Renting out the spare room

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  • So, I'm somewhat short of money right now (for a change), and I've been looking at ways of bringing in more cash, to try and clear my debts a bit quicker, and actually have some money to live on.

    I've been toying with the idea of renting the back bedroom out for some time... it is currently just used as junk storage, and all the stuff that the ex doesn't want/hasn't shifted out yet. So the plan is to get it all sorted out, tidy up the house generally, and try and get someone in. I've worked out that if I get someone in, it'll pay for all my loan/credit card repayments each month, and I'll be able to pay them off twice as quickly :) I know I'm going to lose a bit of my privacy in my home, and it will feel less like my personal hidey hole, but even if I do this for a year, it will help me no end.

    I know the current issue at the moment is that I need to replace the hot water/central heating cylinder, as it is, for want of a better word, knackered. This could cost me a few bob to sort, but it needs doing, and of course before I get someone in.

    Has anyone had lodgers, or been a lodger, and could give me advice on how to go about things? Any pitfalls to avoid? I've been looking on the spareroom website for ideas, but of course any real experiences and ideas would be helpful.

  • Well a mate didn't tell the taxman and he got a bill for 5 grand to pay now or else. He ended up having to sell the house, it was his 2nd home & should have known better. If I were you I would put a lock on one room and rent out all the other rooms. In for a pound and all that. Your not far from kings Mill and nurses like to take digs together.

  • I've just looked into the tax free thing, and it seems to be still possible under the "Rent a Room Scheme" - I'd be under that threshold, so won't be a problem.

    If I were you I would put a lock on one room and rent out all the other rooms. In for a pound and all that. Your not far from kings Mill and nurses like to take digs together.

    I've only got a 2 bedroom house unfortunately, and only one downstairs living room (+ kitchen), so that'd be a non starter. However if things work out in certain ways in the future, I'd be tempted to put the whole house up for rent, and store a lot of my stuff in the loft. Might be worth appealing to nurses etc., given I'm not far from the hospital.

  • you can do a 'month trial' where you agree to see how well you get on before committing to a contract :) if you did get someone on benefits you can require a guarantor! i'd agree about having a lock on one room where you keep personal/valuable stuff (just in case, y'know!) and make sure you set ground rules about guests/cleaning/buying things like soap and toilet paper/sharing milk and bread etc and so on at the beginning. hopefully you'll find someone lovely, good luck!

    we reenact Noah's ancient drama, but in reverse, like a film running backwards, the animals exiting

  • This was put to me due to mt position atm. I live in a 2 bed street house...the back room is pretty small...single bed and w/robe..thats about it.
    I keep me guitars etc in. Plan would be that the boys would be in there when I get access (fat chance eh).
    However... whilst it would bring some brass in...and sorry like, if I was doing would all be on the QT like.
    So... only yesterday after my debacle at Court re the council was once again put to me...Den, take a lodger.
    My arguement thus far against is quite frankly my lifestyle... I stay up sometimes till 3-4am.... play me music loud, walk round half naked (not a pleasant thought i know...but).
    So weird...last might, I was at me Course...and one of the lads has been having a real bad timer at home etc...culminating with his missus telling him not to come he`s sitting there... nowhere to go.
    Course...I couldnt see him stuck---so invited him to mine.
    I thought it was just for a night...but after speaking...he`s staying till sat/sun.
    He works shifts...6-2... so went to bed at 9.45...and he`s me a mouse.... i was even cautious of blowing out chuff gas tbh.
    I went to bed at 2am.... creeping up the stairs like a floating Jesus... hardly slept... I heard Suzie sneak into his room...and judging by his yelp...can only think she leapt on his gonads....ffs.
    Bottom line...already---I realise...nah... I couldnt do this with a "paying" lodger...not in a place like this.
    Abs no probs with this lad...I`m helping him out etc.... but I reckon you have to be a certain sort of person to be comfortable with a lodger.
    I`m not one of them.
    (I need to force a poo out before he comes back at 2.15... I rest my case!)

  • Has anyone had lodgers, or been a lodger, and could give me advice on how to go about things? Any pitfalls to avoid? I've been looking on the spareroom website for ideas, but of course any real experiences and ideas would be helpful.

    If you don't own your place and are renting, you might want to check your lease for whether it's okay to sub-let or not. You can still sub-let on the quiet if you have to, but it is not good for peace of mind (she says from bitter experience).

    I've been a lodger and had lodgers in the past. If you're easygoing and they're easygoing, there's no problem.

    Finding out if they really are easygoing is the hard part. I would suggest you spent at least an hour chatting with your prospective housemate to see if you can size them up. An hour's not much time to get to know someone but at least it gives you time to discuss each other's schedules and lifestyles, and be clear about common issues like: cleaning, parties, people staying over, utility bills, grocery bills, pets, noise. Meet them with a friend in a public place if possible, for safety. Go with your instinct. The best house shares I've had were with people I liked immediately and the worst were with people I didn't.

    Both of you should sign a tenancy agreement so you both know where you stand. If you wish to read the advice section of or…ghts-and-responsibilities you'll have the basics on your rights and responsibilities. You should be sure to get as large a rent and damages deposit as you can, not to be greedy, since you're going to give it back when they move out anyway, but since it's pretty much the only leverage you have against them trashing the place. Get landlord's insurance if possible, too. Have a lock on your bedroom door, at least until you and your housemate know each other better.

    Good luck with your clear-your-debts plan; it sounds good.

  • I'm renting out my spare room at the minute, and yes there is a tax free allowance which I think is £4250 (I'm sure someone will be able to correct me if I'm wrong)

    Echoing tehomet's thoughts, living with someone isn't always easy no matter how laid back you are.... living with my ex missus wasn't always easy and I did that out of choice rather than necessity.

    There are certain things which will bug you, for me I wish I'd put something like a cleaning rota in place at the start.... my lodger is far from lazy, in fact she works bloody hard, but in over 4 months now she's not hoovered, cleaned, polished, etc and it's starting to grate a little. I could (and probably should) have said to my lodger that she can have as many eggs as she needs and as much veg but if she's going to do that I would expect her to feed the chooks occasionally or give the veg bed a quick weeding. Other practical issues are best sorted at the start, are you going to share meals, washing up etc. You also need to be clear about rent, are you taking a deposit and what day is rent day. Similarly make it clear what if any contribution to bills is expected. Spend time talking about your lifestyles, my lodger is a teacher and is away most holidays and half terms which is brilliant for me as I do need my own space from time to time. She also works most evenings marking and lesson planning which again is great for me, I think I might have struggled a bit more if she was a telly addict who wanted to sit in the lounge every night of the week watching soaps.

    I did absolutely none of these things, partly due to naivety and partly due to being falling over drunk at a festival when I was introduced to this girl wanting to rent my spare room. On balance I've been very lucky, there are a few things which kinda annoy me but then there are some real positives. With hindsight I wish I'd sat down and worked out what my expectations were, if you know what your own priorities are it makes it easier to find someone to lodge with you who you will get along with.

    I hope it all works out for you and that you get your debts paid off quickly. :D

  • I had a lodger for around a year. It was on the quiet so that was always a worry. The guy was great and rarely posed a problem. Ground rules had been put in place which for the most part, he stuck too. He kept himself to himself. Cooked his own meals and was generally, no problem at all.
    However!! Not having my own space started to grind at me but he wasn't doing anything wrong so I could hardly throw him out.
    Then, one day he staggered in after an all night bender. I got him too his bed. After about an hour I heard him go to the bathroom and then come out. Hedidn't go back to his room though so I went to check on him. He was stood pissing all over my bed and clothes? Just a warning.

  • Interesting that this has reappeared, as I'm back in progress with the idea. I've moved all my stuffing the smaller back room, as the the main bedroom is huge and will fetch good rent. There will be a lock on my door just for peace of mind. Got a lot of decorating and sorting to do, one of my friends gave me a hand for a couple of weeks, but still plenty to do to attract a decent professional type.

    With the current situation, I'm not going to be in the house as much as before, I'm either working, travelling or across in Sweden. So being able to get my space will be possible, but I will of course need to trust whoever is staying...

    There will be ground rules, and I expect it to be tricky at times, but I can be debt free within 13 months, which ties in with my planned move abroad in 18 months :)