Think about what kind of person you might want as a lodger. If you live near a university, consider opening your home to a student (international students are often interested in lodging). There is also the option of letting a room to a commuter – Monday to Friday lets are popular and means you have your house to yourself on weekends. There are many popular sites on which you can advertise rooms to let; universities often advertise accommodation, or you could go through good, old-fashioned word of mouth.
Typically, a room will come furnished with a bed and lamp, wardrobe and drawers. If you can fit a desk and chair, this will be a better draw-card for students, as will a private TV. Ensuite rooms or rooms with a basin are also good for lodgers as an extra level of comfort and privacy. Soft furnishings like bedding will also be a plus.
The rest of the house
Make sure there is some space for the lodger in shared spaces. A designated kitchen cupboard, a fridge shelf, a drawer in the bathroom and some bookshelf space if available will be all that’s required.
Amenities and bills
Ordinarily, people will factor bills into the price of the room rental – water, electricity and gas will likely increase marginally, so consider your outgoings and make sure the rental price will cover your costs adequately.
Expectations and responsibilities
You will need to set out expectations for use of shared spaces – such as cleaning up after cooking, security, tidiness and storage. You should also discuss what will be provided (such as consumables like milk, bread, tea and bathroom products), and what is the lodger’s responsibility to get for themselves.
If it goes wrong
You don’t have to have a written contract to rent rooms out, but you may wish to seek a written agreement to refer to should the arrangement go wrong.
If you are renting a room out in your home, tax breaks may apply, so speak to an accountant and find out if you are eligible.