Renting out your home

If you have problems paying your mortgage, you may be able to rent out a spare room in your home, or move out altogether and let your whole home. It's important that you get permission from your lender first, and that you understand your responsibilities as a landlord.

Renting out a room

If you have a spare room in your home, you could rent it out to a lodger. The rent you receive could help you pay your mortgage. You may be able to increase your income further by offering your lodger extra services such as meals and laundry - although obviously you'll have to find the time to carry them out! Bear in mind that the income you receive may affect the amount of benefit you can claim.

Renting out your home

Renting out your home is normally only a good option if it will mean you can afford to pay your mortgage and also pay rent somewhere else. In many areas, rents will be higher than your mortgage payments, so you need to work out whether it will actually make paying your mortgage easier.

You also need to:

  • get permission from your mortgage lender
  • work out how it will affect your tax and benefits
  • understand the responsibilities landlords have
  • decide whether you want to use a letting agency
  • consider the potential problems of getting your tenant to leave if you want or need to move back in.
Renting Scotland has lots of information if you are thinking of becoming a landlord.

Dealing with your lender

Your lender may give you permission to take in a lodger or rent out your home as part of a plan to catch up on mortgage arrears and keep up with future payments. It's very important to keep in touch with your lender and to stick to any agreement you make to catch up with missed payments. If you don't, your lender may start legal action to repossess your home. If you have problems sticking to an agreement, get advice immediately.

Where can I get help and advice?

A specialist adviser may be able to help you look at all the possible solutions and put together a realistic and affordable proposal for managing your finances and paying off any arrears you have. Contact the National Debtline or use the Advice Services Directory to find a housing aid centre, Citizens Advice Bureau or other free advice centre in your area.

The important points

  • If you want to rent out a room in your home or move out and rent your property out, make sure you get permission from your mortgage lender.
  • Renting your whole property out is normally only a good option if you can afford to pay both your mortgage and rent somewhere else.
  • Taking in a lodger or renting out your home might be part of an agreement with your lender to catch up on mortgage arrears.
  • If you have mortgage arrears you might want specialist advice to help find the best and most affordable way to pay off your arrears.

Speak to a Shelter Scotland adviser

Call Shelter Scotland's free housing advice helpline

0808 800 4444
9am-5pm, Monday to Friday

Email an adviser

You can also email a housing adviser. We aim to respond within three working days.

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