Home insurance for live-in landlords
What's the difference between a lodger and a tenant?
Although both lodgers and tenants rent rather than own, the difference is that a lodger lives with their landlord but a tenant doesn’t.
The Rent a Room Scheme
This Government scheme allows you earn up to a threshold of £7,500 per year tax-free from letting out furnished accommodation within your home. This is halved if you share the income with your partner or someone else.
You do not need to own your own to let out a room under the Rent a Room Scheme, but before you take on a new housemate make sure that you actually have the legal right to. If you’re a homeowner with a mortgage you might need to secure the bank or lender’s permission before renting out a room. And if you’re a tenant you’ll need to get the landlord’s permission to sublet.
Make sure that you’ve done your sums so that you're sure taking in a lodger will actually improve your finances too. Additional income from letting a room can impact your tax credits, benefits, council tax, income tax and, of course, home insurance.
Get to grips with lodgers insurance
Letting your spare room makes good financial sense but it’s essential to be fully aware of the terms of your home insurance, as taking on a lodger could invalidate your cover and leave you significantly out of pocket should the worst happen. Live-in landlords must tell their home insurance provider that they are letting rooms in their property as there may be increased risks that could affect your premium.
You should also think about the impact that new lodgers can have on your cover. For instance, what is their credit history? Do they have a guarantor? Do they have any unspent criminal convictions? It’s useful to have this information to hand when adjusting your cover, as failure to contact your insurer could invalidate your policy and leave you with a hefty bill in the event of a claim.
When taking out home insurance with lodgers as a live-in landlord, you should double check the policy terms and exclusions. Generally, each party is responsible for their personal belongings, so lodgers should seek their own contents insurance. Landlords are responsible for the building as well as their own contents.
Home insurance with lodgers
- Up to £500,000 as standard for loss or damage to the structure of your property or permanent fixtures.
- Up to £25,000 legal expenses cover to pay for legal support for property disputes.
- Up to £200 home emergency cover per callout to temporarily fix burst pipes, roof damage and failure of water, gas and electricity supply.
- Public liability up to £5 million included.
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