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View Full Version : I wish to let one bedroom; advice from experienced landlords?



JonathanB
15-02-2008, 10:05 AM
Hello,

I'm thinking of renting my spare bedroom to generate some revenue. This will be the first time I have done so, and would be grateful for any guidance.

If it goes well I might consider buying a new house/flat and renting this whole house.

Can anybody give me any guidance?

If you could start again as a landlord, what would you do differently?

I'd be grateful for any advice at all.

Thank you,

J.B.

Colincbayley
15-02-2008, 10:07 AM
If you are just starting out, then I would say read 'Successful Property letting' By David Lawrenson.
Available on Amazon for about a fiver.
It covers all the basics.

Bel
15-02-2008, 10:39 AM
Type in 'lodger' into forum search and read every post.

JonathanB
15-02-2008, 14:58 PM
Type in 'lodger' into forum search and read every post.

There's a lot of information there. I will read through, but I was hoping for a few 'factoids' if you will, to start me on my way.

PaulF
15-02-2008, 16:20 PM
Why hasn't anybody mentioned Rent-a-Room relief that is government sponsored so to speak and means you can earn about £95 a week tax free! Also you don't have to declare the income and you don't need any formal agreement. Easy-Peasy. Type it into Google and see what comes up.

Bel
16-02-2008, 08:51 AM
There's a lot of information there. I will read through, but I was hoping for a few 'factoids' if you will, to start me on my way.

Factoid; most problems with lettings occur because landlords do not know enough about letting and should have done more research before they started !! ;)

JonathanB
18-02-2008, 08:56 AM
Factoid; most problems with lettings occur because landlords do not know enough about letting and should have done more research before they started !! ;)

Which is what I am currently doing, Bel. I was hoping for a more helpful response. Perhaps sarcasm isn't the best form of advice??

pcwilkins
18-02-2008, 09:33 AM
Which is what I am currently doing, Bel. I was hoping for a more helpful response. Perhaps sarcasm isn't the best form of advice??

Firstly, it wasn't sarcasm --- it was a fact, just like you wanted.

Secondly, letting a room in your own home is fundamentally different to letting a whole property. In the former case you will have a lodger, in the latter you will have a tenant.

Lodgers have very few rights (compared to tenants) so letting a room is not inherently complicated, but you probably do need to come up with some sort of written agreement and you do need to think about how you are going to avoid letting a homicidal maniac live in your spare room --- in other words, some kind of referencing might be in order.

Letting a whole property is a whole different kettle of fish and it really isn't possible to condense all that you need to know into "factoids".

Just be aware that just because you can let a room and it all goes well, letting a whole property won't be so easy!

The best place to start is to read the relevant laws. Then you'll know your rights and responsibilities.

Peter

Colincbayley
18-02-2008, 09:35 AM
Which is what I am currently doing, Bel. I was hoping for a more helpful response. Perhaps sarcasm isn't the best form of advice??

That is un-called for! :mad:

JonathanB
18-02-2008, 10:30 AM
It goes very much without saying that books, large amounts of the postings on boards like this will be helpful. I have already stated that I have the intention of reading these things.

What I was asking for was individual points that you, as experienced landlords, would say, 'I would have done this differently', or the like. I do not mean for those short, simple points to be the entire basis of my research.

I was hoping they would supplement it.

sibec
18-02-2008, 13:14 PM
OK Jonathan, I shall try a factoid or two.

I rent out my spare bedroom. There are tons of people looking for a room, so the issue is too ensure they're not a psycho. Your circumstance might be different than mine however; I live in a houseof late-twenties professionals, all who are not relatively 'vulnerable'. You on the other hand, do you live with your wife and kids? Are you elderly and live alone?

For peace of mind, use a reputable lettings agency to find you one. They will ask for a fee but totally worth it for the peace of mind. Set some criteria ie is there a curfew, do you mind if they have friends over etc.

You can buy a Lodget Agreement contract from WHSmith for about £12. Use that as a contract. Do an inventory of the room, including photos.

Find someone who at least has apathetic hobbies and interests to you, and don't pick the first person that says yes to you. Interview a few to get a feel of the kind of people that are responding to your requirements.

pcwilkins
18-02-2008, 14:15 PM
Find someone who at least has apathetic hobbies and interests to you

I'm curious. What's an apathetic hobby? The only definition I can come up with is a hobby "without emotion or interest".

Am I missing something?

Peter

jeffrey
18-02-2008, 14:37 PM
I'm curious. What's an apathetic hobby? The only definition I can come up with is a hobby "without emotion or interest".

Am I missing something?

Peter
Perhaps Beethoven's "Symphonie Apathatetique"?

sibec
18-02-2008, 15:22 PM
Haha d'oh, wasn't paying attention to what I was writing! I meant empathetic, which probably still doesn't make complete sense. Basically, hobbies that won't P each other off.

JonathanB
18-02-2008, 16:04 PM
So no trainee drummers, then? Fair enough.

Bel
18-02-2008, 20:13 PM
Gosh, I wish I'd thought of that one !!

Now that was a sarcastic comment. :D

jeffrey
18-02-2008, 22:53 PM
Gosh, I wish I'd thought of that one !!

Now that was a sarcastic comment. :D
Sarcastic? Us? Not much.

magictorch1976
19-02-2008, 11:54 AM
HI

Just putting in my two pence worth as I am trying to become a tenant now, after letting out a room in my house to three seperate tenants. One was great, two were a nightmare and ultimately, the latter's inability to pay rent on time, if at all contributed significantly to the near-repossession and subsequent sale of my property.

I won't bore you with the details but here is my advice.

1.Seek references - character, previous landlord etc.

2. Keep the lodger/tenant relationship professional. There is no need not to be friendly but I fell into the trap of becoming too friendly and then when they lost their jobs, I attempted to help, (being a nice guy) rather than looking at the harsh realities. Once bitten, twice shy.

3. Seek a deposit in line with that of a whole property rent. If you need to use this deposit to cover rent, make sure you follow the strict legal processes.

4. Finally, I used one of those "lawpacks" you can pick up from WHSmith for about 12 quid. It covers all the basics and once signed by the tenant and landlord, has all the legal standing required, (I checked this independently with a legal firm)

Hope this helps.

Cheers

J.

JonathanB
19-02-2008, 15:42 PM
Gosh, I wish I'd thought of that one !!

Now that was a sarcastic comment. :D

*wince*

Touche, madame. Touche.

I've had a good read through and I'd like to say thank you very much everybody for your time.