I am a Tenant can I take in a lodger?
Not everyone is allowed to take in a lodger. Home owners usually have the right to let a spare room within their residence to a stranger based on a fixed term or periodic agreement. Tenants living in a rented house owned by an individual or a local authority may have the right to take in a lodger should their landlord agree to this.
Use a proper Lodger Agreement. You can buy one cheaply here.
Who is eligible to take in a lodger
A tenant’s eligibility to take in a lodger can depend on a number of factors including the nature of their tenancy agreement, how many spare rooms they want to rent out and how long they have been living in the rented property.
- Those with a secure, assured, fixed term or starter tenancy agreement are eligible to have a lodger
- Shared owners or leaseholders may be eligible for renting out a spare room if it is allowed in their lease agreement and they can get approval for subletting.
Nature of tenancy agreements and rights of a tenant to take in a lodger
It is advisable to check your tenancy agreement to make sure you have the legal right to take in a lodger to prevent any future disputes. The rights for letting a part of one’s rented property varies depending on the nature of the lease or agreement.
Secure and flexible tenancy agreement
Those having a housing association as their landlord along with tenancy agreements that started before the 15th of January, 1989 are generally considered secure tenants. The flexible tenancy agreements are similar to the secure ones, only they are valid for a certain amount of time.
Tenants holding either of these two types of agreements are legally allowed to take in a lodger without having to inform their landlord. However, the potential 'lodger landlord' should check to see if the agreement contains a clause regarding letting a part of their house.
Assured shorthold tenancy agreement and lodgers
A tenancy agreement is considered assured shorthold if:
- The tenant moved in the rented property on or after the 28th of February 1997
- The tenant has a private landlord (housing association tenants can also have an assured short hold agreement in certain cases)
- The tenant does not live within the same property as the landlord
Shorthold tenancy agreement holders often do not have the right to take in a lodger. However, one needs to check the agreement to make sure whether or not they are allowed to rent out.
An introductory tenancy refers to one year trial tenancy agreement where the tenant has the same right as a secure tenant but, for a limited period of time. The tenant eventually gets a secure tenancy agreement as long as they do not break the original contract within the initial year.
Introductory tenants might have limited rights to have a lodger. So, it is recommended to check one’s tenancy agreement before considering renting out.
Those with an agreement from before the 15th of January 1989 and paying their rent to a private landlord are considered protected or regulated tenants.
Protected tenants can take in a lodger without having to take their landlord’s permission unless there is a specific clause in their tenancy agreement restricting this right.
Family intervention tenancies
Family intervention tenancies are presented to families with a history of antisocial involvement. The tenancy agreements usually continue for six months to two years with the tenants having a housing association as a landlord.
Tenants having a family intervention agreement are unlikely to have legal rights to take in a lodger. However, it is recommended to check the agreement to find out if there is a circumstance that allows them to rent out a spare room.