Getting permission for a lodger
Before you start clearing out the spare room and buying furniture (day 6), you need to be sure that you are legally entitled to let it out to your lodger, and have any necessary permission. Otherwise, you could be in trouble. These are the main points to consider:
If you rent a property under a short let, such as an assured shorthold tenancy, your tenancy agreement will almost certainly forbid taking in a lodger. You will, therefore, need to get your landlord’s permission. Although if you explain to him that you need the extra money to pay his rent, he will probably agree! You should get him to give you a letter confirming that you have permission to rent a room to a lodger, just in case there are problems later. Keep it safe.
If you rent from a housing association or local authority, you shouldn’t have any problem. However, there is no harm in having a word with one of the housing officers and asking for written confirmation. Keep it safe. If you are told you don’t need written permission, keep a note of the name of the person you spoke to and the date.
Normally, if you are an owner-occupier, you should be all right. However, if you have a long lease or a mortgage, these will almost certainly forbid any subletting, so you need to make sure that no tenancy is created. (This will also be the case with private and social short lets also). We discussed on Day 1 how a tenancy can be prevented.
The two other things that perhaps could be mentioned here are planning permission and the building regulations:
- Planning permission will probably only be needed if you are thinking of renting out rooms as a business, (although watch out for possible changes in the law relating to planning permission for HMOs).
- Building regulations will only apply if you are thinking of having building work done, perhaps to create a new bedroom or bathroom. You will find some information about building regulations here.
Note that insurance is dealt with on Day 3.