Lodger Agreements and Contracts
Are you thinking of taking in a lodger? Its increasingly popular and a handy way to cover the costs of home ownership but there are a few things you should think about before getting started.
When planning to share a part of living space with a stranger (assuming you do not know them), you need to have solid knowledge about your legal rights for taking in a lodger, your responsibilities and what you can fairly expect from them in return.
It is completely up to the landlord whether to present the lodger with a written contract or whether to just have a verbal arrangement. However, it is always a good idea to have an official agreement signed by the landlord, the lodger as well as a witness. This way, there will be a clear understanding should a conflict arise.
Use a proper Lodger Agreement. You can buy one cheaply here.
Points to consider when creating a lodger’s agreement
In a normal tenancy agreemnt the tenant has 'exclusive possession' of the rented property. In a lodging relationship this is not the case! They share the residential area so you need to really think through what boudaries need to be in place so that everyone knows where they stand from day one.
It is recommended that you get to know the lodger as well as possible before they move (not always practical), so you can anticipate what sorts of issues might arise. Are they a smoker? Do you think they like listening to Heavy Metal music after dark? Anticipating these sorts of things means you can add specific clauses in the agreement as a preventive measure.
Points to include in the lodger’s agreement
- Things like the monthly rent, the starting and ending dates of occupancy and the parts of the house to be shared with the lodger are some of the routine points to cover when making an agreement.
- The amount of deposit to be paid before taking the lodging should also be included along with an assurance that the landlord will provide a receipt for the amount paid and it will be returned to the lodger at the end of occupancy after deducting any due amounts.
- The agreement should clearly state the landlord’s rights and responsibilities as well as those of the lodger.
- Council tax, insurances and utility bills (if applicable) to be paid by the lodger should also be mentioned in full detail. ( Include how, much, how its calculated, and when its paid).
- The legal rights of the landlord evict the lodger should the lodger fail to pay the rent, tax or any other bills should also be included in the contract along with the notice period for eviction (the standard notice period is a minimum of 28 days - for practical reasons).
- A few clauses stating the lodger’s responsibilities towards the landlord and his property as well as any visitors should also be added to prevent any future disputes. What happens if the lodger breaks a plate?
- The duties of the landlord toward the rented area and its maintenance, to keep it in a proper state for inhabitation, are other important points to mention so the lodger knows the landlord to be aware of their obligations.
We always recommend that Lodger Landlords to be Use a proper Lodger Agreement. You can buy one cheaply here.