You can take in lodgers subject to statutory overcrowding, provided that you have prior written permission from Homes Plus. Sub-letting is not allowed.
Guide to taking a lodger
Changes to benefits as part of the Welfare Reform Act continue to have a significant impact on many people.
One of the biggest changes was the introduction of Bedroom Tax, which reduces Housing Benefit if you have spare bedrooms in your home.
The government advises people to consider the option of taking in a lodger. Below, we explain what you should think about before taking in a lodger and how it may affect you or your family.
What is a lodger?
A lodger is someone who rents a room in your home and who shares some facilities with you, such as your kitchen or bathroom.
Am I allowed to take in a lodger?
Please check your tenancy agreement. Most agreements do allow you to take in a lodger, but you need to ask for permission from us first.
How will my benefits be affected?
Having a lodger may mean that as your extra bedroom is being used, you would not be affected by the Bedroom Tax. However, any money you receive from the lodger (apart from the first £20) will be seen as income and this may affect the amount of benefits you receive.
When your benefits are transferred to Universal Credit, the lodger will no longer be counted as occupying a bedroom and the rules for Bedroom Tax may then affect you and your benefits may be reduced. However, the income you receive from the lodger will no longer be taken into account and will not affect your benefits.
In some circumstances taking in a lodger may affect your Council Tax Benefit.
What should I charge?
This is up to you and in your agreement with your lodger. You may wish to check the local paper or www.spareroom.co.uk to get an idea of what other people are charging in your area.
Do I need to let my contents insurer know?
Yes, you should advise your insurer as it may affect your policy if you claim and have not informed them.
How do I find a lodger?
There are a number of options that you may wish to consider, including:
- If you have access to the internet you could place a free advert on www.spareroom.co.uk.
- Place an advert on social media
- Look at adverts in the local paper for people seeking a room
- Word of mouth – your friends or relatives may know of someone
What should I consider before deciding who to take in as a lodger?
Remember this person will be sharing your home with you – take your time and make sure that you chose the right match for you, your family and your lifestyle.
You may wish to do some checks on your lodger for your own safety and peace of mind. You could speak to their previous landlord(s) or get references that show your lodger would be able to meet the rent you are charging.
You may also wish to set some rules for your lodger, so everyone is clear. You could agree which parts of the house the lodger can use, what appliances (such as washing machine etc.) the lodger can use, if your lodger can have overnight visitors or guests or an agreement on times when there should be no noise and when your lodger can come and go at night.
You may also wish to agree if you provide other services such as meals.
It’s important to remember that although you may be taking on a lodger, the tenancy for the property remains with you. This means that you are still responsible for everything that happens within your home.
Can I evict my lodger if I need the room back or it doesn’t work out?
Yes, this is your responsibility but you must provide your lodger with a reasonable amount of notice.
When you take in your lodger it is a good idea to write up an agreement or licence that both of you sign and agree to. Make sure that you do not offer your lodger more security than they are entitled to.
A standard agreement is available for a small fee at: www.sparerooms.co.uk/content/info-landlords/lodger-agreement
Your lodger can only continue living in your home whilst you have a tenancy there.
There are some good tips on this on the SpareRoom website.