Live-in Landlords Survey Results

Live-in Landlords Survey Results

0:01 AM, 12th December 2012, About 12 years ago 6

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The number of homeowners taking in lodgers (“live-in landlords”) has risen for the seventh consecutive year and rose by more than a quarter (25.4%) between 2011 and 2012, having risen by 18.4% between 2010 and 2011.

Worryingly, 37% of homeowners who take in lodgers may not be properly insured. A third (33%) of live-in landlords don’t realise that it could invalidate their home insurance, according to a new survey conducted by SpareRoom and

A further 4% say they have no insurance cover at all. And almost one in three (29%) live-in-landlords say their current home insurers don’t offer add-ons to their existing policies which would cover them for having lodgers.

In spite of encouragement by the Government in the form of the Rent A Room scheme –where homeowners taking in lodgers can benefit from tax-free annual earnings of £4,250 per year – and lodger figures being at a historic high, a whopping 60% of live-in-landlords say that finding appropriate lodger insurance is difficult.

More than one in four (27%) live-in landlords have been incorrectly offered landlord insurance – designed for buy-to-let landlords who rent out the whole property to tenants – instead. Meanwhile, 40% have struggled to extend their personal liability cover to include accidents to lodgers or to find cover that includes malicious damage to their possessions or property.

Fortunately, it’s not all doom and gloom. Where their existing insurer was able to cover having a lodger, 57% of landlords reported that this was provided as standard. However, for the rest, obtaining lodger insurance proved a costly business, with 30% reporting a small extra charge and 14% a significant extra charge.

Matt Hutchinson, director of, comments: “With the economy still in a fragile state, it’s not surprising that earning some extra cash by renting out rooms in our homes is still proving extremely popular. It is easy money, but there are clearly issues where insurance is concerned. It seems insurers haven’t caught up with the trend for lodging as opposed to more formal tenancy contracts, with many offering wholly inadequate policies that make no provisions for the needs of the modern live-in landlord. It is rare for an insurer to provide even the most basic cover for legal liability for accidents to lodgers, loss of rental income, or damage to property. As well as being a headache to obtain, lodger insurance can often be very restrictive – most insurance companies who offer such policies often prohibit those in receipt of housing benefit or students. Live-in landlords should also be aware that in the case of theft, their case will only be considered if there is evidence of breaking and entering. The most important thing for homeowners to be aware of is that if they take in a lodger they may be in breach of their existing home insurance policy. If you are planning to take in a lodger, never underestimate the importance of doing your homework and finding an insurance policy which gives you the proper cover that you need.” offers three top tips for live-in-landlords looking to protect themselves and their property when taking in a lodger:

1) Avoid anything called “Landlord Insurance” – this is generally aimed at non-resident landlords and won’t suit your requirements as a live-in-landlord. You need specialist “lodger insurance” which is usually part of a home contents style insurance offering.

2) Make sure it includes liability cover – should a tenant injure themselves as a result of something dangerous in the property they can claim against you for damages.

3) A good policy will also cover you for malicious damage caused by your lodger or any guests they invite round.

Thinking About Taking in a Lodger?

Download the Free 5 Page Guide from

Thinking of taking in a lodger? Look no further, have created a 5 page guide for you to download, print out and keep and it’s totally free. Just fill in your details below and we will link you straight through to the download. Your contact details will also be sent over to so that they can offer you further help and even some free advertising.

The guide includes:

  • Information on how to earn £4,250 a year tax free from your room
  • A simple explanation of all that’s involved
  • A step by step guide to taking in lodgers to keep the whole process stress free

To download your own free copy of the guide simply fill in your details below.

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Jonathan Clarke

9:56 AM, 12th December 2012, About 12 years ago

Ooh sorry but never in a month of Sundays. - My home is my sanctuary

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

12:44 PM, 12th December 2012, About 12 years ago

Hi Jonathan

I always used to say that, however, there was a period in my life when my wife and daughter left me when I got very lonely and decided to rent my annexe to a lodger, another single guy in pretty much the same boat. It worked out fine - PARTY TIME 🙂

I "pimped my house" as part of my midlife crisis but that's another story entirely.

Times have moved on and again my home is my sanctuary.

It's a case of when needs must I suppose .....

There are several reasons to take in a lodger, not always just financial although I appreciate that most people do it to help make ends meet.

Jonathan Clarke

15:21 PM, 12th December 2012, About 12 years ago

Hi Mark
You are of course absolutely right. By pure coincidence i was speaking to someone today after posting this who had two BTL`s but also rented her rooms out to 3 people and was thinking of converting the garage for another.

She explained her set up and yes not for me but she said yes the money was very nice but she was on her own ( similar circumstances to you) and said it was great to have intelligent company after a days work. They all got on very well and socialised together etc and were great company for each other and it earnt her £1200 a month! Cant be bad.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

15:37 PM, 12th December 2012, About 12 years ago

Absolutely! Also, another forum owner we both know and love (a couple) take in lodgers and find the extra income useful. I'd do it again in a heartbeat if ever I found myself tight for money.

4:57 AM, 15th December 2012, About 12 years ago

The government is not really encouraging homeowners to take in lodgers - it they did, they would have increased the tax free allowance that has been the same for over 10 years. When my son went to university outside London, I let the spare room to a student and gave the rent money to my son to help him pay for his student digs. I had some very nice lodgers - one LSE student from Malaysia stayed for 2 years and her family came to visit her and stayed in my home for a week when I was abroad. I have kept in touch with another student from Singapore and have met her over there on two occasions when I was on a working trip in the region. At the time, I had no problem with the home insurance, except that theft was only covered if there was a forcible entry. Things probably have changed since then. I think this is a relatively painless way to earn some extra money, if you don't mind sharing your home, and it also gives you some company. (I did not share the living room, just the large kitchen/diner. I provided a TV in the student room.) I always found my lodgers though the university letting service, which probably helped.

21:22 PM, 15th December 2012, About 12 years ago

You are absolutely correct about the RFR allowance; it should be doubled.
This would provide incentive for householders to give up their privacy and take in a lodger.
Even if doubled this is all a Live-in LL with only him occupying the property, would make
SP tax discount loss on Council tax; roughly £325.00
equals £8145.00 divided by 52 weeks
equals £156.70 per week
Divided by 7 days
£22.39 per day
Divided by 24 hrs
Equals £0.93 per hr!!
Now subtract from that daily figure a usage of all utilities
Also usage of common household products
Like toilet rolls!!!
Would you rent a spare room out giving up your privacy for
93 pence per hr!! and that is not even taking into account the additional costs mentioned above!!!?
You CANNOT get a B & B for £22.39 per day!
A RFR tenant has the run of all the common areas if they want in a nice house, not some dossy B & B which have restrictions.
You CANNOT RESTRICT a RFR lodger to outside the common areas as that is NOT sharing a house as a lodger which is what the RFR scheme is all about!!

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