Rent a room scheme

If you are considering renting a room, please take time to read the guidance from Shelter on being a lodger.

You can find rooms to rent advertised in a variety of places. Keep a look out on social media such as Facebook community pages, for example ‘Nuneaton House to Let, For Sale or Wanted'.

Also keep a look out in shop windows, newsagents, and notice boards in the community.

Some websites advertising rooms to rent:

I am a landlord, what do I need to consider when renting out a room in my home

Sharing or renting a room has become more popular as more people struggle to afford private rented accommodation or a mortgage. From the landlord’s point of view, it helps to pay the rent or mortgage.  A lodger may be able to secure an improved property if it is the landlord’s home as well as a lodger and it is often cheaper than renting a property on your own.

From 6 April 2016 if you rent out or are considering renting out a room in your home you can get up to £7,500 tax free income. This is due to a government scheme called Rent a Room designed to encourage people to take in lodgers.

How much can I charge

That all depends on where you live and what your property is like. Have a look at other peoples’ adverts, for example on the Spareroom website portal to see other rooms available in your area and get an idea what the going rate is likely to be.

For simplicity, the cost of utilities such as gas, electricity and water are often considered as part of the rental charge.

How can I prevent problems from occurring

You do not have to produce a written letting agreement, but it is advisable to do so. You can search the internet for ‘lodger’s agreement’ or ‘excluded occupier agreement.’

Items usually covered in an agreement include:

  • how long the letting will last
  • how much rent the lodger has to pay and any arrangements for review if necessary
  • how much notice one party will give to the other at the end of the letting
  • what meals or services will be provided if any

Other points to consider:

  • It is usual to ask for rent in advance, for example, one month’s rent paid in advance at the start date of the agreement
  • It is advisable to carry out background checks on prospective lodgers. This will help minimise the risk of rent arrears and other problems by carrying out checks on prospective lodgers. Background checks will help shed light on things such as their renting history, financial background, and employment
  • You will also have to carry out a right to rent check on anyone moving into our property
  • You are entitled to take a deposit before the lodger moves in, to act as security in case they leave the property owing you money or pay for any damage
  • In a written agreement, it should be stated clearly the circumstances under which part, or all the deposit may be withheld at the end of the agreement
  • It is recommended that an inventory be made on the day the lodger moves in and then checked when the lodger leaves your home. The inventory should be signed by both parties and a copy retained so that if damages are caused by your lodger, you have a record of the original condition
  • Taking photographs of the interior of the accommodation when the let starts can also be a useful way of recording its condition, in case of any later dispute
  • If you take a deposit, it may be advisable to keep the deposit in a separate bank account so that it can be returned easily at the end of the letting