- A lodger is someone who rents a room (or some rooms) in the property but who does not have exclusive possession of any part of it – ie. they do not have a room key and the tenant retains access to the lodger’s room
- A sub-tenant is someone with exclusive rights to part of the property – ie. they have a key to their room (or rooms) and the tenant has no right to enter without obtaining permission first.
What are your responsibilities?
You’ll still be responsible for making sure that your rent and any service charges are paid. And you’ll be responsible for your lodger’s or sub-tenant’s behaviour.
- get involved in any disputes between you and your lodger / sub-tenant
- take them into account if we apply for possession of the property or evict you
- take them into account if you want to move via a transfer or mutual exchange
- allow them to take on your home after your death
- take them into account if we have to move you to carry out major repairs
- allow them to stay in the property if the tenancy ends.
What other things should I do if I get a lodger / sub-tenant?
Before they move in
- You must write to us to apply.
- Before they move in tenant’s should complete the Right to Rent check.
- If they are on Housing Benefit or Universal Credit they must check how this will affect their entitlement.
- Check how much rent you can charge by comparing the size and quality of your room with others in your area
- Look at websites such as Spare Room and Room Buddies to see how much income you could possible earn from the current market from a lodger or sub tenant.
- Advertise your room. You can do this for free on www.spareroom.co.uk
- Be careful about letting strangers into your home. Interview them in person and find out as much as you can about them before they move in.
- It is useful to have a written agreement when you rent to a lodger or sub-tenant and we would advise contacting Citizens Advice for more information
When they move in
- let Her Majesty’s Revenue and Custom office know you’ve taken in a lodger/sub-tenant for tax purposes
- let the Department for Work and Pensions know as it can affect your benefit entitlement
- tell your insurance company, as it might affect your home contents insurance
- register your lodger as part of the household with your local council tax department. They’ll stop any single occupancy rates.
What if I want my lodger / sub-tenant to move out?
- You should ask them to leave in writing, giving them a reasonable amount of time to find somewhere else to live.
- If they refuse to leave, you should seek legal advice. The Citizens Advice can help you.
- Notify us when they move out so that we can keep our records up to date.
When would you refuse a request?
Aside from your tenancy agreement, we’ll deny a request if:
- it would make your home overcrowded
- when action is being taken against you or the prospective lodger for anti-social behaviour
- there is no Right to Rent check completed
- we think that you’re being pressured into taking in a lodger / sub-tenant and don’t really want to
- the lodger / sub-tenant wouldn’t qualify to live in your home because it’s in a specific scheme (such as housing for older people).