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How much rent to charge my friend?

(33 Posts)
princesspeach21 Thu 08-Mar-18 22:16:40

I’ve just finished doing my loft conversion (😁) which I’m using as a bedroom meaning my old room is free. I’m quite keen to get a lodger as I’ve got a fair bit of spare space in my house now.

A good friend of mine is looking for somewhere to live as her current housemate is moving back home to her parents’. She asked me if it would be possible for her to start living with me. My only problem is, I’m not sure how much to rent to ask for. My house is in a very desirable location and is nicely decorated, I could get quite a lot on the open market even for the one room. On the other hand I feel like I am being a bit grabby charging that from a friend.

What would you do?

SoftlyCatchyMonkey1 Thu 08-Mar-18 22:18:37

Are you sure you want to live with your friend? It may strain the relationship.

I'd probably charge the market rate. I'd only discount family tbh.

AWaspOnAWindowInAHeatwave Thu 08-Mar-18 22:20:30

Personally I would think long and hard about House-sharing with a friend at all (voice of bitter experience here). Sorry to put a dampener on it for you but there's truth in the saying, "you don't really know someone until you live with them". My lovely friend who is known for years, absolutely did my head in when he became my lodger.

fourandnomore Thu 08-Mar-18 22:20:41

You should charge the market rate, or just under if it is easier than going through an agency etc. You shouldn't lose out renting to a friend when you were going to look for a lodger anyway. It's not grabby at all. Loft conversions are really expensive!

fourandnomore Thu 08-Mar-18 22:21:43

Yeah and others are right, friends are lovely...until you live with them, i would be careful with that.

NapQueen Thu 08-Mar-18 22:23:05

My sister and her friends all seem to rent rooms off people. They oay between 300 and 400 pcm all bills inc for a double bedroom.

arethereanyleftatall Thu 08-Mar-18 22:25:43

I would charge a lot less than the market rate for a friend.
Not for her benefit, but for mine, for the security of knowing the person and trusting them, rather than a complete stranger sharing my house.

Farmerswife36 Thu 08-Mar-18 22:28:49

Sounds like a really bad bad idea . Yeh your friends now but combining a business arrangement will only end in tears ! Believe me Iv been there - not a good idea at all to mix business with pleasure

princesspeach21 Thu 08-Mar-18 22:31:17

Thank you all for your replies.

I am a bit concerned now hearing warnings it could strain the friendshipconfused would be interested to hear any experiences you've had.

FWIW she has only ever lived in house shares. Also I feel like I've got my own private section of the house in the loft so I don't think privacy would be a major concern.

WineAndTiramisu Thu 08-Mar-18 22:34:14

I've done this in the past and charged below market rate for the convenience of sharing with a friend I trust. Never had any issues, but they were usually pretty close friends to begin with

LegallyBrunet Thu 08-Mar-18 23:00:23

I'm now three years into a relationship with the friend I houseshared with so it might not necessarily put a strain on the friendship

OnlyFoolsnMothers Thu 08-Mar-18 23:07:11

Sharing with a friend is fine when on mutual ground ie. when you are both renting from a third party. The problem you will have when A friend rents in your home is:
You will treat the place nicer than she does because you own it
You will feel she doesn’t treat it well enough because she rents
She will feel she has a right to treat it how she does because she pays rent.

Good tenants are still tenants and inevitably your relationship will strain as you become landlord.

Bluelady Thu 08-Mar-18 23:16:13

I'd much rather share with a friend than a stranger. Why would some unknown random treat your house with more respect than a friend?

UpLighter Thu 08-Mar-18 23:35:29

Look on spare room and right move for comparable house shares. If your house is above normal and feel the need to offer a discount maybe just the average rent of a average place.

darkriver198868 Thu 08-Mar-18 23:35:49

Dont do it OP. I say this as a renter. I currently live with my best friend and its so strained.

KC225 Fri 09-Mar-18 04:48:02

The fact that she has lived in a few house shares is a good sign. The fact the current share is ending because her flatmate is moving back with her parents is also good.

In my experience, unless there is a particular selfish flatmate it starts to go wrong with when one gets a serious boyfriend/girlfriend and they begin staying over regularly, taking over the sofa smooching, having romantic meals whist your coming home from work, eating all the stuff in the fridge, using the hot water etc.

I think you should charge slightly less than he market rate, not a sum to loose out but as a mates rates gesture.

Maybe have a good chat with her. Be honest say you don't this to ruin your friendship so can you thrash out a few ground rules for you both. Ask her what have been the best bits of flat shares and maybe you can apply them.

Good luck OP

ZoeWashburne Fri 09-Mar-18 06:09:31

As someone who lived with a friend that was awful, and also lived with a friend who was great and my flat mate for 6 years, I’ve seen the gambit.

I think it’s best to have an honest conversation beforehand. Say ‘Friend, our friendship is important to me so before we decide on this, let’s talk about expectations. I don’t want to be formal but I just think it’s best if we lay out how we want this to work:
1.) I like the house to be tidy so I expect dishes to be washed before you go to bed, a cleaning rota etc

2.) houseguests. (How often)

3.) parties, dinner guests
Etc etc

What are your expectations?”

This way you can really be clear about it.

Frankly, charge market rate and pay for a written contract to protect you both (break clauses, rent due date).

If you like this friend, and trust them, I would definitely go with them over some random off the street. Especially if you aren’t very fussy. Devil you know, and all.

bettinasofine Fri 09-Mar-18 08:36:43

Make sure you charge under the amount for the "rent a room" scheme

GreatDuckCookery Fri 09-Mar-18 09:00:38

I suppose it depends on what you and your friend are like to whether it would work. Is she tidy and responsible? Does she work? Would she pay her rent on time? How well do you know her?

Thinking about my friends there's some that I definitely couldn't live with grin for numerous reasons but I can think of some that I would happily rent a room out to.

As for what you should charge her, well given that it's a lovely room in a desirable location, for a friend I would probably charge the going rate less £20 a month.

pasturesgreen Fri 09-Mar-18 09:03:05

No no no. As others have said, living with a friend is a sure fire recipe for disaster. Put the room on the open market.

FluffyWuffy100 Fri 09-Mar-18 09:20:27

I wouldn’t mix living with friends generally - my friends are my friends because they are fun people, not because they are sensible/tidy/clean/quiet which are attributes I look for in my lodgers!

Anyway to work out the price just look on spare room and see what similar rooms in the area goes for. And charge your friend market value.

If she was living else where, you wouldn’t rock up to her house and give her £100 would you? Which is essentially what you’re thinking of doing by charging less than MV.

FluffyWuffy100 Fri 09-Mar-18 09:22:16

Make sure you charge under the amount for the "rent a room" scheme


If you charge more you don’t have to pay tax on the full amount, only on the amount in excess of the £7,400 tax free limit.

DenPerry Fri 09-Mar-18 09:40:17

I would charge maybe 10% less. I agree with the 'be careful' brigade as it has ruined the friendship of everyone I've lived with.. apart from one who went the other extreme and is my DP of 10 years grin

bettinasofine Fri 09-Mar-18 09:46:03

Why start getting involved with HMRC when you don't have to?

EastDulwichWife Fri 09-Mar-18 09:49:42

We seem to have a drop in house and constantly have friends staying with us on a short term basis (up to one year).

I think it's fine so long as you negotiate the ground rules. We had some massively outstay their welcome and had to ask them to leave. It hasn't affected the friendship since though. With the other three we agreed on timescales and it just worked.

I would have a plan re: food and cleaning though. If you're cooking for one another (or not) it's fine, but you don't want to have different expectations and feel resentful. We ended up doing group food shopping online and splitting the cost, then having about 3 meals together each week. The rest of the time someone would be out / working late etc.

As far as cleaning goes, we have a cleaner so there's never a dispute about who's turn it is to clean the bathroom! If you don't have one I'd use the rent towards getting one so that you both just have to make sure the kitchen is tidied after dinner each night, and the bathroom presentable for the next person. Saves resentment.

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