to live in. Once everything is signed, they've given me the keys and I've sorted all my furniture, I plan to rent one of the rooms (using the government lodger allowance scheme to claim the income tax free), to help me to continue to save towards my deposit for my first proper buy to let. 

 

My question is: what do I need to consider before renting out the room? I'm currently reading Rob Dix book 'how to be a landlord' and am not really sure if I can, or need to apply all the same steps (i.e. writing a tenancy agreement, taking deposits, due diligence on referencing, credit check etc.). Also I'm not sure if this makes it harder or easier if I have a friend already wanting to take the room? 

 

Any replies appreciated. Thank you in advance :)

 

Ben

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Hi Ben - Before you get involved in reading all the paperwork for a lodger you need to go back a step.  Sharing your home can be a difficult thing and its important to put your "Landlord" hat on to realise what you want to achieve.  Experience of sharing without a live in Landlord may not prepare you for the experience of being a Landlord.

You have several options: 

1. A stranger who rents a bedroom and shares your living room, kitchen and bathroom (unless you have 2):

What is your attitude to someone else's mess and sharing a bathroom?  Will you allow them to treat your property as their home?  Will they be able to have a partner to sleep over sometimes?  Will you want them to be someone you socialise with or just keep it as a business arrangement?  How would you feel about tackling an awkward conversation with them if they miss paying the rent?

2. Share with a friend: How well do you really know them?  Plus all the questions in 1.

3. Rent to a stranger on a Monday to Friday let so you have your own space at weekends.  This may work better if you are in a relationship.  There are always people who have moved to a new area for work or are a contractor working in an area for a few months who prefer sharing to staying in bed and breakfast.

4. Air B & B if you don't need guaranteed rent every week.  You may want to try this as a first step to try it out.

 

I suggest that you do follow the same rules that you have listed for a lodger - take a small deposit to cover yourself (£200 won't put them off).  This needs to be legally dealt with - I always deposit mine cos then if there is a disagreement someone else who isn't involved makes the decision and it can take the heat out of a dispute.

I use a rolling tenancy agreement that requires them to give 1 month's notice to quit and Landlord to give 2 months.  Obviously a breach of the lease can require less if you are live-in.  Above all remember that if they are paying you rent then it will be their home too and you need to both be clear about what the rules on both sides are.  I believe you should work on this basis even if the lodger is a friend.

Good luck!

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The rules for a live in lodger are completely different than for letting a whole property. Basically there are very few rules.

For example you can take a reasonable deposit but don't have to protect it, notice to end the letting just has to be "reasonable notice" (if they pay weekly the notice is a week as well).

 

It's pretty straight forward as a result - https://www.gov.uk/rent-room-in-your-home

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