Considering doing this for our new spare room (which has en suite, TV/internet access, etc). Had considered it for an au pair/live in nanny but it may be that we can get more for the room than we would save having the nanny live in. Also, aspects of our track record with nannies are a bit uneven, and not sure I'm sold on this option. We are still running the numbers.
How livable is it to have a lodger around do you reckon?
We have a lodger a 21 year old girl and her 6 month old ds we get on really well and its fine having her around she is out most of the day and in her room alot of the time when she is in. My mum has live in chinese students who are at local uni's they are very respectful and pay more than lodgers.
We did this for a while through a London based company called Doctor in the House. They place Drs visiting the capital for courses on short term (mostly) but some long term. They take a fee from the lodger and we get the rest. It worked well for us. I have two sons who were 3 and 6 at the time and this was not an issue. We had to provide breakfast (not cooked) but no other meals. And because they were all there for only a few nights, they mostly ate out or brought food into their room. The only extra work was washing sheets and towels and changing the bed.
I would do it again, but about to give birth to baby 3 so need the room again.
I think that it must depend on where you get your lodgers from. We have usually had a lodger for at least 6 months of the year. They take up a room, share a bathroom with the dcs, and have fridge/freezer space and a cupboard in the kitchen. Our lodgers have been in their twenties, know that kids come with the territory, useful for (free) babysitting. I don't cook for them, but if they're around for Sunday lunch etc I would include them.
Downsides are that we have to be slightly more conscious of privacy in the mornings etc. You also need to be aware that a single person may have very different timings to you. Our current lodger works shifts but doesn't tend to wake us when he leaves at 5am.
We haven't actively sought lodgers, but have ended up with a steady stream via church. As a result they tend to have few really anti-social habits. Personally I like having them around for about 6-8 months and by then I feel like a break.
If you are looking to maxmise income then I would suggest looking at any local language colleges. These usually look for hosts from Sept to June. The students are usually keen to study rather than live it up (and are therefore easy to call on for babysitting). In return for providing a room, breakfast and an evening meal you get around £450 per month.
I had a lodger for 6 months and my experience ws fine. She was a 19 yr old student from Eastern Europe. She shared our bathroom (we only have one!) and had a cupboard in the litchen and fridge space. She spent all her time either out or in her room, apart from quickly cooking in the evening. She was quiet, didn't mind babysitting in the eves, and was friendly and sweet.
The biggest downside for me was that as we only live in a two bedroom house, DS and I shared a room, most of his toys went into the attic, and I had less privacy in the mornings etc. I like to be able to have a bath with the door open!
It was worth it though. For DS and I we decided to do it to raise some money to go on a much needed holiday, so we had a clear purpose and goal in mind for why we had a lodger.