A lodger rents a room in someone else's home, usually living with the landlord and sharing facilities and bills.
How to find a room to rent
Landlords sometimes advertise for rooms for lodgers in shop windows.
Right to rent immigration checks
If you move in on or after 1 February 2016, you should be asked to prove that you have the right to live in the UK and the right to rent.
Rental agreements for lodgers
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. This sets out the rights and responsibilities of both you and your landlord.
Your agreement with your landlord could be:
- periodic – this means it runs from one rent period to the next, with no set date for ending
- fixed term – this lasts a set number of weeks, months or years
Deposits for lodgers
You might be asked to pay a deposit to cover any damage or missed rent. This should be returned to you when you leave.
The landlord does not have to protect a lodger's deposit in the same way as private rented tenant's deposit is protected. Ask your landlord for information about situations where deductions could be made from your deposit. Get this agreement in writing if possible.
Make an inventory listing the contents and condition of your room and any rooms you share with your landlord. Get the landlord to sign the inventory to avoid disputes when you leave.
Rent and rent increases
Ask for a receipt if you pay your rent in cash.
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.
Unless you agree to it, your landlord can't increase your rent during the fixed-term of your tenancy. Your landlord can increase the rent after the fixed term ends.
The landlord is responsible for keeping their home and your room in good repair.
When you are asked to leave
If they want you to leave, your landlord only has to give you reasonable notice.
Find out more about the notice your landlord must give you as an excluded occupier.
If your landlord's home is repossessed
You might have to leave if the property is repossessed.
Lodger's legal status
Most lodgers are excluded occupiers.
If you live in your landlord's home but don't share a living space with them, you could be an occupier with basic protection.