Taking in a lodger

You might be considering taking in a lodger or subletting a room in your home in return for payment. This can be a good way to help pay your rent and share some of your household bills, but it also comes with responsibilities and can affect any benefits you claim.

Remember, you cannot sublet the whole of you home as this is a criminal offence!

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The following guide explains what you need to consider before deciding if this is something for you.

What is a lodger?

A lodger is someone who shares your home, usually in return for a payment. Although they may have their own room, they do not have exclusive use of it and they do not have any tenancy rights. A lodger may receive services such as laundry, cleaning and meals (in this case, they may also be known as a 'boarder').

What is a subtenant

Subletting is where you let part of your home to a subtenant in return for payment. They will have a part of your home (usually a bedroom) for their exclusive use and you cannot enter this area without their permission.

Am I eligible to take in a lodger or sublet a room?

Not all residents are allowed to take in a lodger or subtenant. Check below to see if you are one of them.

  • Yes, if you have an assured, secure, or fixed term tenancy
  • No, if you have an assured shorthold tenancy (not fixed term tenancy)
  • No, if you want to sublet the whole of your home
  • No, if you are overcrowded or likely to become overcrowded if you take in a lodger or subtenant
  • No, if you are subject to a court order.

If you are thinking about taking in a lodger or subtenant, please check your tenancy agreement. You can also speak to your Housing Officer who will let you know if you are allowed to do this.

 

Enquire about taking on lodgers

Are my family or partner lodgers?

Family members and partners who live with you as part of your household are not normally considered lodgers or subtenants.

 

Please note - if there is a change in who shares your home with you, there is still a need to inform us. If you claim benefits, you also need to tell the relevant agencies as it may affect what you can claim. The Department of Work and Pensions and Brent Council will be able to give you more information.

What rights do lodgers or subtenants have?

A lodger or subtenant never becomes part of your tenancy with council. They do not have any rights to your home or to take over your tenancy if you leave or die.

However, you must give your lodger or subtenant reasonable notice before they have to leave. This can be a verbal or written request.

What are my responsibilities if I take in a lodger or subtenant?

If you are thinking about taking in a lodger or subletting a room in your home, remember these important points.


You must get our permission first. You will need to put any request in writing to your Housing Officer and provide them with:

 

  • The name(s), gender(s), and date(s) of birth of any potential lodgers or subtenants
  • The parts of your home they will be occupying
  • How much rent you will be charging them
  • A copy of any written agreement between you and the lodger or subtenant.

You are responsible for the behaviour of any lodgers or subtenants while they live in your home. If they cause a nuisance you will be held responsible. You are advised to carry out appropriate checks on anyone moving into your home to ensure they are who they say they are and trustworthy. If you decide you want them to leave, you will have to arrange this yourself.


If you move out, you must ensure that the lodger or subtenant leaves too.

 

You must not sublet the whole of your home or you will be in breach of your tenancy agreement