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Live-in landlord

  • 2 min read

A live-in landlord (or resident landlord) is someone who rents out a room of their own home to a lodger.

You are not a live-in landlord if any of the following apply to you:

  1. By law, you’re not a resident of the property
  2. The property is split into purpose-built flats and you reside in a separate flat to the lodger 

To be a live-in landlord, you must be using the property as your only and principal home throughout the duration of the letting.

How to be a live-in-landlord

  • Property owners do not require permission to rent out part of it to lodger 
  • If you have an outstanding mortgage, you should seek permission from the mortgage lender 
  • A long-term leaseholder will need to consult the terms of the lease 
  • Secure council tenants can sublet part of their property, but only with the council’s permission 
  • Private tenants are not allowed to sublet unless the terms of their contract explicitly state it

Agree terms of a licence with your lodger and have these written and signed for reference. 

Specify the basics, such as the length of the contract, when the rent is due and the notice period. 

The lodger’s licence can run on a month-to-month basis. It can go for a longer term with a break clause included. 

Decide whether to include the utilities as part of the rent or as a separate charge.

What are some discounts and benefits?

If you were previously living alone and enjoyed a 25% discount on council tax, you will now have to inform the council that you have a lodger and begin to pay the full rate.

However, if your rental income over a 12-month period amounts to under £7,500, this is tax-free as part of the government’s Rent a Room Scheme

Anything over this threshold will mean you have to file a Self Assessment tax return, but your tax bill can still be reduced by claiming property expenses

Live-in landlords who claim the Rent a Room allowance cannot also claim expenses. You can decide for yourself which is more cost beneficial.

If the lodger claims housing benefits, these are paid directly to the lodger. If they cannot manage their finances or their rent is in arrears for a substantial length of time, the live-in landlord may request direct payment from the local authority.

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