If you’re after a friendly face to share your home with, or in need of some extra cash, why not consider renting out a room?

Taking on a lodger is both fun and financially beneficial, allowing you to earn up to £7,500 a year tax-free. With so many benefits, it may be tempting to jump in head first and start looking, but you need to get the low down on the basics first. Whether you’re looking for a room yourself or hoping to advertise your spare room, knowing a bit of background information is guaranteed to help the process run smoothly. 

So, what is a lodger agreement and what rights do they have?

What is a lodger agreement?

A lodger agreement is a contract that stipulates the terms that both the landlord and lodger must abide by. Although the landlord doesn’t technically have to provide an agreement, it’s always a good idea to do so to ensure issues don’t pop up later on and that both sides are clear. A landlord should supply a lodger agreement in advance so both parties can give it a good read over and make sure it suits them.

What should be in a lodger agreement?

  • Rent. Including how much rent needs to be paid, how often and a specific date by which it should reach the bank.
    • Repairs. While a landlord of a lodger doesn’t have to follow the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, they must keep the home in a good condition. A lodger agreement may outline what maintenance the landlord is in charge of, and what the lodger must take care of.
    • Type of stay. The agreement should clarify if the stay is of a fixed term or if it’s a periodic tenancy.
    • Deposit. Getting a deposit from a lodger is a good idea as it will cover any damage or missed rent. The agreement should discuss what sort of things could result in deposit deductions and when it will be returned.
    • Eviction. While the type of stay section may outline how long the contract is for, this doesn’t necessarily have to be stuck to. A break clause is a term in the lodger agreement that allows the landlord to evict someone, if necessary.
  • General house rules. Not only does this ensure you’re on the same page, it means you can refer back to the contract and check that both of you are sticking by the rules.

What rights does a lodger have?

One of the main things a lodger should know is that they don’t have the right to put locks on the doors. This is because, as a lodger, you must allow the homeowner access to your room. While it’s recommended that landlords give their tenants a degree of privacy, it may be worth having a chat with the lodger or landlord to check how often they’d expect access to the room.

If they have a fixed term contract, a lodger can be evicted when the specified time is over or if the landlord has included is a break clause. A lodging can also come to an end if both parties agree to it.

A lodger on a periodic agreement, on the other hand, must be given reasonable notice, which is often around seven days. This is because these contracts are typically short anyway, often running weekly or monthly depending on when rent is paid.

If you’re looking for a lodger or searching for a new pad, try badi. Not only can you check out prices in the area, but you can also chat with potential matches and use filters to find the right person for you.