Advice on Taking in a Lodger

In today’s environment, is getting increasingly popular to rent a room to a lodger. Many stone-broke homeowners, are looking for new ways to boost their flagging income. With ever-increasing rental prices, the demand for renting a room has never been so great. 

Finding a lodger for your property may enable you to make ends meet, but how do you find the right person?

Choosing the right Lodger

  Lodger description

Follow these steps as an advice of what you should be looking for: 

» Step 1 - Find out if you have the right to take in a lodger

Generally speaking, anyone should be able to take in a lodger. However, before finding someone for your room, check whether you have the right to. Check with your mortgage lender or the property landlord whether such practice is prohibited. 

» Step 2 - Choosing, Checking and Vetting Your Lodgers 

It’s very important to screen and check your lodgers carefully. You need to be able to trust them as they will have access to your property and possessions. Bear also in mind that con men exist, and they will normally be very friendly and credible. You have to prepare yourself not to be scammed. 

Initially, users will contact you via telephone or email. Beware that burglars may also contact you to extract vital information about your property. Do not give any personal information over the phone, and never say that you leave alone. Furthermore, if you don’t like the caller’s voice, just tell them that the room is not available.


During a phone call, is you chance to find out as much as possible about your caller. Ask you caller to give you: 

  • Name 
  • Address 
  • Is he/she working, on benefit, or a student? 
  • Can they pay a deposit? 
  • Why the accommodation is needed? 
  • Can references be supplied upon request? 

You can also prepare a list, and write down the answers while on the phone. 

After making initial contact with potential lodgers, it comes time for the interview. Remember that your potential lodger may have other places to visit. You should clean the property and make it as welcoming as possible. First impressions count. Make yours a winner!



Interview Lodgers  

You may find these points useful, when conducting an interview: 

  • Determine whether the lodger will be able to pay the rent and on time. Don’t be embarrassed by asking them about their salary. 
  • Ask them if they can pay a deposit. 
  • Discuss standard of cleanliness and familiarise them with your cleaning schedule. 
  • Discuss whether pets are allowed.
  • Discuss whether any visitors are allowed. 
  • Inform the lodger if there’s any prohibition of loud music or noises. 
  • Are the bills included in the rent? Or paid separately. 
  • Is there a broadband? If not, inform the lodger as people rely heavily on wifi connection. 
  • Can references be provided? 


Please note: it’s not good practice to accept anyone on the spot. Take their number and say you will ring back. After all, your lodger will be leaving with you and you should be more than confident that they tick your boxes for acceptance. 

After you have interviewed several people, you need to make decision of whom you will give the room to. This will be the most important decision you will make as the person you choose will share your property with you. Once you’ve made your decision, ring the person you have selected and tell them that the offer is subject to satisfactory references. 

Always check references! No matter how trustworthy your potential lodger looks and that he/she clicked all you boxes, you can never be 100% sure that the rent will be paid. Ring up and speak to the people given as references.

Related Topics:
What is a Lodger?

Exclusion of Liability and Disclaimer 

The material contained on this website is set out in good faith for general guidance and no liability can be accepted for loss or expense incurred as a result of relying in particular circumstances on statements made on this website. While every effort has been made to ensure that this website provides guidance, it is impossible to predict all the circumstances in which it may be used. Accordingly, readers should check current laws and regulations before making any personal arrangements.

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