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Mary-Jane

Does anyone have experience of lodgers?

Things are rather tight financially and I'm looking at ways of keeping my house. If needs must I will sell up, but would really like to stay here for a few years before I have to leave.

The kitchen should hopefully be finished within a month or so, then all the outstanding decorating and final touches upstairs can be tackled, so I've been thinking about the lodger route as I have a (small) spare room with an en-suite shower room.

I have a number of friends who've taken in lodgers at different times for various reasons. Some have been successful and some haven't.
I just wondered whether anyone on here had good or bad experiences to share...and any advice?
alison

We had a lodger when I was a child, in fact we had a few.

My mum was a teacher at the local comp, and we often had a Monday to Fri morning one, with weekends if they wanted, who were new teachers, or here for teaching practice, and needed somewhere to stay. As far as I know it worked well. They would do there own breakfast, have lunch at school, and eat with the family, and sometimes even cooking for all of us. (occationally, not regularly)

We also had one at our last Hotel. He started out as a Sunday to Friday am, but when he got a boyfriend in town he stayed full time. Unlike the Hotel guests (he was staying in a hotel room) he didn't bother with breakfast, or dinner, but when we went away, en masse, for 8 weeks each winter he stayed rent free, moving the cars around and turning on lights. Our chambermaid went in a couple of times a week, to change bedding and top up the milk.

I would say a good experience.
Penny Outskirts

I aways had lodgers when I lived on my own. It was both nice to have extra money, and nice to have some company.

One of my very best friends I met as a lodger, 27 years ago. All of the ones I had knew someone I knew. Don't think I'd have taken a complete stranger in.

Set the rules very clearly at the start Smile

You don't have to pay tax on the income either, under the rent a room scheme.
Bebo

Yes, for about 6 years in London. Was a good experience. Three of our ex-lodgers are still good friends, even though some of them moved out over 10 years ago.

I think one of the reasons it worked well for us is that we had our own space away from them and didn't have to share the kitchen and sitting room all the time, although we did sometimes. Will you have somewhere to retreat?
Mary-Jane

Will you have somewhere to retreat?


Ummm, sitting room, dining room? But that presupposes they would be happy to watch the TV in their room.
Mary-Jane

Is it better to advertise privately, or go through an agency?
Penny Outskirts

Is it better to advertise privately, or go through an agency?


Ask around and see if anyone you know knows someone?
Mary-Jane

Ask around and see if anyone you know knows someone?

Yes, I was thinking of doing that first.

There's a very nice professional gardener looking for a room at the moment - but it's too soon... Sad
Penny Outskirts

Ask around and see if anyone you know knows someone?

Yes, I was thinking of doing that first.

There's a very nice professional gardener looking for a room at the moment - but it's too soon... Sad

Why is it too soon?
Nick

Garden doesn't need doing til the spring. alison

Ask around and see if anyone you know knows someone?

Yes, I was thinking of doing that first.

There's a very nice professional gardener looking for a room at the moment - but it's too soon... Sad

You could offer a free or cheaper month, whilst waiting for the kitchen to be finished. If I was renting I would love the opportunity of saving a bit of money for a few weeks.
gil

Will you have somewhere to retreat?

Ummm, sitting room, dining room? But that presupposes they would be happy to watch the TV in their room.

It may have an en-suite, but I do remember it as being rather a small bedroom. I'm not sure that it's quite big enough to function as a bed-sitting room. I could be wrong, though.
Mary-Jane

It may have an en-suite, but I do remember it as being rather a small bedroom. I'm not sure that it's quite big enough to function as a bed-sitting room. I could be wrong, though.

You're right, it isn't a huge room gil. But when the kitchen is finished (I seem to start every sentence with that these days... Rolling Eyes ) I'm going to put a comfy chair/small sofa in there and a telly as well.
Mary-Jane


Why is it too soon?

Garden doesn't need doing til the spring.

*Slap*


You could offer a free or cheaper month, whilst waiting for the kitchen to be finished. If I was renting I would love the opportunity of saving a bit of money for a few weeks.

Well, the room itself will need finishing off too, plus the hall stairs and landing (not that they are so important).
alison

If you want to get those things done, for any lodger, how long will it be?

You could still contact the gardener. They may have to give notice where they are, and they still may like a chance to save a bit of money, for a short amount of time.

Having a common ground is also a good thing for lodgers, as it gives a natural way of conversation, whilst you get to know each other.
Mary-Jane

If you want to get those things done, for any lodger, how long will it be?


Well the kitchen will probably be another month. I've got a temporary one in the outhouse which is * agricultural* at best Embarassed
I guess I could be working on the bedroom in the meantime...
Nicky Colour it green

I have been a lodger and had lodgers in my home.

I would not worry about the small room - the rent should reflect tht - it's own en suite is a dream!

renting a room can work out well and certainly the money helps - we did have a friend as a lodger and it was a mistake as it put a strain on the relationship. Choose carefully - think about things that might matter - like i they are a smoker etc. Be prepared to say its not working if it isn't, and try again.
Went

- we did have a friend as a lodger and it was a mistake as it put a strain on the relationship. Choose carefully - think about things that might matter - like i they are a smoker etc. Be prepared to say its not working if it isn't, and try again.

Same here - once let a friend lodge and it spoilt the friendship. How about the University - a Masters or PhD student who is here for a fixed time might be a good start? The accommodation office might have people on their books looking for a short-term let.
gil

Or someone on a temporary / fixed term contract - research fellow, or temp lecturer.
Preferably who will go home at weekends, or go and see a partner (though the partner might visit for a weekend).

If it's a small bedroom, you really need access to somewhere else to sit, so the comfy chair in the kitchen sounds ideal (and/or a kitchen table to sit at). Or to be allowed to use the sitting room.
Bebo

Will you have somewhere to retreat?

Ummm, sitting room, dining room? But that presupposes they would be happy to watch the TV in their room.

Ours used to be in their rooms a bit, but the sitting room was always available for them, as was the kitchen. We had a separate kitchen / sitting room area upstairs so we didn't have to mingle with them if we didn't feel like it and if they had friends round they had the sitting room / kitchen downstairs to themselves.

But if you've got two reception rooms (which it sounds like you have) you can always go in the other one if they are annoying you.

We always just advertised locally or found people through word of mouth (the other lodges would occassionally found someone when a room was empty and we had a few graduates from where I work as well). Wouldn't bother with an agent unless it was an entire property I was letting and then mainly so that they were responsible for the letting agreements etc. With lodgers I don't think they can get any tenancy rights so you have no difficulty asking them to move on.

If I were you I'd ask the gardener if they want somewhere straight away but on a discounted rent until the kitchen is done. They may jump at the offer.
Nick

Gardening at this time of year probably sucks. Can he also decorate? RichardW



You don't have to pay tax on the income either, under the rent a room scheme.

Just remember there is a limit to how much is exempt & also what level of service you provide. If like has been suggested they have there own separate areas then that is not a lodger so would not be exempt.

linky
Mary-Jane

Thanks for that Richard. I'll print it off and pop in and see my accountant with it. Penny Outskirts



You don't have to pay tax on the income either, under the rent a room scheme.

Just remember there is a limit to how much is exempt & also what level of service you provide. If like has been suggested they have there own separate areas then that is not a lodger so would not be exempt.

linky

In MJs case, it is defintely rent a room Richard. She can take up to 4250 a year without paying tax.
Mary-Jane


If I were you I'd ask the gardener if they want somewhere straight away but on a discounted rent until the kitchen is done. They may jump at the offer.

Well I've emailed him and he has responded and seems interested. I thought I'd clear the room out in the next couple of weeks so he can at least see the size of it.

I do see what you're all saying about the discount thing, but the house really and truly needs to have the kitchen finished and the room/en-suite sorted first because of the layout. It would be awkward otherwise...
Chez

We had various lodgers during our time on Merseyside. Mostly Poles and mostly through the website spareroom.co.uk.

We offered them use of the kitchen and utility - washer, drier etc - and one of the downstairs receptions. Oh, and use of broadband. The other reception we kept for ourselves. It worked out very well, apart from what is now known as 'the shagging in the bath incident' whilst we were on holiday when one chap had his girlfriend visit. The kitchen ceiling was never the same after that; and we later found out that the lady across the road was charging people for tickets to pop across for a cup of tea when he opened the curtains starkers in the morning. Apart from that, it was a very positive experience.

I think there is now a Mon-Fri website as well, particularly directed at working week-type lodgers.
wellington womble

we later found out that the lady across the road was charging people for tickets to pop across for a cup of tea when he opened the curtains starkers in the morning. Apart from that, it was a very positive experience.

do you know any normal people? Seriously, where do you find all these lunatics? You must be attracting them somehow, I never knew anyone with such a high proportion of completely mad aquantainces (this is not necessarily a bad thing. You must never be short of an anecdote at dinner parties...)
gythagirl

Laughing Laughing Laughing Mary-Jane

...do you know any normal people? Seriously, where do you find all these lunatics?

*Cough* Well, they're members of DS for starters...
VM

I've had many, many years experience of lodgers in London and Manchester, but not any more now in lovely Lincs.

What Bebo said about advertising, agency etc.

I've had very good experiences with long term friendships resulting. But I've also had some truly terrible ones - think I may be able to rival Chez for number of seriously weird people encountered in one life - think one does attract them though not sure how! Neutral

Perhaps the worst was the guy who told us he'd got cancer when in fact he, er, hadn't got cancer. That went on quite a long time - we had suspicions but it's not easy to accuse someone of not being seriously ill!

My only serious advice is to trust your gut instincts when meeting people with a view to them sharing your space. If something feels off or you just don't like them, don't be afraid to say No. My bad ones have almost all been people I didn't want, but I was too busy wanting to seem like a nice person so said yes when meant no. Rolling Eyes

Have fun
Lorrainelovesplants

We currently have a lodger.
He hardly ever stays here, using it as a base really. He is a long distance lorry driver and we are lucky if we see him once a fortnight.
This is great for us - money, but no hassle.
The only thing is late with rent, so now we have arranged a standing order. This avoids any unpleasantness.
It works well, and the money is very nice.
Mary-Jane

This is all very helpful. Thanks so much everyone. I feel I want to draw up a list of *Dos & Don'ts* now... Lloyd

MJ, one year on, how did you get on? Did you take on a lodger and if so how did it go?
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