Sharing your house or flat with a lodger?

A description of all the documentation that it is advisable for you to have in place when you rent a room to a lodger

If you own your house or flat and would like to rent out one of your rooms to a lodger, it is advisable to have an agreement in place to formally record the terms and conditions under which the lodger (referred to as the 'occupier') will share your property. Note that the lodger is not a tenant and only has a 'licence' to occupy as opposed to a tenancy. This distinction is important because lodgers have far fewer rights than tenants.

An 'Agreement for a landlord to share a house or flat' allows you to specify in writing details such as how much and when your lodger should pay you (known as a 'licence fee'), which rooms they can access, if they need to contribute to the council tax bill and whether or not you will be providing any services such as cleaning. You can also use this agreement to require the occupier to supply a guarantee from a third party, such as a parent or relative. This is advisable if the lodger is young or a student. If you are taking on more than one lodger, you will need a separate agreement for each person.

This agreement creates a 'licence' rather than a 'tenancy'. Unlike a tenancy agreement, which will give the tenant or occupier exclusive access to the property they are renting, a licence agreement gives the owner the right to access their property at all times and use the facilities to the extent agreed. The agreement can be brought to end by the owner by giving the occupier notice in writing.

Our 'Agreement to share a house/flat' helps you set out the lodger's rights and responsibilities while ensuring that they don't acquire a tenancy.

Start your 'Agreement to share a house/flat' now

The information on this page applies to England and Wales only.

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