Beginnersí Tips: House Shares, Lodgers and Room Lets
Tightening personal budgets and the wider economic climate have made room letting increasingly appealing for both those looking for somewhere to live and those with rooms to rent out.
[UKPRwire, Thu Jan 21 2010] People are also looking to take in a lodger to give themselves some extra cash. Landlords are also looking at the potential gains that can be made by letting out properties as single rooms and the economic advantages of not using a letting agent.
Easyroommate.com, the UKís premier flat and house share exchange website, offers valuable advice to those people looking for a share and those people with a room to rent out.
Taking in a lodger:
- Be sure to do relevant sense and document checks and get tenant to sign an agreement. Set out all terms and agreements in writing and get all parties to sign although it does not form a private tenancy agreement it does give you some protection. Lodger legal agreements can be sourced online relatively cheaply. Tenant checks and referencing can also be sourced online to give you further peace of mind
- Advertise the room online there are a number of sites it's relatively cheap to become a member and listing is free. It allows you to proactively contact people rather than having to wait for the phone to ring in the case of standard advertising, it's like online dating. It also allows you to vet any potential by looking at their profiles. Include high quality pictures of the room and property itself. Include a detailed description of the property, if you don't make the effort nor will the person looking
- Tell the potential tenant about the property and the area, let them know about the transport links, local facilities, etc
- Be specific about the type of tenant you are looking for. Tell the potential tenant about you and your lifestyle, it'll help them decide if you're a good match and you'll tend to get a more suitable person contacting you
- The room itself should be neutrally decorated and may need to include a bed / wardrobe depending on the tenants needs
- Make any house rules and living boundaries clear from the outset
- Assess the rent to charge by benchmarking online against other properties available online
- Make it clear what is included in the rent, are bills inclusive? Making bills inclusive can save future difficulties and hassle. It is also a good idea to collect monthly rent by direct debit
- Be aware you need to tell your mortgage lender if you take in a lodger because it may change the terms of your mortgage agreement
Looking for a room:
- Try to be clear about the length of time you need the room, short lets and Monday to Friday lets are available so you donít need to get tied in
- List your profile on the house and flatsharing websites. List an honest overview of yourself so you get the best share for you, donít pretend youíre something youíre not! It wonít suit your housemates and you wonít feel comfortable.
- Make sure you clearly understand the house rules if you have a live in landlord, it will lead to happier home!
- Make clear anything youíll need in the room / house, e.g. TV aerial, bed, wardrobe, Sky TV.
- Make clear your working hours and understand those of your housemates
- Think about economies of scale, larger house shares may include a sizeable garden and facilities and maybe cheaper. Do consider how many people you want to share with though!
- You may want to consider insurance, there are companies who offer a shared property contents insurance giving you more peace of mind
Easyroommate.com is a leading UK flatshare website, for more information on available rooms to let across the UK visit http://uk.easyroommate.com/