Rent a Room – Time for a lodger?
I just love it when the weather is good and this weekend was no exception. What made it even better was that a group of us met at the local cricket club to watch a game – Sunday afternoon cricket, in the sun, with your friends and cold beer… bliss! I was enjoying the sun a little too much and got burnt, I tweeted out “I look like a fat Swan Vesta” to the amusement and inevitable reaction to a couple of my followers.
Whilst we were sat there, one of the guys was asking us all our advice on getting a lodger, he like many homeowners are looking at ways of boosting some income and getting a lodger can be a great idea. I have always imagined the scene from a Carlsberg advert some years ago when the new lodger turns up to a house with dancing girls and masseurs, but if you’re not careful it might end up like a recent story on the news when a house sitter invited a few “friends” from Facebook round for a little party, the house was trashed and the Police had to deal with a near riot! Here’s my top tips:
Agree terms and conditions
Be clear about which room they are having and which rooms they can use in the property. Are all bills included? What about food – will they get a cupboard of their own, a shelf in the fridge etc? Importantly when will they be paying you, weekly, monthly etc?
Establish the rules
Agreeing a set of rules right from the beginning should save you much stress in the future. Music levels, friends coming round/staying round, cleaning, washing etc etc. Draw a list up together, that way everyone knows the situation and is bought into them, don’t just throw it at them you have a better chance of harmony if its agreed properly.
Finding the right person is key, I would get a reference on them and even agree a short trial period and see how you get on.
Its also worth knowing at this point that the Government recently changed the tax liabilities with their “rent a room” scheme, this allows you to a £81.73 per week tax free sum (£4,250 pa), so the timing is good.
I hope this helps, my pal found it useful although I wouldn’t share with him – drunken, sun burnt, cricket loving, tweeter!