Taking in a lodger

Before taking in a lodger please check your believe housing tenancy agreement. If you're unsure about whether or not you have permission to take in a lodger please contact us first.

What is a lodger?

A lodger rents a furnished room in your home but does not have exclusive use of any part of your home. They do not have the right to put a lock on their room and you do not need their permission to enter it.

If you are thinking about taking in a lodger(s) there are some things, you need to consider and actions you need to take;

If you are an Assured (Shorthold) tenant you do not have an automatic right to take in a lodger(s) and you will need to seek permission from believe before proceeding.

If you are an Assured tenant you do have the right to take in a lodger(s) and do not need to seek believes permission to do so. However, when taking in a lodger(s) you must;

  • not cause overcrowding
  • not create a sub-tenancy
  • be prepared to provide details of the lodger(s) to believe on request

If you are unsure as to the type of tenancy you hold with believe, or wish to apply for permission to take in a lodger(s) you can contact us on 0300 1311 999, via our customer portal or at www.believehousing.co.uk/contact-us

If you are going to take in a lodger(s) then it is your responsibility to check that the lodger(s) has/have the Right To Rent in the UK and you must confirm to believe, in writing, that you have verified they have the Right to Rent in all cases.

Should you fail to verify your lodger(s) Right to Rent then you could face civil and/or criminal penalties.

For more detail on the Right to Rent and how to carry out the necessary checks please visit www.gov.uk/check-tenant-right-to-rent-documents.

We recommend that you get advice about how rental income or changing who lives with you in your home could affect your bills and benefits.

You should contact the Department for Works and Pensions and your Local Authority and let them know about any changes to your household. If you do not tell them, you may have to pay money back or they may prosecute you for fraud.

If there are two or more adults living in the property another adult moving in will not change how much Council Tax you pay, if you live alone and get the single person discount on your Council Tax you would have to pay full Council Tax if another adult moves in. Unless they are;

• in full time education
• in receipt of certain benefits
• already pay Council Tax elsewhere.

You should contact your Local Authority to find out if your Council Tax payments will change before moving a lodger(s) in. If you do not tell them, you may have to pay money back to them or they may prosecute you for fraud.

Changes to your household composition may affect your home contents insurance policy.

You may need to:

• get a new policy
• amend your existing policy i.e., change the value of goods you insure
• tell your lodger that they need their own contents insurance.

Your current contents insurance provider will be able to give you further advice in this regard and we recommend you make contact with them before taking in any lodger(s).

You may want to do a background check on your proposed lodger(s) before you agree to them moving in. This may include;

• getting a reference from their previous landlord
• checking if they can afford their rent.

We recommend that you take independent advice when taking in a lodger(s) and you may wish to have a contract with your lodger(s) that you both sign and agree to follow, together with an inventory of what items you are providing in the room. If you want your lodger(s) to leave your home you must give them a reasonable amount of notice and you are responsible for this. You may also need to get legal advice and/or take them to court to evict them if they refuse to leave.

Please remember:

• a lodger(s) will have no security of tenure
• you are responsible for the conduct of your lodger(s) in accordance with your tenancy agreement
• if your tenancy ends your lodger(s) cannot continue living at the property.

We hope you find this information useful, however should you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us on 0300 1311 999.