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Rent a room scheme

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

It is usual to ask for rent in advance, e.g. 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 to for any damage. The amount of deposit is negotiable but a month’s rent as deposit is not unusual.

In a written agreement, it should be stated clearly the circumstances under which part, or all of 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.



Last updated Monday, 1st July 2019

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