Tenants guide to taking in a lodger

Changes to Housing Benefit means that you may wish to consider new ways to boost your income, one of which could be to take in a lodger. If you're considering this, find out more here...

What is a lodger?

A lodger is someone who rents a room in your home without having exclusive rights to any part of the property. It's less common nowadays to offer lodgers extra services (such as cleaning, laundry or meals), but you can choose to do so if you'd like a little extra income.

As a Council tenant, can I take in a lodger?

Most Council tenants can take in a lodger, but you must check with us first and tell us that you're doing so. This mean's that the room wouldn't be treated as unoccupied and you therefore won't lose Housing Benefit through the changes to this benefit relating to the number of rooms in a property.

What will I need to provide for my lodger?

You'll need to provide a furnished room as well as access to communal areas such as the bathroom and kitchen.

How much can I charge a lodger?

That depends on the area in which you live, the size and quality of the accommodation you're willing to provide and local demand for rooms. Have a look on www.spareroom.co.uk at other rooms available in your area to get an idea of what the going rate is likely to be.

Will I get to keep all the income?

If you let furnished accommodation to a lodger you'll be eligible to keep the first £4,250 of rental income per year tax free. As it's tax free, it won't affect the amount that you receive in Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit.

How will it affect my benefits?

Income received from your lodger could have an affect on other benefits received. The first £20 of weekly income from a lodger is ignored and won't affect your benefits, but anything over this is counted as income.

You will need to inform both Housing and Benefits of the change in your circumstances. If you are claiming a Council Tax single person discount you must also notify Taxation. Those receiving Income Support, Income-Based Jobseeker's Allowance or Income-Related Employment & Support Allowance should also notify the DWP of the amount you will receive from your lodger as this may affect your entitlement to these benefits as well.

If you want to take in a lodger then you must seek advice first.

Further information and helpful advice is also available on the Lodger Site website. (Please note: Selby DC are not responsible for any content on the Lodger Site).