Getting a Lodger…

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  • Getting a Lodger…
  • I have had lodgers for a few years, its ok, depends a lot on how easy going you are, and how well they “fit” with your lifestyle…

    Through friends, or advertising through a “hobby” site is more likley to get you someone you can live with.

    Maybe I have been lucky as I never have had anyone “bad” and pretty much all I would concider still to be friends.

    You just have to accept that sometimes you will have to act the landlord, and tell them to clean up/put stuff away etc. and that can be quite hard, as I dont like being “that” person!

    Your location however is probably less desirable for the sort of person I would generally “trust” as a lodger, perhaps its just me but someone much over 30, looking to rent a room from a stranger….

    b r

    Set the expectation bar low and then you can’t go wrong. 🙂

    My MIL has had lodgers for years, has had a couple of odd ones, but nothing went wrong they were just odd. Lately she’s aimed for those only wanting mid-week lodging and that seems to work better for her.


    Your location however is probably less desirable for the sort of person I would generally “trust” as a lodger, perhaps its just me but someone much over 30, looking to rent a room from a stranger….

    This bit is one of the things that worries me. I am 40 and wouldn’t want a teenager, not sure how many 30+ year olds are out there looking for a room, when I’m not even near a city…

    Too far really to commute to Ed / Glasgow.


    Has anyone ever done it? How has it worked out? What do I need to think about? How did you find suitable ‘likeminded’ people?

    Any help appreciated.

    Recently split with my partner – looking at taking the house on myself. The house has two large (bigger than just ‘double’) bedrooms, a decent kitchen, two sitting rooms and a ‘breakfast’ room – so plenty of space. Storage for bikes etc.

    BUT it is in a rural location (edge of village, central Scotland) and I have two dogs and a cat…

    Just looking for any guidance. Thank you.


    Have a look on
    you can search for wanted as well as advertise

    Maybe unlikely in your location but I’ve always managed to get Mon-Fri lodgers which means when you’re mainly about they’re not.

    Notes – take a photocopy of their passport/license etc/note their car number etc.
    You need to tell your home insurance company. *edit and understand consequences – I wasn’t insured for lodger theft etc etc)
    I always ‘interviewed’ on phone and in person.
    Make sure you are clear on any ground rules (I’d get a copy of this signed) – no smoking etc whatever you think you want.
    Also you need to be able to slightly change mindset – from it’s my house, to it’s my house but they are paying me to stay here so I need to meet sort of middleish……..

    I’ve been on the lodger side and both times it was more like “renting a room” than a house share.

    Its ok for a bit, if you’re relocating to the area for instance and need to checkout where to live, but there’s only so long you can live in a bedroom (especially if you’re 30+).

    From your point of view you might need to keep finding new tenants and have lots of empty periods.

    To get people in longer you’d probably have to be open to treating it more like a 50:50 house share, though you’d have the benefit of a more stable income.

    i used spareroom

    Premier Icon Leku

    I assumed this was another Picolax thread.


    are you doing it for monetary reasons primarily, or company/ social reasons– its just that the relationship is affected by your underlying motives, if is best if you have some historical knowledge of the person, but gut instinct is often good– perhaps have a trial for a month– it would have to be done legally, but surely if the person cannot see that is best for BOTH parties, then you should avoid entering an arrangement with them….. just my thoughts….a personal space is a precious thing, you would not want to share with an uncompatable person….

    Premier Icon stewartc

    As most of above but I will add my self imposed rules gained from having taken in lodgers since the mid-90s when I bought my first place and mortgaged myself to the hilt.

    Don’t rent to family or friends, this is a business transaction and you don’t need extra complications.
    Take a deposit, if not a month then at least something.
    Don’t get lodgers of the opposite sex just because you are lonely, this is creepy and karma will find a way of you having to listen to them having sex with either your best mate or someone from your local you don’t like!
    Most people are OK, but its better to wait until you find someone suitable than just take the first person who rings the bell.
    As mentioned above, Monday to Friday lodgers are probably better for you due to your location, these in my experience are the best as you at least get some ‘alone’ time at the weekend (I never expected my lodgers to ‘live’ in the bedroom).

    I’m still friends with a lot of my lodgers and was very lucky to get a great bunch of people in with only a couple of ones were it didn’t just work (no horror story’s).


    I’ve had lodgers for 6 years now. Couple of odd ones the rest have been ace. I’ve had houses that have been bought for this, not ones that are my place and had people added later.

    Easy room mate is good, and easy, gumtree has been ok.

    You should be clear about what you want out of it though.

    I can’t get my bikes or cameras insured for less than 10% of their value each year.

    Just had some one 12 years younger than me move in and its a bit odd.

    I like it, I don’t like living on my own 🙂


    Some loaders are great and some are just weird or dodgy.

    Just have a clause to kick them out if they turn out to be twerps.

    Agree on utility bills etc.


    Great – Thanks for the answers!

    Motivation – both money and company. I would be able to afford to live alone, but the lodger income would pay for house repairs / improvements / start savings. The company is also a part, not for a ‘best mate’ but just to have someone else about for the odd cup of tea etc. There are two tables and two sets of sofas / tv in three rooms downstaris, as well as a largeish kitchen – so I would expect the lodger to ‘house share’ rather than live in a room.

    The house – has never been just mine, it belonged to my ex and I shared it with him and his two kids (part time) for two years, so I think I can cope with the idea of someone else having rights there (as long as they don’t abuse it).

    The idea of Mon – fri sounds very appealing, but not sure how much choice I will have.

    Thanks for the tips on web sites and rules – will have to think about those.


    Some loaders are great…

    We’ve had lodgers on and off over the last 10 years. In contrast to what others have advised they’ve always been friends or friends of friends.

    My advice would be to set the ground rules up front. We always said we didn’t want a ‘their food/our food thing’ going on so ran a kitty (spreadsheet) and shared the shopping/cooking. Excluding alcohol makes things easier. Cleaning is always a bone of contention – getting a cleaner makes it a non-issue. Squared it up every few months.

    Agreeing a price to include bills is easier than trying to split bills (though you could just add them to the food kitty).


    Don’t get lodgers of the opposite sex just because you are lonely, this is creepy and karma will find a way of you having to listen to them having sex with either your best mate or someone from your local you don’t like!

    Surely this applies to people of the same sex lol.

    (Apart from the creepy bit)


    you could interview potentials and perhaps the fittest woman would win, wadda ya know?! better to look at beauty all day than a munter.

    jonah tonto

    ive pretty much always had a lodger or two, always been friends or friends of friends. still mates with all of them.
    expect to have the odd ‘row’ tbh its best to have lots of little ones, dont let it build up!
    95% of these ‘rows’ will be over washing up or missing cheese. i dunno why cheese is such an issue but cheese theft has led to a row with every lodger ive ever had.
    at the moment i have my brother and his girlfriend living here. becky is one of my oldest mates, and is cool as 10 bears, my brother refuses to load/empty the dishwasher, and shouting at him doesnt work cos he is my bro and is used to it.

    i have gone periods without a lodger, but its not as much fun. im in my 30s, no kids and rarely a S/O which means the house gets quiet/lonely with no-one living here. i try and set the monthly rent at the bills +£50 for house repairs = low financial stress for me 😀


    Thanks again.

    So far it looks like there have been remarkably few horror stories which is good to know.

    So I need to think what I feel are the important ‘house rules’ up front, be prepared to be the landlady and have the occasional row and accept that I will buy more cheese than I eat!

    I think the cleaner idea is good and would also lessen any potential tension.

    But what level of rent? Someone said bills plus £50, but that seems low. Guess with council tax it would be £250 to £300pcm all inclusive… ok I was thinking about £300 so maybe that’s a good guide. I suppose the advantage is splitting the bills, rather than making an additional income, and the company would be good too.

    Any other advice on rent level – is the bills + £50 a good guide?



    Sorry – DP


    Could you split the house? When I shared with a mate (landlord). He had downstairs, I had up with one bedroom as my lounge and shared bathroom/kitchen.


    Yes. Choosing can be tricky, and you may of course have little choice, given your location – I do too to a lesser extent. Go on your gut instinct I’d say.

    I’ve had 7 in total over 6 years, 2 mates/known, were great, 5 unknown: 2 bonkers women (1 clean and tidy at least), one OK but quiet guy, 2 normal guys currently with whom I have a great laugh – but I still do most of the cleaning!

    That said I’m OK with it overall as it’s allowed me to downsize job and keep my flat, but it’s not a long term solution for me.


    I was a lodger for about 3 months when I was between flats.
    The first place was this divorcee who was struggling to make ends meet and who wanted a professional who didn’t make much noise, just paid the rent, spent most of the time at work. I fitted that bill well but she was incredibly lonely after her husband left her. She started by knocking on my bedroom door in the middle of the night just wanting to talk and you can imagine where that eventually lead. The point above about different sex is a valid one, it made staying there very difficult and I had to leave in the end.

    Second place was another professional who worked away from home. I never saw him except at weekends when he was on his way in and out. That place was great, like my own house.

    jonah tonto

    dont forget the bills will be more with someone else living there, 25% more council tax, extra showers, cooking etc etc and price for winter when the heating is on

    Any other advice on rent level – is the bills + £50 a good guide?

    Market rate should be your starting point. How much does a room in a shared house go for in the area? How much would half a two bed flat be?

    You make a case up or down from there – as a lodger you’ve less say in what goes on but house is probably better furnished and equipped than a rental.

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