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To get a lodger when renting

(185 Posts)
PaperdollCartoon Tue 21-Jun-16 06:46:51

Mostly posting here for traffic, posted in chat a while ago and didn't get any answers. I would be so grateful for any input. I'll try to get as much info in as possible without rambling.

DP and I rent our house, it's currently just us (and two cats). We have two large bedrooms. It's a fairly roomy house, including basement 'man den' as well as living room, dining room. So plenty of space for more people. Eventually children is the plan, but not for a couple of years.

We've been talking about essentially renting out our spare room to bring in some extra money, to pay off some debts, save and have some spare cash. Which would be lovely as at the moment we have basically none! I wouldn't want just anyone but we have discussed it with a close friend who is keen on the idea. If he hadn't been open to it we wouldn't probably have shelved the idea, I wouldn't want just anyone living here. He's a very close family friend I've known at least a decade, and we could quite happily all live together, and the house has space for privacy if needed. It would also do him a lot of good for various reasons.

However I'm not quite sure how we should broach the idea with my landlady. DP and I would still have full legal and financial responsibility for the tenancy, and can afford it without anyone else so no concerns there. Friend would be paying us some money directly and would have no legal recourse to the property. It would be a casual arrangement which we are all happy with, no deposit, any unlikely damage would still come out of our deposit. Basically he would be our lodger, not a joint tenant. It sounding remain our house in the strictest sense. I've checked our tenancy agreement and there's nothing that seems to be against the idea, only thing it mentions is anyone living here would need to be named. Everyone we speak to says why do we need to tell her at all but I don't really want to do it convertly and lie if we don't have, our landlady is lovely and we want a good relationship with her for many years to come.

Any advice on what we should say/how we should bring this up with her? Thanks so much.

wineandcheeseplease Tue 21-Jun-16 06:48:34

Doesn't it usually state in your contract that subletting is not allowed? I know it's in mine

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Tue 21-Jun-16 06:52:23

Subletting isa big no no! Any landlord worth their salt will want to protect their investment by ensuring all occupiers are fully credit checked, referenced and on the tenancy agreement.

RebootYourEngine Tue 21-Jun-16 06:53:40

Im sorry but this screams disaster to me.

The saying 'never mix business with pleasure' springs to mind.

What would happen if your lodger and close family friend stopped paying you money. You dont have a formal agreement so you couldnt take them to court, you lose a friend, and you probably end up worse off by having to pay more for food and electricity to cover another person living in your house.

PaperdollCartoon Tue 21-Jun-16 06:58:36

It's not subletting, it's a lodger. Not the same thing. He'd basically be an extended house guest paying housekeeping. He's not paying anything towards the bigger costs of the house, so his credit history (which is great fwiw) has no baring on our ability to pay the rent.

If he stopped paying he'd move out. We can afford to live here without him, we already are. He would be paying for his own food. I forgot everyone here thinks absolutely no one is trustworthy!

PaperdollCartoon Tue 21-Jun-16 07:02:27

And no it doesn't say anything about subletting or lodgers in our tenancy agreement

MadHattersWineParty Tue 21-Jun-16 07:04:45

It's not your house though is it? So essentially wouldn't you be profiting from it when there's no benefit at all to the landlady?

PaperdollCartoon Tue 21-Jun-16 07:06:36

We're not profiting really. He would pay us some rent which would give us some spare money. The landlady set a rent amount for the property, which we pay and would continue to pay. That amount isn't based on how many people live here and doesn't include any bills

PaperdollCartoon Tue 21-Jun-16 07:07:19

Should our electricity bill for example go up from having more people here, that's on us to sort out not her

londonrach Tue 21-Jun-16 07:08:36

You cant sublet a flat or house thats not yours. I think there is rules about this. Might be an idea to check them out. Ive rented for 10 years until finally escaped the rent trap. its in most contracts that you cant sublet only the people on the tenacy agreement can live there full term. Certainly you can have visitors but no one permanent. Talk to your landlord by all means but if shes any sense it be a strong no and might make her worry about what else you do. Sorry but in this case yabu to even consider it but dig out your tenancy agreement to check.

AtSea1979 Tue 21-Jun-16 07:10:04

Well you can only ask her and see what she says then. Do you see her face to face or communicate via email?

londonrach Tue 21-Jun-16 07:10:39

Hope this helps op

HairyMoose Tue 21-Jun-16 07:11:07

Do you have inspections? Would the landlord even know? I'd do it. It's shit being broke and struggling whilst everyone else seems to gets richer. A lodger is basically a guest anyway and they don't have tenancy rights. Even if you do it for six months initially just to get some cash.

Sunshinerainbows123 Tue 21-Jun-16 07:11:16

Having a lodger is subletting I can't believe your landlady would be particularly happy with the situation.

PaperdollCartoon Tue 21-Jun-16 07:11:40

I have read my tenancy agreement, there's nothing in it to suggest we can't do this or I would have shelved the idea there.

I'm not sure why it's so unreasonable when literally nothing changes from the landlady's perspective, she still gets her rent, we still bare all responsibility for the property.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Tue 21-Jun-16 07:12:28

It could be a problem if your landlady wanted to give you notice to leave and the lodger wouldn't move out, or it might invalidate herbuuldings insurance, terms of her mortgage etc.

scaryteacher Tue 21-Jun-16 07:14:49

If you were my tenant, I'd be asking you to leave if you went ahead and did this, You have no idea of the knock on effects on her insurance for the property; the fact that anyone who lives in a rented property has to be checked by law that they are legally allowed to rent (and he is renting a room from you). If he damages something, do you expect the landlady to fork out for the repair, even though it wasn't her tenants who did the damage? Will you telling HMRC as you are obliged to do, and if they link that to the landlady, who will be declaring the income from the property to HMRC, will she get pursued for falsifying a tax return?

What if you decide to leave and he doesn't want to? Are you going to pay for all the legal work of evicting him?

I rent abroad, and I would not dream of having a lodger here. In the property I own, it's different, but not one that I rent. What if your lodger decides to apply for HB? It gets complicated. Don't go there.

PaperdollCartoon Tue 21-Jun-16 07:15:15

Hairymoose - we don't have inspections, a few people have said don't tell her but I don't want to lie to her, and it used to be her home ten years ago so she knows our neighbours either side. I don't want to be covert about it. It would just be a friend staying but paying housekeeping.

Our landlady is really desperate that we stay long term, she just wants someone to live here and get on with it so she doesn't have to worry. But she's lovely and any repairs are sorted straight away.

heron98 Tue 21-Jun-16 07:16:18

I've always had lodgers when renting. You're not supposed to sub-let but I really couldn't care less. I live near a big University and have professors and students in the spare room for a bit of extra cash.

PaperdollCartoon Tue 21-Jun-16 07:19:13

But the landlady's income doesn't change, so I don't see how that would effect her taxes. She wouldn't be receiving money she wasn't declaring.

Would you all declare to HMRC if you had a friend staying in a spare room and paying housekeeping for a few months? I highly doubt it!

Our lodger won't apply for housing benefit, he can afford to live here, if he couldn't he would move out. I think it's a shame everyone seems to think their friends are bound to try and do one over on them any minute and can't be trusted for a second.

Iliketeaagain Tue 21-Jun-16 07:19:37

I would speak to her first. My insurance for the house I rent out asks that anyone living in the house is named on the tenancy agreement, so in my case, the insurance would then be invalid.

PaperdollCartoon Tue 21-Jun-16 07:22:11

Yes it says anyone would need to be named, happy for him to be named but we want to retain control of the tenancy. I want to speak to her about it, I don't want to keep it quiet or try and be deceptive

Sunshinerainbows123 Tue 21-Jun-16 07:29:47

The landladys income not changing is probably the problem. If you rent separate rooms in your house as a landlord you make sure you charge more than you would if you were renting to a family or couple. Why would she want another person in the house which will have knock on effects for her even if you can't see them. Just don't be surprised if she says no. Also definitely don't do it behind her back you could get yourselves evicted if caught

Spermysextowel Tue 21-Jun-16 07:29:48

Most landlords would be wary of having someone living in their property with no legal contract. What seems clear cut to you may not be to them.
The end date of your tenancy is presumably defined in your agreement, whereas your friend's legal footing will be much more murky. This is why agreements usually name all occupiers, even children of the tenant if they're over 18.
Utilities will fall on the named tenants (your friend would not be liable for council tax but could have an impact on what you pay) & it may affect the landlord's insurance if someone is in their property who hasn't been vetted.
Can't you just ask for a new 3 way tenancy?

SuburbanRhonda Tue 21-Jun-16 07:32:46

I'm not sure why you're asking tbh.

You seem to think there's nothing at all wrong with the plan despite what people are saying to you, so what you need to do is ask her, not Mumsnet, because it's her decision in the end.

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