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Anyone every done a Mon-Fri room let, or had a lodger?

(26 Posts)
PostBellumBugsy Mon 14-Jan-13 12:08:06

I'm going through a million and one options for how to make the £s stretch further. Have been thinking of selling up & downsizing, but also thinking about doing a room let. I've noticed that you can do Mon-Fri lets, which would suit me perfectly.
Has anyone done one? If not, has anyone had a lodger & would like to fill me in on their experiences?

Seabright Mon 14-Jan-13 17:21:22

My neighbour did it and it worked well for her. We are thinking of doing this later in the year when we move back to UK, we are going to try the local College of Law.

betterwhenthesunshines Mon 14-Jan-13 19:18:05

Yes - had a lodger. But she was someone we knew (a friend's nanny). Her bedroom was up on another floor and she had her own bathroom so there were no clashes. She also didn't use the kitchen for breakfast as she didn't eat any (?) or supper as she ate tea with the children she cared for. So only occasional lunch use on her days off.

Money was wonderful ( and first £4k ish is tax free - look up rent a room scheme) but after 2 and a half years she has gone home and we haven't raced to replace her as I don't think we'd find anyone quite as unobtrusive!

Anifrangapani Mon 14-Jan-13 19:26:03

I have been the Monday Friday lodger. I used to go straight to work on Monday from my home and leave to go straight home from work on Friday. This way I was only at the house from Monday night to Friday morning.

aufaniae Tue 15-Jan-13 00:28:59

We've had lodgers for the last couple of years and it's worked really well for us.

We've sub-let two rooms to mature students, and I'd say this is a good thing to do - students are there for a reason, and they don't stay forever! This means if you end up with someone you don't get on with brilliantly (and you never know till you live together) it's not forever.

The most recent student we've had with us has been so lovely though, she's going to stay with us after she graduates and is coming with us to our new house!

My tip would be to be totally honest about how you live, and who you want to live with, when you're interviewing possible lodgers. So, for example, we're not the tidiest people, and we've learnt it pays to be really upfront about this. (Our current lodger is very laid back!).

Also stalk them thoroughly via google! (Particularly if they're coming from abroad and you won't get the chance to meet them). We've had a couple of lucky escapes this way - one woman who seemed lovely - but google showed us she was from a happy-clappy evangelical church, and has written on a forum that she was coming to the UK to study rehabilitation science because god had told her too hmm As committed atheists, I don't think we would have got on! The other was a single mum and her boy, they seemed lovely too. Until I found that she'd signed a petition online in support of a racist politician. Again, we simply wouldn't have got on!

That's another tip - you're not interviewing someone for a job, you don't need to be fair. You're checking them out to see if you want to live together. Do listen to any gut instincts or feelings that they're just not your kind of person. Be unreasonable!

Hope I haven't put you off! I really recommend it. We've made a few lovely friends this way.

And the money certainly helps!

aufaniae Tue 15-Jan-13 00:30:16

Ooh, and stalk on social networking sites too!

Seabright Tue 15-Jan-13 08:25:52

Did you have to tell you contents &/or buildings insurers?

PostBellumBugsy Tue 15-Jan-13 09:27:51

Thanks all - this is really helpful info. I would be letting a generous double with an ensuite bathroom. The room has its own TV, a desk and we have wifi.

I could easily put a small fridge, a kettle & a microwave in the room. To be honest, I really want them to be seen but not heard. I have two DCs & I work full-time. By the time I'm finished with them, I'm knackered & I don't want to be chatting to anyone!

Do you think that asking for someone "self-contained" is ok? I don't want sound rude.

Also, I'm happy to clean the room & launder the sheets & towels at the weekend - is that normal, or would you leave that up to the lodger?

Sinkingfeeling Tue 15-Jan-13 09:47:26

We haven't done this, but would like to at some point in the future. I think advertising for a mon-fri lodger or for someone 'self-contained' is fine, better to be up front about what you're looking for I think. Have you seen this website by the way?

JoJoCK Tue 15-Jan-13 09:52:12

I rented our spare room to a couple mon-fri and it worked really well. As others have said we discussed expectations up front and agreed that if anything wasn't working from any of our perspectives to bring it up straight away. Several friends have also done mon-fri lets that have worked well.

PostBellumBugsy Tue 15-Jan-13 10:00:17

To those who've done it - what did you do about references etc? I'm a bit nervous, because there is only me & the DCs in the house & we don't all lock our bedroom doors at night - so it is important to me to have some kind of meaningful reference. How did you go about it?

aufaniae Tue 15-Jan-13 15:25:01

"Do you think that asking for someone "self-contained" is ok? I don't want sound rude."

Yes, that's absolutely OK! It's completely the opposite of what we're looking for (we like to share meals and get to know the people we live with), but that's not the point!

The point is it's your house. Different people have different ways of living and you want someone who suits you. Be as fussy as you like about what kind of person you're looking for, and it pays to be very upfront about your expectations IME.

I wouldn't clean sheets etc. You're renting a room not running a B&B. However I've never done Mon-Fri, it's a different market from students so I may be wrong!

TinyDiamond Tue 15-Jan-13 15:37:13

My dads partner has done a mon-fri for work for years and to make it work they have people mon-fri in theirs aswell. Another thing that they have been doing which has worked really well is letting the room to actors/staff in performances at the local theatre. People move around alot so you'll only have the room filled some of the time but you literally never see them as they work such long hours.
Your other option is an international or maybe post grad student? This is working on the basis that you have either a theatre or a uni near you though I suppose!

TinyDiamond Tue 15-Jan-13 15:38:38

In Dads experience it is more like a b&b service with cleaning and laundering sheets done when they aren't there though, I guess it depends what you're after

MulledWineandScully Tue 15-Jan-13 15:45:59

We did a Mon-Fri room let for a while. It was either people from my work or people from DH's (he worked at a training school and I work at a place with a lot of contractors). Sometimes we had 2 at once and sometimes just 1, and tbh we had mixed experiences.

The best one was the guy from my work who arrived Monday night and left Friday morning so did long hours at the office. He'd get in at 10pm and leave at 6am, we never saw him. We changed his bedding every weekend but apart from that he sorted himself out. We did have a few strange ones but they never stayed for long anyway so it was bearable for the duration.

If there are any adult training colleges around who do something 'specialised' where people come from all round the country then that might be a good bet. Eg. a plumbing or plastering course that lasts 6wks or so.

aufaniae Tue 15-Jan-13 15:51:32

We have never asked for references. We went on gut instinct and googling. I'm not suggesting you do the same - probably best to get references!

However my feeling is that it's easy to forge references. So worth checking someone out as well by internet stalking (don't feel bad, just do it! This person is moving into your home!)

And also by really listening to your gut feeling. The one guy we've had here who didn't work out, when I saw his photo (we find people online usually) I instantly took a dislike to him - he looked arrogant to me. However he approached us, and when we met him, he seemed nice enough. After he'd moved in, he turned out to be an arrogant prick of the highest order, and we had to ask him to leave after 4 months.

I'm now not shy about rejecting someone just because of gut instinct!

noddyholder Tue 15-Jan-13 15:51:35

Financially it is good but I wouldn't do it again as I like privacy and anonymity tbh. I did find it hard and the older i got it got harder but it really helps financially

aufaniae Tue 15-Jan-13 17:23:56

Noddy it's a very personal thing, isn't it? Personally I love having people around, but totally understand that not everyone does!

It's why I reckon mature student (particularly final year undergrads / post-grad students) could work well (if there's a uni nearby) as they're only there for a time - they bugger off eventually! If you don't really get on with them, or you find it's not working for you, you don't have ask them to leave, you only have to wait till the end of their course and they'll be off anyway!

noddyholder Tue 15-Jan-13 17:26:13

I like having people around but also like them to be good friends and like them to GO ideally! Agree some people like it I would do foreign students again as they do go but a permanent lodger is hard

DENMAN03 Tue 15-Jan-13 21:18:59

I did rent a room. Answered an ad from Spareroom.co.uk. I got on really well with the guy and he seemed great intially. Even had my sister 'vet' him and she can smell a loser from a million miles!! He lost his job, promised the earth and then eventually moved out leaving half his crap in the room. He owes me £1600! Currently going down the legal route to get this money back. It hasnt put me off though and have a quiet shy girl moving in on Friday. She has paid 6 weeks up front and I wont be as nice this time...any sign of not being able to pay and they are out!

aufaniae Wed 16-Jan-13 00:22:19

We chose not to take a damages deposit - we chose instead to ask for 2 months rent up front, with the agreement that in the final month, they pay no rent. This means we're sure to get a months notice - they won't leave without paying rent, as it'll become obvious before they owe us anything!

WRT breakages / damage, we've agreed to deal with any as they happen.
So far, so good. It is a risk I guess, but it makes sense to me.

PostBellumBugsy Wed 16-Jan-13 09:34:21

Thank you all so much - this is really, really helpful.

I would be looking for a reference from their company HR department, so that I could phone up and check. (So phone up switchboard & ask to be put through to HR & not just phone the person on the letter, who could be their mate sitting at the desk opposite them!)

I'd also want at least one month's payment up front as a deposit & I would be making sure we signed a contract.

I'm ideally looking for a business person for Mon-Fri - hopefully one that works really late & isn't chatty!!!!

aufaniae Wed 16-Jan-13 10:18:07

Be aware that if you take a deposit you probably need to put it in a tenant deposit scheme. The penalty for not doing so is 3 times the deposit (payable to the tenant!). This would only come up if you got into a dispute but better to not take the risk!

Although worth checking, I know this applies to tenants in rebred accommodation. Not 100% sure this applies to lodgers but I imagine it does.

(As our deposit isn't a breakages deposit (I.e. There's no question of then not getting it back, they simply don't pay the last month) we don't use the scheme.)

PostBellumBugsy Wed 16-Jan-13 10:28:33

Thank you - I shall check that out.

aufaniae Wed 16-Jan-13 10:29:13

HR reference sounds very sensible btw smile

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