Thinking of taking in a Lodger?

Thinking of taking in a Lodger?

Are you thinking of taking in a lodger? As you get older you may be thinking of how I can supplement my earnings/plan for retirement. One way is  by taking in a lodger.  This is currently very popular especially with the cost of living, higher bills etc. By renting out your spare room it is a good way of making extra income in effect for very little work.

A lodger is a person that will rent your spare room but will not have exclusive access to any other part of your property (unless you agree beforehand). It is up to you to decide if they are only going to rent a room or would you charge for additional services such as laundry, ironing, and odd jobs around the house or meals.

Ask for recommendations from family and friends. They make know a work colleague who is looking to rent a room. Recommendation is much better as someone already knows the person Remember it can be very difficult to evict a lodger and it is your home after all.

There are a number of websites which you can place an advert such as www.spareroom.co.uk   Also this will show you what would be the right amount to charge.

Check the local universities as they often provide a list of available rooms to their students.

When meeting a potential lodger never meet at your home for the first time. You do not know if they’re genuine.  A gut feel is always the best course.

Always take references before making any decision.

Ask yourself, can you live with this person in your own home

Check with the local authorities

Do check you can legally take in a lodger. This is vital if you are in a local authority owned property. Likewise unless you own your own property (and it is freehold) you will need to check with your leaseholder.  Most leaseholder will charge a nominal extra free for this.

Rent

Set up a direct debit or standing order with your lodger – that way there is never any confusion about payment. I would also recommend you ask for a deposit and a month’s payment in advance.

Council tax

if you currently live alone and take in a lodger you will need to inform your local council and you will lose your single person discount (currently 25%) however there are some instances where this will not be the case ie a full-time student. Do make sure you ask all relevent questions with the local council and never assume they will not find out.

Income Tax

Good news if you are a tax payer.  You can now earn £7500 per annum tax-free under the Government Rent a Room scheme. (Correct as at March 2017)

Please note that if you exceed the maximum amount by renting your room you must declare the payments to HMRC and will need to pay tax as normal.

Your mortgage lender

Do check with your mortgage lender or the property landlord as depending on your agreement with them you may not be able to take in a lodger.  Never assume check everything.

Insurance

Check with your home insurance provider also

Credit checks

It is worth doing a credit check on your potential lodger.

Social media research

Again do some background research – you do not want any nasty shocks about the person who could be your potential lodger

Forming a legal agreement with your lodger

Make sure you have a lodger agreement in place.

I hope these few tips will assist you if you decide to take in a lodger.

 

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