Lodger's guests

(41 Posts)
MissDollieMountshaft Sat 07-Sep-13 14:38:21

Hello, I've just rented out two rooms in my house to two lodgers.

They are both nice girls and get on. The rent is inclusive of all bills and they are getting a good deal.

The thing is their guests. It's oonly been just over a week, one had her boyfriend over last weekend and he's here again this weekend (she didn't ask if he could stay) The other asked before she moved in if her boyfriend could stay over for a coupe of nights this week and I said yes but also said that it was about 'balance' (when I said said, I mean texted). He arrived on Wednesday and is still here on Saturday.

AIBU to be worried about this. It's a small house and two couples and me is too much and also there's all the extra bills which seems mean but I'm running on a very tight budget.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much.

JerseySpud Sat 07-Sep-13 14:39:49

I would just put my foot down and say that if they are going to have guests for this long then you will be putting their rent up to cover the extra in bills.

Cerisier Sat 07-Sep-13 14:43:55

I think you should have anticipated this and talked to the lodgers about it before they moved in. Have you a written contract with them?

The fact the bills are included means you are paying for the extra hot water being used. I would suggest either making a charge per night for guests, saying two nights maximum then there is a charge or say no overnight guests full stop.

Shutupanddrive Sat 07-Sep-13 14:45:23

Limit it to maximum of twice a week or similar? Hopefully they will go and stay at their boyfriends a bit too, so it would help to balance it out

Ifcatshadthumbs Sat 07-Sep-13 14:47:28

I think you need to sort this sooner rather than later before it becomes an every week thing. When I used to rent a room my then dp used to stay with me one weekend and then the following weekend I would stay at his so as you say there was "balance".

MissDollieMountshaft Sat 07-Sep-13 14:52:13

Hello. Yes, you are absolutely right, I should've anticipated this. I did kind of broach it with one of them (she was the one who asked) but the other one didn't tell me she had a boyfriend (she was the one who didn't ask). I must talk to them about it.

How would you guys phrase it? (I'm not particularly good at this sort of thing and don't want any bad vibes in the house, it's not big enough to cope).

The other thing is I'm very used to living on my own so was wondering if it was me not being able to compromise. That's why I thought I'd ask.

WipsGlitter Sat 07-Sep-13 14:58:27

Nip in the bud. I had this. Lodgers gf practically lived at mine. Nightmare. Although they did spend most of their time in his room shagging loudly

It was the extra bathroom use (time and hot water), and he was washing her clothes and just the too many people in a very small house thing.

God I hated him by the time he moved out. He once paid his rent late as he wanted to take her on holiday and then grumbled when I asked him for it. Arse.

Whereisegg Sat 07-Sep-13 15:00:03

Well first of all you need to work out what you are happy with.

How many nights can they have partners to stay before you ask for extra cash?
On nights they won't be staying, would you rather there was a time guests are gone by?
Is there a time in the morning that is the earliest you would like them to arrive?
Are overnight stays inclusive of them having showers? Making drinks? Cooking meals?
Would you rather overnight guests were in their rooms by a certain time or are they fine in shared space (if you do share living/dining room)

Once you know what you ate happy with, you can go from there.

WafflyVersatile Sat 07-Sep-13 15:10:37

You really need to spell these things out at the beginning. I'm always very clear on visitors before they decide if they want to move in.

Thing is this is meant to be their home. Just as it is meant to be your haven, so it is meant to be theirs. It's the place they have to go to when they have nowhere else to go, iyswim which makes it doubly important to tell them your terms before they move in.

That said I would hate your situation. HATE IT. You will just have to negotiate with them a good balance.

It's really not their fault for not asking. They can't second guess your rules and in other houseshares they've been in this may not have been an issue.

GingerBlackAndOriental Sat 07-Sep-13 15:18:17

Hmmm, if I rented a room I'd think it was up to me who I had stay over and how often.

I see your point on the water bills if they have a shower every day. (Only if you are on a water meter though) Are you?

I don't see that any other bills would be affected by them having their boyfriends stay over.

Do they spend all the time in their rooms with them or do they spend the evening/day in shared rooms like the living room? If they spend the time in their rented rooms then I don't see how you can dictate who they have in their room.

Cerisier Sat 07-Sep-13 15:25:12

Ginger- the hot water used, the possible extra washing machine loads, extra washing up water, the bathroom being used by another person so not available, even the extra loo roll can all add up and means the lodgers are taking advantage of the OP. If there is a water meter it is even worse.

livinginwonderland Sat 07-Sep-13 15:25:24

You need to spell out these things. Most people would take the line "I pay rent for my space, therefore I can have whoever I like in there". The only bill I would see an issue with would be water (due to extra showers) but surely they would be doing laundry and cooking for themselves anyway, so I don't see why your other bills would go up.

If you're not happy with it, talk to them, but you should have explained your rules/expectations for overnight guests from the beginning really.

kiriwawa Sat 07-Sep-13 15:27:13

I think any more than 3 nights/week is taking the piss. I'd also say that you can only have one bf staying at a time so they'll have to negotiate that between themselves. I assume if you'd wanted couples as your lodgers, then you'd have rented the rooms to couples.

It's not just the water, it's taking up time in the bathroom, extra stuff to wash, extra time in the kitchen and more space in the fridge.

A lodger is very different to a flatmate IMO. So it's your rules

GingerBlackAndOriental Sat 07-Sep-13 15:27:38

Sorry I meant not on a water meter lol, fried brain, yes I see how all the small things can add up.

whois Sat 07-Sep-13 15:34:03

Hmmm, if I rented a room I'd think it was up to me who I had stay over and how often

Seriously? Have you ever lived in a shared house with friends (or strangers)? I guess not as it causes massive resentment to have a partner to stay all the time. Many reasons, changes the dynamic of the home (three individuals to two couples and an individual), less space in the kitchen/sitting room, higher bills for extra showers, house feel cramped, can't get in the bathroom as there are extra people staying etc. May not like the partner and wouldn't have agreed to live with then also but haven't had any say.

A guy I lived with basically moved his GF in despite her living more centrally in her own flat. Was shit, she totally messed up morning bathroom routines (used to go in at peak time and wash her hair for ages) and me and the other girl hasn't wanted to live with a couple. She also used to take over the kitchen cooking elaborate meals for him and make a huge mess.

I broached it by explaining why it wasn't appropriate, and asked they alternate weekends and that she stayed no more than one or two weekday nights and that she was more considerate with bathroom kitchen use. He was all like 'yeah sure' and things improved for one week before going back to the same. She was actually a fun person, we just didnt want to live with an extra person. Gave him his notice after a few more weeks of no improvement.

At least with lodgers you can tell them to fuck off where as in a shared house on AST you're stuck until the end of the contract :-)

MissDollieMountshaft Sat 07-Sep-13 15:34:21

Thanks, yes it is really important to me to hear the other point of view. It's interesting thanks.

To me there's a difference beween lodging in someone's house and a shared house. So for example if the bills and mortgage were split three ways they would be paying much much more and I do all the cleaning, buy the loo roll/household products, washing powder tea coffee etc. I felt reduced responsiblities means reduced rights (that sounds ridiculously heavy) but of course, it might not mean the same to them. Obvs I should've sorted this out in black and white beforehand but it's a learning curve.

Yes, the water's metered and the gas and electicity needed to heat it and their meals hot drinks etc all of which are consumed at home do push up the bills and it's a small house and a small kitchen so overcrowing is an issue (they seem to eat in the sitting room but, to be fair, socialise in their rooms and they do tidy up after themselves).

I'm worried that it'll be an every weekend thing, if they spend alternate weekends away then no problems, it kind of balances out and I could deal with it, I suppose I'm overthinking it and need to just talk to them about it, they are nice girls but it still makes me anxious.

How would you start that conversation?

Whereisegg Sat 07-Sep-13 15:54:35

I would just brightly say that you would like a word regarding overnight guests.

You are right in that a lodging scenario is different to a house share.

I would suggest they get themselves Tupperware for tea bags/coffee/sugar for their guests.
If they choose to use their 'maximum nights of allowed stays' that they put in an extra £x per month to cover water/gas/electricity/wash powder/milk.

Ask them what they feel would be an appropriate amount?
They might surprise you.

WafflyVersatile Sat 07-Sep-13 16:02:18

I do not see cleaning as being the live in landlord's responsibility. This is probably why this is the thing I've had problems with. angry grin Cleaner next time!

The live in LL does make a difference but it is still the only home they have.

You get to decide the rules and it will be them who move out if things aren't going well. That's a big power difference in comparison to houseshares.

Snoopingforsoup Sat 07-Sep-13 17:26:56

But, they are paying rent and it is also their home.

There has to be a bit of give and take.

You need to discuss it, but don't be surprised if the girls move out. As a young lodger myself, I still needed to live my life and my landlady let me have the freedom to do so.

I pulled my weight, I paid my rent and I had a life. Your lodgers will expect the same.

You are being slightly unreasonable.

LIZS Sat 07-Sep-13 17:42:10

How have you set up the rent / bills? If it is an inclusive rent then I think you should flag up that that only included a certain amount for extra water/gas/electric which you will monitor over the next bill period and may need to review if it is excessive due to guests. Are your lodgers used to living independently with associated costs and behavioural code or is this their first rental ? You don't want to end up jostling over access to bathroom, meeting strangers on the landing when half dressed or hung over or cleaning up their mess.

Weener Sat 07-Sep-13 17:42:59

It's an awkward situation and I can see both sides' points of view. I do think that lodgers should be entitled to have people stay over (as they are paying rent and it is their home too) but equally they should know not to take the piss.

I am in a similar situation in that I rent out my spare room to a lodger and I recently had to had to have word with her about people staying over. I am fine with her having mates over or whatever, even fairly regularly (apart from anything else I have people staying over a lot and would feel hypocritical if I didn't allow my lodger to do the same), but recently she had someone here firstly for the Sat night and then Monday to Friday, which in a small 2-bedroom flat in which I do a lot of working from home, was just too much really. The final straw was when this random girl (who I don't know from Adam) came strolling out my my lodger's room and it transpired that my lodger had gone away for a night that I really decided that piss was being taken. It's not a frickin' youth hostel.

Lodger and I eventually had words and it's all fine; and I would recommend that you do bring it up sooner rather than later as the last thing you want is ill-feeling in your own home. Just be calm and express how you're feeling. Good luck with it.

Weener Sat 07-Sep-13 17:45:14

Well, I say it's all fine; I have also just put the rent up which has not gone down well. But hey ho...

specialsubject Sat 07-Sep-13 17:52:48

in a shared house there are limits. Say one night a week and gone by the next mid-day. These two are taking you for a ride.

if they want semi-permanent guests, they have to rent somewhere self-contained.

ALittleStranger Sat 07-Sep-13 17:55:57

Lodging is different to a house share, legally. If they want to call the shots they need a house share. That said they are entitled to overnight guests.

I would state early and clearly that the rooms were let for single occupancy and priced accordingly. You're not going to start logging overnight guests but there is a line where visitors start to look like they live there, and you would ask them to be mindful of this.

Next time this is the kind of thing you have to ask about when interviewing.

WafflyVersatile Sat 07-Sep-13 18:46:12

To my mind anyone there over half the week is not a visitor. And nights where a partner stays with the lodger should be balanced out by an equal number of night of the lodger staying at theirs.

Of course IRL this isn't always feasible but again you tell them your terms when they come to view the flat and it's their choice whether to accept or not.

Anyway I think we've agreed on the moral of this story!

southeastdweller Sat 07-Sep-13 20:17:47

I can also see both sides here. It's their home, where they should be able to relax, but I do feel they re taking the piss a little. One guest a week each for one night would by my limit. I agree with everyone who's saying that you need to nip it in the bud now - I'm especially thinking of winter coming up and them potentially having lots of cosy nights in with their partners at yours and theirs gaff.

Did you do a tenancy agreement? If so is it a rolling contract or fixed term?

I'm surprised you're paying for some drinks and household stuff when you're on such a tight budget.

From your post at 15.34 you sound like you think of them more as guests than lodgers which I think is a little unfair.

JaxTellerIsAllMine Sat 07-Sep-13 20:24:45

I thought as a lodger you bought your own food/drinks/cleaning stuff etc and put them in a shelf in designated cupboard/fridge/freezer.

The landlord usually does cleaning of communal areas with exception of kitchen/bathroom in my mind.

Talk to them, nip it in the bud now. Otherwise resentment and serious piss taking will ensue.

TweedWasSoLastYear Sat 07-Sep-13 20:34:11

If you had advertised for a single room , with room rate applicable for a single person then you are well within your rights to put a cap on the free loaders.
1 mid week and 1 weekend night would be fair, and maybe ask if they could not be on the same night ? That way there is only ever 1 extra person around taking up bathrooom time.
Also worth asking them to respect the 'If your not here , then neither is your b/f' . Imagine walking out of the shower and meeting some random bloke in his pants in the hall . No thanks.

expatinscotland Sat 07-Sep-13 20:39:44

Wow, they have it made! I want to live with you.

AllDirections Sat 07-Sep-13 22:19:36

I've had a lodger for 4 months now and it's been a learning curve. He's been a friend for a long time and I knew that visitors would be a problem for me so we had a chat about it before I agreed to him lodging here.

To begin my lodger was behaving like we were sharing a house but we're not. He's renting a room here and it's a different situation totally. I do the cleaning, pay the bills and deal with any home improvements. I think that basically a lodger has no say in the way that a home is run, they either agree to the rules or they don't live there.

My lodger lives here with his 18 month old DS and his 2 other children are here quite a bit too. The 19 year old half sibling of his little DS was coming round to see him along with her younger sibling, her boyfriend, her best friend, etc. and my lodger would leave them all to it. I felt like an outsider in my own home so I put a stop to that straight away.

cjel Sat 07-Sep-13 22:31:40

There is no way my lodgers would have people staying over like this, its taking the micky and they are bad lodgers. they are renting the room not their other halves and if you had wanted couples you would have advertised for that. They are paying for one person to stay in one room of your house. I wouldn't want to be made to feel the odd one out and I wouldn't feel comfortable with blokes around the place all the time, I know loads of people who rent out rooms Ginger and none would think this is acceptable.

I would sit them down and say that you are new to this and are very sorry but you feel you don't want others staying (at all, more than one night a week - or whatever you feel ok about) if they don't like it they can move on and you can get some lodgers who are more considerate.

whois Sat 07-Sep-13 22:38:50

You need to decide what you are happy with. Don't confuse the money with the inconvenience of them staying. Either it annoys you because it's too many people, or it's the money. One or the other. If you say it's the money they might be happy to pay an additional amount and you'll still be annoyed with the extra people.

How to bring it up? Just have a chat with them both one at a time: "I think we need to talk about overnight guests. I hadn't realised that you were intending on having your boyfriend over to stay so much, the room price and arrangements were really set for an individual, not for someone with a partner staying over. The flat is too small for so may people, and the arrangements aren't suitable at the moment < list out reasons> " ask what they think is fair. Say what you want. Get them to agree or be prepared for them to move out BUT at least you know to have this covo upfront next time.

Worth having 'house rules' agreed and signed before they move in I think.

maddy68 Sun 08-Sep-13 08:14:38

It's a tricky one. As tbh if I was renting a room I would expect to be allowed to invite whoever I want there. You need to have a talk about overnight guests. Say no more than once a week for example and perhaps ask them for an additional charge of £5pppn to cover inconvenience and water etc

southeastdweller Mon 09-Sep-13 21:01:17

So did you speak to them?

MissDollieMountshaft Tue 17-Sep-13 19:14:18

Hello, Soo sorry for the satelleite (sp) delay. Thanks so much for all of your help and advice. I did speak to them but apparently was too unspecific as both boyfriends were here again this weekend. So had a very open conversation on Sunday and xplained that I thought the house was too small for regular guests and that they had to balance out the extra bills and bodies by no more than two nights in a row and alternating weekends - also managed to swing them cleaning their own bathroom ( I have a shower room). One was super fine with it. One is in a bit of a mood with me. But I'm really happy with the outcome. Thanks so much, I wouldn't have handled it at all well let alone successfully without everyone's help.

Turniptwirl Tue 17-Sep-13 19:27:26

Glad it turned out ok :-)

I think you're right to limit overnight guests, even in a house share its annoying if one housemate constantly has bf staying over, but when you're a live in LL I bet it's worse!

I rent a room and have had over night guests about three times, twice was a parent (separately), which I asked permission for as they had my room and I slept on the couch downstairs. Other time was a friend who had my floor so may not have asked for that one. I stay at a friends at least one weekend a month, so far more than I have people here!

At least you've learned to spell it out next time!

eretrew Tue 17-Sep-13 19:31:48

What did you put in the contract? If you did not mention anything about guests you have no leg to stand on.

Retroformica Tue 17-Sep-13 19:43:59

Have a house meeting (minus men) with bottle of wine and nicely chat about it. Give them the problem. Say you don't mind them staying 3 nights but you are worried about all the electrics, water, loo roll costs etc. ask them to work our a fair way if doing things.

if the men are there 3 or 4 days each week, then they need to pay towards bills. They are effectively living with you part time.

I suggest you get the girls to pay bills and rent separately. The bills should be split 4 ways with the 4th bit being split in two and given to each boyfriend (or the girlfriend)

Retroformica Tue 17-Sep-13 19:45:23

Great outcome!

BelaLug0si Tue 17-Sep-13 23:50:04

Eretrew - my understanding is that lodging in someone's house does not require contact nor does it confer tenancy rights. However I'm not a lawyer.

BelaLug0si Tue 17-Sep-13 23:50:27


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