Do you have a spare room going in your London house or flat? If you have, you may be considering a move towards getting a lodger. This means sharing your space and earning yourself some money in the process.

It’s difficult to know where to start when it comes to deciding what to charge for rent and what to include in the package. So if you’re a potential landlord in the UK with a property in London asking yourself ‘how much rent should I charge?’ then we’re here to help with these hints and tips.

Data gathered from the last two weeks in November and first two of December 2018 shows we received over 25,000 accommodation requests per week – if you have a room going spare this shows the demand is definitely there!

What are other landlords charging?

If you’re wanting to rent out your spare room, this is one of the first questions you’ll be asking yourself and it’s obviously important. The best way to know what to charge is to do a little bit of research into what other landlords are charging in your area.

Make sure you’re considering the size of the room and the facilities that will be available to your tenant, both within your home and in the local area when calculating what your rent should be.

Do you have good transport links nearby? Is your home conveniently placed for grocery shopping? Think of the bigger picture when pricing your room and it will ensure you are charging a fair amount to suit both you and the lodger. As a guide, current listings in London are being advertised at around £800 per month.

What to include?

Will you be including bills in the overall price of the rent? Bear in mind that people do gravitate towards listings that offer all-inclusive bills, as it allows them to predict their outgoings far more accurately. Remember to keep in mind the associated additional costs that come with having an extra person in your house.

Bills will be higher (more washing, increased water and electric use etc) and be aware of insurance, wear and tear, repair and maintenance costs. You want to offer a good deal for your tenant, but you also want to ensure this new venture doesn’t actually leave you out of pocket! Do some calculations to forecast the overall situation and account for all these additional costs.

How and when?

First, whether you choose to charge weekly or monthly rent, getting your tenant to set up a standing order is the recommended method for payment. This saves both you and your lodger from relying on memory to give/take cash, you both know when the money is coming out of their account and into yours. For peace of mind you also both have a tracked record of payments in the form of bank statements.

It’s also key to have a good relationship with your lodger, you don’t want to get yourselves in a situation where you’re chasing for rent and causing tension. It’s worth talking through with your tenant their circumstances before they move in – if they get paid weekly, they might prefer to then pay you each week, but if they get paid monthly, weekly payments could be more of a struggle.

Most people are paid monthly, so it may be easier for you both to offer a monthly package rather than fiddling around with calculating weekly rent. Remember the first rental amount plus a deposit should be paid up front before the tenant moves in.

Helpful profiles

Data gathered from our London listers and users has also provided us with some helpful profiling information to share with you. The average age of listers in London is 32, while the average age of users (seekers) sending requests in the city is 27 years old.

Hopefully, you now have a great idea of where you’re placed in this bracket and what rent to charge, how and when. Also the age groups you’re working with plus the characteristics and interests of people you’ll potentially be welcoming into your home. The main points to remember are to be fair and honest at all times, do your research and work with your lodger from the beginning and you’ll create a great living environment.