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Anyone had a lodger - need advice and top tips

42 replies

foxcub · 28/07/2007 13:21


We have a spare room and need some extra cash so we are thinking of letting the room.

We have three DCs aged 5 months to 7 years and its a lively and noisy household.

The room is very pleasant - double loft room with seperate shower/bathroom and overlooks a peacful back garden etc.

We are thinking about students as I think a young person would feel more comfortable with living in a family with young children. We are thinking of doing the rentaroom scheme to avoid paying tax, so would charge £350 per month, though the market rate here for this type of room is about £400.

Does anyone have any advice or top tips for someone who hasn't done this before: about having a lodger, contracts, the rentaroom scheme etc?

Also - I am a bit worried about what "groundrules" to set, particularly around things like use of phone, use of my computer/internet, and the times I will need to use the kitchen to cook the DCs meals.

Any tips?


OP posts:
mummylin2495 · 31/07/2007 22:11

i forgot to say you have to sign a form to agree to having a police check done on you.With older ones than i have you may not have to but mine are mostly 16yrs and under so it needs to be done.

foxcub · 31/07/2007 22:19

Mummylin - where do yours come from - I mean which institution?

CRB check no probs as I have one done for work so don't mind having another done. I like the idea of teenagers actually - as I am old enough to be their Mum and they'd probably be more tolerant of my noisy kids

OP posts:
foxcub · 31/07/2007 22:30

DrN - thanks for that list - it sounds similar to the one I was given. Is it the British Council ?

OP posts:
mummylin2495 · 31/07/2007 22:50

institution !!!!!! All the ones i have are from Germany,and they go to a local language school where i live down here in dorset.I think they do place students in other parts of the uk.But i know one school which is EF[ english families}and there is another called STS.i think they both go all over the country.Your best bet is to look in your local paper under "hosts" or family hosts wanted.Most of them seem to be looking at the moment ,or you could look on the internet and find local language schools near to where you live.

mummylin2495 · 31/07/2007 22:51

i have two lovely girls at the moment ,they are only 14yrs so i do feel like a mum again { my kids now adults ]its really nice !

foxcub · 02/08/2007 12:34

thanks mummylin

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foxcub · 02/08/2007 19:06

Well we have our first lodger!!!

Our friends nephew is moving in this weekend. have bought fabby cheap argos canvas wardrobe and cleared out the last of the mess from "his" room!!

Am quite excited and it all feels very grown up.

Any tips about "groundrules"? or am I just attempting to be bossy. Are groundrules needed?

Do I need a contract? I guess not for this one, but in future - do people have a contract with the language schools?

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daizydoo · 02/08/2007 19:30

Yes you need groundrules!!! We had a lodger for awhile and generally she was great. We didn't see the need for groundrules until she bought some guy home. This might not be an issue for you, but there maybe other things that you wouldn't want to happen in your house!! Hope it goes well.

foxcub · 02/08/2007 20:26

Daizy - so do you "lay down" groundrules from day 1 or just kind of mention it when things occur?

I don't know whether to assume he knows how to behave considerately or to say "well generally do what you like except:

pooing on the windowsill
bringing drunken hussys back
bringing gangs of drunken lads back

  • did you let your lodger use your computer??

    Wat did you do about cupboard space and food - di you just give them their own sections of cupboard and fridge?

    Sorry for the basic questions...
OP posts:
mummylin2495 · 03/08/2007 10:57

i do let my students use my computer ,usually just to send emails back to their family,i dont make too many rules as they are living here as part of the family ,all i ask is that they are considerate in our home ,the rest of the rules are issued by the language they are dropped off by their coach in the evenings they must come straight home to the family,also when they do have free time under 15,s have to be back in our home by 8pm.I have found it to be a positive thing and we have many young friends who we are still in touch with even 5 yrs later,in fact we have one returning here next year who has already stayed here twice before.I think if you treat other peoples children as you would like your own treated somwhere else you cant really go too wrong,Im not saying they have all been perfect but 98% of them have been great !

daizydoo · 03/08/2007 21:30

We didn't lay any groundrules down at the start, which made it more difficult to add things when they happened. If we had a lodger again I would certainly put some groundrules down at the beginning.
We didn't let our lodger use our computer, mainly because its in our bedroom! She was a student so did have access to a computer where she studied. We didn't let her use our phone, unless she was using a callcard to phone her family abroad. When I rented a room with a family they got me my own BT line in my room!!!!!!!
We gave her a shelf in the cupboard & the fridge, which worked well enough.
I'm sure that it'll be fine for you!

foxcub · 04/08/2007 11:42

Well our lad moved in last night and seems lovely and very considerate.

He asked if he can use PC so I said yes, but am a bit worried about viruses (my friend had a lodger who infected her PC and we had to chuck our old PC after DS1's friend infected it) - so I think I will say "e-mails and shopping only" - no surfing and pop up bonanzas!

Did the shelf in fridge/cupboard thing

OP posts:
mahonia7 · 04/08/2007 23:46


We live in Zone 2 and I'd be very interested in doing this. The room I have in mind is a large loft room big enough for two people. Do you ever get two students that want to share? I've looked at a couple of the websites and they say that you can get a twin room rate but a bit confused about two strangers sharing a room.

They would have sole use of a shower room.


mummylin2495 · 05/08/2007 14:12

i have two students in a twin room.Do you want foreign students here for a short while, or permanent lodgers from a university or similar ?

mahonia7 · 05/08/2007 14:31


I don't think I could deal with university students remembering my days at university.

Foreign students sound much easier.


foxcub · 05/08/2007 18:59

Well our chappie is the perfect lodger so far - either asleep or out!

OP posts:
mummylin2495 · 05/08/2007 19:33

well i would certainly enquire at your local language schools,i dont know what its like where you live but down here they are really short of host families at the moment.

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