Living with lodgers checklist

Check out our brief guide to living with a lodger and you could be letting a room in no time
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A common question by new live-in landlords is, how many lodgers can I have? Well, you’re allowed two 'non family' lodgers before your property is classed as an HMO, after which you will need to obtain a licence from your local council.

A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is defined as a home with more than three unrelated individuals sharing, forming two households or more.

So if you’ve got the space and are open to sharing then why not rent a room in your home? The extra income can be great, and who knows, you might make a friend. So check out our brief guide to living with a lodger below and you could be letting a room in no time!

  • Check that you have the legal right to let a room with your mortgage lender, landlord or local council.
  • Check the cost of rent in your area to be sure that you are offering a fair price.
  • Create a contract. Make sure this is signed by both parties before your lodger moves in so that all terms and conditions are agreed.
  • Use a credit checking facility when you find a prospective lodger for peace of mind.
  • Ask your lodger to set up a standing order for rent payments, rather than cash in hand.
  • If you receive any benefits or tax credits, inform your local agency as this change in living situation will surely have an effect. In order to earn a tax free income under the Rent a Room Scheme, you’ll need to let a fully furnished room.
  • Be sure to include the rental income in your tax return. You must inform your tax office if you earn more than £4,250 a year from your lodger.
  • Have your gas and electric appliances checked by an official. It’s a legal requirement.
  • Inform your home insurance provider of a change in circumstances to make sure that you are still covered. Encourage your lodger to take out their own contents insurance.

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