With money so tight, many tenants are finding it hard to pay their rent. One solution is to get a bit of extra money by taking in a lodger.
Most tenancy agreements forbid this, and so if you are a tenant you will need to get your landlords permission first. In most cases your landlord will be only too happy to say yes, if it means he will get his rent paid promptly and on time.
However remember that if the property is an HMO he may have no alternative but to say no, if the lodger would bring the number of occupants of the property above the number permitted in his license.
The landlord may also want to exercise some control over who the tenant is, to make sure that no-one unsuitable is living in his property. Practically there is not much he can do if you take in a lodger who is not to his liking – other than serve a section 21 notice on you and require you to vacate! So it is probably best to co-operate with him.
However YOU will be the person having a share a house or flat with the lodger, so you should be the person who has the last word on the matter.
There are lots of ways of finding a lodger – postcards in shop windows are a very traditional way, but many people are now using the internet with sites such as www.spareroom.co.uk and www.mondaytofriday.com. However it is important that you take great care in your choice as the lodger will have access to all your personal possessions – so you need to be sure that he is trustworthy.
Often people taking in lodgers tend to skimp referencing and credit checks, but they are arguable more important for a lodger in your own home than they are for landlords taking in tenants. So make sure you do this – my Your Law Store site has a new lodger pack which will help here. It also has a lodger agreement which you can use – another essential which lodger landlords often ignore.
Taking in a lodger can be good personally as well as financially. Sometimes lodgers stay a long time and can become an important part of the household. However it is best not to be too friendly at first. The relationship is after all a business one, and if you get too pally some people may take advantage of this.
There is a whole lot more about lodgers on my special website Lodger Landlord so if you decide to take in a lodger this is a good place to find out more.