Lodgers, isn’t that all a bit 1970s?

Not at all, haven’t you heard….the lodger is making a comeback.

Why should I take in a lodger?

If you’ve got an empty spare room you can earn up to £4,250 a year tax free by renting it out. Lodgers these days are often young professionals who can’t afford their own place but want somewhere comfortable to live along with a decent flatmate to share with.

If you’re looking to buy a property there are specially designed products available for those thinking of buying an extra room specifically to rent out. These mortgages allow you to factor in a certain amount of rental income when working out how much you can borrow. See Buying to Share Mortgages on Spareroom.co.uk for more information.

How can I be sure I’m getting a good lodger?

You can never be 100% certain but there are steps you can take to make sure you pick the right person. Spareroom.co.uk has a useful guide to help you choose the right lodger or flatmate

What are the benefits?

Well, there’s the money (which will help you afford your mortgage). It’s not just financial though, finding the right person to share with gives you the benefit of company whilst allowing you to maintain your independence if you want to. If you’re not sure you want to have someone around all the time you could consider renting your room out on a weekday basis. If you live in, or near to, a big city or area of employment you may well find someone who wants a room between Monday and Friday to avoid commuting but travels home for the weekends. It’s a growing trend and you get the balance of a bit of extra cash while keeping your place for yourself at weekends.

How much can I charge?

Have a look on Spareroom.co.uk to see the range of rooms available in your area and use their handy rent checker to see the average prices. This should give you an idea of what the going rate is.

How do I advertise?

Advertising your room online is by far the best way of doing this. Not only will you get to upload photos and video to illustrate your listing but you’ll have much more scope to describe what’s on offer. In addition you’ll be able to search for people who are looking for a room in your area. Check out Spareroom’s tips on advertising your room online.