How will a Lodger affect me?

by Readers Question

9:06 AM, 15th March 2016
About 3 years ago

How will a Lodger affect me?

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How will a Lodger affect me?

I have a tenant who is having some financial difficulties. He has been completely honest with me about this and I know he is now struggling to pay his rent. He is living alone in a 2 bedroom flat. room

The question of taking in a lodger has just arisen and this is something new to me. I do not have a problem with this, but just wondered if there are any legalities/implications that I should be aware of?

Is it just a case of me agreeing and then it’s effectively his problem?

Thanks

Zoe



Comments

Kelly Joanna

11:48 AM, 15th March 2016
About 3 years ago

you have two options, you can agree to him sub-letting, with him being the responsible party for ensuring payments reach you on time, or you can draw up a new tenancy with both parties details on, with them becoming jointly liable for the property.

Mandy Thomson

14:36 PM, 15th March 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Kelly Joanna" at "15/03/2016 - 11:48":

I agree with Kelly, but if it didn't work out between the tenant and the new occupant, it would be much harder for your tenant to get rid of that person if they were a co-tenant and not a lodger, who only has the right to reasonable notice to quit as a licensee.

Provided your tenant chooses a lodger who will respect the property, and not cause trouble, there should be no negative impact on you. Your tenant will be responsible for the right to rent check, provided he doesn't delegate that to an agent.

I can't emphasize enough how critical it is for the lodger to be properly referenced and vetted - perhaps as an experienced landlord, you could help him with this?

However, at the end of the day, your tenant must decide who he is comfortable sharing with, and he must firstly set his own expectations and fully consider how a housemate might impact his way of life. To anyone new to being a resident landlord, I would suggest a midweek lodger. This means less money, but much more freedom and privacy, with less legal responsibility (e.g. the right to rent check isn't necessary and single occupier's council tax discount can normally be retained).

Your tenant will need to check his home insurance policy, and if necessary change to home insurance with lodger, and the lodger will need their own tenant's insurance.

matchmade

16:41 PM, 15th March 2016
About 3 years ago

Based on past experience, you most definitely should *not* just agree to a lodging arrangement and leave your tenant "to get on with it". It could all go terribly wrong if you are not involved from the start. I suggest placing an advert at somewhere like spareroom.co.uk and maybe in the newspaper small ads or community Facebook page of your local area (if the moderators allow this). You might even ask around your local letting agents, as they may have a client on their books who would be prepared to flatshare; the agent will expect a finder's fee for this. Your tenant should then interview anyone who comes forward, and once he finds someone acceptable - and he needs to be told he can't be too choosy, since you are doing him a favour by allowing this arrangement - you need to meet this person too.

Basically, you should check out the new tenant just as you would at the start of a new tenancy: can he/she afford the rent, what lifestyle are they looking for, etc. I would create a new tenancy agreement with two names on it, so you have control over giving both of them notice if things don't work out. In the end it's your property, so you need the right of eviction, without any sub-tenant complications.

I also would expect the new tenant *not* to be weekdays-only: if your current tenant's financial problems are as serious as he says they are, he (and you) need to find a co-tenant who is sensible and properly financially-viable, so why restrict yourself to the much smaller pool of people who will be prepared to accept a weekdays-only arrangement? There's no point in going into this half-cocked.

Mandy Thomson

17:20 PM, 15th March 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Tony Atkins" at "15/03/2016 - 16:41":

Depending on where the property is, how desirable it is, and of course how much rent the room could command, a midweek lodger need not necessarily be a cheap option. A midweek room let still commands between 60% to 70% of the full time rate.

Yes, a difficult lodger who refuses to leave could present a problem for both the head landlord and the resident landlord (the tenant), but how much more difficult to evict would a difficult TENANT in the same position be? Instead of merely being forceful and persuasive, as with a lodger, you could be looking at a Court Order and even bailiff enforcement.

You can't sublet to a lodger who rents a room and shares living accommodation, as that person has the legal status of being a licensee; they merely have permission to occupy, not exclusive possession.

At the end of the day, what arrangement works best will depend on the rent that can be commanded and all the people involved as individuals - they are best placed to make that decision, we can only advise and make suggestions.


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