Subletting and lodgers
What is a lodger?A lodger is someone who shares your home, usually in return for a payment. Although they may have their own room, they do not have exclusive use of it and they do not have any tenancy rights.
A lodger may receive services such as laundry, cleaning and meals (in this case, they may also be known as a 'boarder').
What is a subtenant?A subtenant will have a part of your home (usually a bedroom) for their exclusive use and you can't enter this area without their permission.
Please note that family members and partners who live with you as part of your household are not normally considered lodgers or subtenants. However, if there is a change in who you share your home with, you still need to inform us.
If you have an assured, secure, starter or fixed-term tenancy, you may take in a lodger or subtenant.
You may not if you:
- have an assured shorthold tenancy (not fixed-term tenancy)
- live in supported, sheltered or agency managed housing
- want to sublet the whole of your home
- are overcrowded or likely to become overcrowded if you take in a lodger or subtenant
- are subject to a court order
You may be able to if you are a leaseholder or shared owner. You should check the terms of your lease and you must seek our approval for subletting.
If you are thinking about taking in a lodger or subtenant, please check your tenancy agreement first. You can also speak to your Neighbourhood Service Officer who will let you know if you are allowed to do this.
Your responsibilities if you take in a lodger or subtenant
If you are thinking about taking in a lodger or subletting a room in your home, you must get our permission first. You will need to put any request in writing to your Neighbourhood Services Officer and provide them with:
- the name(s), gender(s), and date(s) of birth of any potential lodgers or subtenants
- the parts of your home they will be occupying
- how much rent you will be charging them
- a copy of any written agreement between you and the lodger or subtenant
You are responsible for the behaviour of any lodgers or subtenants while they live in your home. If they cause a nuisance you will be held responsible. We recommend that you carry out appropriate checks on anyone moving into your home to ensure they are who they say they are and trustworthy.
If you claim benefits you must inform the relevant authorities if you have a lodger or subtenant, as this may affect the amount of benefit you can claim.
You must declare relevant income from a lodger or subtenant to the Tax Office. The government's Rent a Room scheme may apply, allowing you to receive up to £4,250 a year tax-free.
If you move out, you must make sure that the lodger or subtenant leaves too. If you decide you want them to leave, you will have to arrange this yourself.
You should also tell your home insurer that you are taking a lodger or subtenant as it can affect your home insurance cover.
You must not sublet the whole of your home or you will be in breach of your tenancy agreement. If we discover you are subletting the whole of your home (through our regular checks) we will take legal action to take back possession of the property.
If you are a tenant you should notify us if there is any change to who shares your home with you. Information about who occupies your home is important and enables us to manage your tenancy effectively.
For more help and advice, please contact Citizens Advice, your local council or a solicitor.
What rights do lodgers and subtenants have?
A lodger or subtenant never becomes part of your tenancy with L&Q.
They do not have any rights to your home or to take over your tenancy if you leave or die.
However, you must give your lodger or subtenant reasonable notice, verbally or in writing, before they have to leave.