Taking in a lodger is a great way to gain an extra income while avoiding government’s tax on spare rooms. The prospect of handling such an ambitious task might seem daunting but here are some tips to help you in your search for a renter.
Prepare your Room
Tenants usually favors rooms that are decorated in a neutral way. If you are offering a furnished room, basics are a bed and a wardrobe. Lodgers also enjoy storage units.
To assess the rent check out the prices of the rooms in the neighbourhood online.
Be specific about what is included in the rent (are bills inclusive?) Making bills inclusive can spare a lot of hassle. It is also a good idea to collect monthly rent by direct debit.
Get your Papers ready
Be sure to ask for references and check all documents before getting the tenant to sign an agreement.
Set out all terms and agreements in writing and get all parties to sign it. Although it does not form a private tenancy agreement, it does give you some protection. Lodger legal agreements can be sourced online relatively cheaply. Tenant checks and referencing can also be sourced online to give you further peace of mind.
Be aware you need to tell your mortgage lender that you are taking in a lodger, it may change the terms of your mortgage agreement.
Groom your Ad
To stack all the odds in your favor, take a special care of the ad you post online. Be sure to include a detailed depiction of the property (interior, whereabouts, etc.), high quality pictures of the property. For more details, check out our post: How to write a successful roommate advertisement. Put some efforts in it if you want your future lodger to do the same!
In your ad, be specific on your expectations toward your tenant. Be clear about your lifestyle and habits so your potential lodger can picture if s/he will be a good match. This way, you will avoid a lot of fastidious phone call and will be contacted by more suitable candidates.
Post it and Get Premium
To advertise your room online, the Internet offers several websites, including EasyRoommate. Posting your ad and becoming a member is free. But you can also push your ad forward for a small fee. Becoming Premium Member will allow you to be proactive and get in touch with potential renters instead of waiting for them to reach to you if you are a Basic Member.
Be Open about House Rules
Make any house rules and living boundaries clear from the outset.
To go further :
- Five Ways to make the most of your Spareroom
- Finding the best flatmates is all about planning
- Stay Protected when living with roommates
- Split your rent and expenses easily with your roommates
- Sharing Space and Responsabilities