So you want to take in a lodger?
There are many things to consider before you take in a lodger but near the top of the pile should be making sure your Buildings and Contents Insurance remains valid. Many insurance policies will not cover your home if you rent it to tenants or take in paying guests. This condition may still apply even if you remain living on the premises. Making sure you have adequate insurance it is of paramount importance to protect what is likely to be your most valuable asset. At Assetsure we are able to offer both Buildings & Contents Insurance for homes where there is a lodger in residence.
Although insurance will give you peace of mind that in the event of a claim you will be covered against a range of perils, it’s a good idea before you take in your lodger to think through any rules you want to put in place to ensure that what is in essence a stranger living in your property respects your requirements.
The good news is, for most people lodgers can be taken in with few if any problems, lodgers have fewer rights than tenants renting under a short hold tenancy agreement and if you become unhappy you can normally ask them to leave with a minimum amount of notice.
However disputes can happen even with people who you know or have been introduced to via friends, therefore it is a good idea to offer your prospective lodger some form of contract or written agreement so you will have a document to refer to if any disagreements do occur. Most reasonable people will have no problem in signing an agreement and if they do, perhaps you should consider looking for an alternative person.
How to Structure a Lodger Agreement Form.
Probably the simplest way is to buy a ready made lodger agreement form, these can be purchased quite cheaply online and there are even some sites that will provide you with a template free of charge.
However many people would prefer to write their own rules and why not, but there are a few basics you should always include.
A simple document is normally perfectly acceptable and it doesn’t need to be filled with legal jargon, the basics to cover include rent and when it should be paid and what this amount of money will entitle the lodger to receive. It’s easy to forget (or delay) payments made in cash thus it is a better idea to have monies paid by standing order directly in to your bank account. This takes away the pressure of having to ask someone for money which many people find difficult especially if the person living in your home is a friend. A termination clause should be added to the agreement specifying the amount of notice period that needs to be given if any at all. If you want information about how to end a lodger’s agreement, you can read more on the government website on the following link.
You will need to also specify what contribution to the household bills the person is going to have to make (if any) items to mention would include, utility bills, council tax and if any extra services are included such as food. If you have a landline telephone, you will need to mention if this is available for the lodger to use. Most disputes are about money so the clearer you can be at the outset will help to avoid any awkwardness going forward.
One other area worth mentioning is if the lodger has the run of the house, most people like their privacy so if there is any part of your property you want to keep private this should also be mentioned. Remember, this is your home, so it’s your rules, you want to make the guidelines as comprehensive as possible to make sure your remain feeling conform table with any arrangement you enter in to .
If you would like Assetsure to quote you for your buildings and contents insurance, please visit our Lodger Insurance page