Lodgers

A lodger rents a room in a home, usually living with the landlord and sharing facilities and bills.

How to become a lodger

Search for a room on the internet. Easyroommate and Spareroom list rooms for lodgers. Landlords sometimes advertise for lodgers in shop windows.

A landlord does not have to provide a lodger with a contract but it is a good idea to have a written agreement in place. Use Shelter’s lodger agreement if you are unsure what to include.

You may have to pay a deposit to cover any damage or missed rent. This should be returned to you when you leave but the landlord does not have to protect this deposit as they would with most private renters. It is important that both you and the landlord understand the situations in which deductions will be made.

Make an inventory listing the contents and condition of the space you are renting. Get the landlord to sign the inventory to avoid disputes when you leave.

When you are asked to leave

Landlords only need to give ‘reasonable notice’ if they want you to leave. There is no definition of ‘reasonable notice’, so this could be a very short amount of time. In legal terms, lodgers are excluded occupiers.

If you rent a room from a tenant, you are a subtenant. In general, subtenants have stronger rights to protect them from eviction than lodgers.

Living with a landlord

Respect each other’s privacy, property and space.

Agree on house rules with your landlord before you move in.

If possible, set up a standing order to pay rent. You won’t need to carry large amounts of cash and the landlord won’t have to remind you to pay rent.

Ask for a receipt if you pay your rent in cash.

If your landlord’s home is repossessed

You will probably have to leave if the property is repossessed. Find out more about repossession by the landlord’s lender.

Call Shelter’s helpline for advice if you are in this situation because the law about this is complex.

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