Renting Out a Room Part 1

renting_out_a_room_part_1

Edwina / Published on July 29, 2013

In order to protect themselves against the recession, an increasing number of homeowners are renting out spare rooms. But what do you need to think about before going ahead with this? We at Choiceful will cover all that you need to know in this two part series.
 
Firstly, look up the government’s Rent a Room scheme, it allows you to earn up to £4,250 in rental income per year – tax free! That’s a handy sum for a room that’s just sitting empty in your house. How much you can realistically charge for rent will vary depending on where in the UK you reside, plus you’ll need to think about what the rent will include. Will it cover bills? 
 
Finding a lodger these days is easy with online services such as spareroom.co.uk, roombuddies.com, gumtree.com, plus more. Most are free to register but depending on when you want to contact a potential lodger, the website may charge you, so be sure to check out the terms and conditions. For workers who are working far away from home and need somewhere to stay through the working week, they will likely use mondaytofriday.com. If you live close to a university or a college it would also be an idea to contact those institutions and get advice on how to advertise for students during term time. Make sure you do it in good time before the start of term!
 
So what next? Start with a basic application form, for example one from landlordzone.co.uk. It will require the applicant to fill out details such as their current employment, previous address, as well as proof of identity. Make sure you also ask for at least two references too, preferably from their current employer and previous landlord. Once you’ve attained all these, you can run an online credit search to see how reliable they are. Services such as tenantverify.co.uk will check a potential tenant’s credit score and outstanding debts for a small fee. 
 
Check back in tomorrow for part 2 of our room renting advice!
 
To kit out your spare bedroom so that it’s fit for a potential lodger, head over to our Home and Garden section for all your bedroom needs.
 
Want more advice for landlords and homeowners, or want to share some? Head over to our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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