We are thinking of getting a lodger in while my son is at university to help pay for the costs. Although he won't be able to borrow anything more than the minimum due to our income we don't have a spare £5000 a year (or more!?!?!?) lying around to give him.
I have never done this before and am slightly nervous. Would be interested in hearing what people's experiences are, and some tips/info about how it all works.
Do they generally eat meals with you? If not, how did you manage kitchen time/cupboard and fridge space etc. We need to do work on the house, is it ok if bathroom is out of action while this is being done (obviously would explain this in advance - was thinking if offering lower rent than market rent to account for the fact house is not pristine and we are doing it up which may cause disruption).
Any thoughts/tips etc on shared living space?
Thanks everyone. Anything you can contribute would be gratefully recd!
I let two rooms in my house when my ex and I split up. Meals we generally ate separately but occasionally I would cook a big curry for us all. They each had a cupboard, shelf in the fridge and drawer in the freezer. The bathroom being out of action would not be great. I would try to wait until that work is done first, unless you offer a lot less than market rent. I was still working on my house when my first room but there were no major works to be done. My lodgers were absolutely fantastic, in fact one of them now let's my house on a full lease. Monday to Friday lets are a good option of there is demand in your area. One of my tenants was a Monday to Friday let.
We let out our spare room for almost 2 yrs.
We used spareroom.co.uk to find our lodgers.
They were all lovely, bar one, who was lovely, but my fault at not paying attention to the importance of finding the right person, iyswim.
The dynamic is very important. Work out who you would feel most comfortable with using your lounge, kitchen etc. We are a family of 3. We decided that female and under age 30 would work best. The lodger who was over 30yrs old just didn't gel with us, so my gut instinct was right. The younger girls were fab.
Set your rules...no boyfriends over (we have young DS), no family/ friends crashing over the weekend etc etc. You don't want to feel like your house has been completely taken over. But, they have the right to come and go as they please. Just need to be mindful when coming home late at night etc. Do they need to set an alarm etc etc...would u trust them with that?
Lack of bathroom would be problematic. Especially for the ladies/ girls. They spend hours in there! For our chosen age group the most important thing to include were a washing machine and broadband. Oh God the broadband we ripped thru! It was an eye opener. Allow for those bills to increase so you can take it into account. The website I mention above gives you all the info you will probably need.
Again, shelf in the fridge, shelf in the pantry or cupboard to themselves etc. Use of ironing board etc. Their own bathroom is always a winner.
Be prepared for bikes in the hall...hair dye on the bathmat, maybe...anything is possible! We didn't eat together really. Their hours were all over the place.
Young singles are never or rarely home. Those older or in established relationships will be in a lot more. Our last, older lodger was never out and camped in our kitchen all evening, skyping her boyfriend. We had to cook around her. DH felt really uncomfortable.
I said to each potential lodger, if your are unhappy here u can leave, and if we are unhappy here we will ask u to leave. Lodgers don't have the same rights as tenants. But good will and a positive mindset (and the relatively easy money) should make it a worthwhile experience.
We really enjoyed their company and do quite miss them.
I also used spareroom to advertise. Rooms both let in hours.
Thanks everyone, that's some great info to start thinking about.
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