Do your homework before getting a lodger

by Sarah Ashcroft

It is vital that people considering renting out a spare room do their homework before drawing up a lodger agreement.

With the Olympics just around the corner many people may be tempted to cash in by renting out a room.

James Davis, chief executive of Upad, said it is not too late to offer up rooms for the expected surge of last minute visitors looking for somewhere to rent.

However, Matt Hutchinson, director at SpareRoom, said that it is not as simple as people assume and needs to be carefully considered when taking on lodger in the longer term.

"There are two main sides to [it]; one is the actual preparation in terms of making sure you have informed your mortgage provider and insurance company and, if you get a single person discount, then you need to contact the council tax office as well," he said.

"The other side of it is meeting as many people as you can and taking your time to choose the person who is the right fit for your lifestyle and who you will get on best with."

He warned that is it easy to rush into getting a lodger, especially if it is done for financial reasons, but hurrying means you are more likely to encounter problems later down the road.

Those who tend to get the first person that applies because they need the money will often find that they wish they'd waited and found someone that they really get on with.

Ensuring you have a detailed lodger agreement is also vital before they move in to make sure everyone knows where they stand.

This should cover rent, the portion of bills that need paying, if any, and also whether the lodger is to stay full-time or just Monday to Friday to help with the commute.

  • Landlord and Tenancy News from Lawpack: Solicitor-approved lodger agreement template for getting it in writing when you're renting a room

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Published on: July 16, 2012

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