View Full Version : Lodger in out garden building, is it legal?

21-02-2010, 04:24 AM
Well, I am new in UK, bought a house that has detached out building in garden with planning permission as Games/Gym Room 5x9m.

The out building has shower and toilet so I decided to put a lodger in it to help me in my mortgage payments.

A friend was really concern about this and was asking me to take expert’s advice before I put anyone there.

Please suggest me:

1. Can I rent it to a lodger? Is it OK to move myself in outbuilding and rent my front house to lodgers.

2. Is it OK to have water connection in games/gym room( shower and toilet )

3. Should I get a ”change of use" permission for this building to something that I can put lodger in?

4. I have now taken up 1) landlord insurance for my whole house 2) got an electrical certificate just as a preventive measure. What else do i need to do?


21-02-2010, 09:52 AM
My main concern is if the lodger in the outbuilding does not share any facilities with you, (will they use the kitchen in main house?) they are a tenant and have more rights.

You need to research difference between lodger and tenant.

21-02-2010, 14:47 PM
What else do i need to do?

You need to check with the planning department precisely what usage is permitted. If residential usage is not permitted, then no-one can live in the outbuilding.

If residential use is permitted, you would be advised to seek legal advice from a specialist landlord & tenant solicitor as to whether the so-called 'lodger' would be an excluded occupier or an assured shorthold tenant. The laws are very different and it is essential to know the legal status of the occupier(s).

You must then check the insurance implications of whatever you are planning to do, and check with your mortgage company that you are not breaching their conditions.

Also contact the local council to find out whether installing several unrelated 'lodgers' or tenants in the house will require a licence and/or additional safety requirements as a house in multiple occupation.

Familiarize yourself with a landlord's many legal obligations including repairs and gas/electrical/fire safety, etc etc etc. Reading this forum is a good way to learn. There is also useful information on the Shelter website.

If you don't take these steps to ensure you are acting within the law, and just go ahead hoping it'll all be okay, you will almost certainly find yourself in a serious (and possibly expensive) legal mess. Worst case scenario, you could end up in prison.