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Taking in a lodger if you own your home

If you rent out some of your home while still living there yourself, the tenant is sometimes called a lodger. You have responsibilities as a resident landlord.

If you rent your home and you want to take in a lodger, check our advice on subletting.

If you're a lodger, check our advice on your rights when you live with your landlord.

Before you take in a lodger

Check if you can take in a lodger

Your mortgage agreement will say if you can take in a lodger. If you break your mortgage agreement, your lender could take you to court.

Check with anyone else you live with. Before taking in a lodger, you'll need permission from:

  • your spouse or civil partner

  • anyone else who owns your home

Check how much tax you'll pay

You might have to pay tax on the income you get from rent. You can earn a certain amount tax-free if you rent a room in your home. Check:

Speak to an independent financial adviser if you're not sure.

If you get benefits

Your benefits might be affected if you get rental income from a lodger. Check by:

Check who will pay the council tax

To work out who is responsible, check who has to pay council tax on Citizens Advice.

If you get a single person discount on your council tax, you'll not be eligible for this if you take in a lodger.

Your responsibilities as a resident landlord

Resident landlords do not have to register with the council.

You're a resident landlord if:

  • you live in the same home as your tenant

  • it's your only or main home

  • you were living there when your tenant moved in

If any of these do not apply, you're not a resident landlord. You must register as a landlord with the council, and you'll have extra responsibilities as a private landlord.

Create a tenancy agreement

Your lodger will have a common law tenancy. You can create a tenancy agreement that outlines their rights and responsibilities.

Download a sample lodger agreement (pdf, 134 kb)

Respect your tenant’s privacy

You and your tenant may agree upon areas or rooms that only they use. This is called exclusive possession. You must not enter anywhere that your tenant has exclusive possession of without their permission.

Taking a deposit and making an inventory

You can ask for a deposit of up to 2 months' rent. You do not need to protect the deposit.

Make an inventory so your tenant knows what parts of the home they should look after.

Download a sample inventory (pdf, 218kb)

Getting advice as a landlord

You can get further advice and help from:

Last updated: 9 August 2022

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England