Friday, 22 August 2014

Can rent out my spare room in my Council flat?

Posted in: Need to Know | Ask the Experts

17/01/2013 6:16 pm

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Bill Douses

Bill Douses

Posts: 113

17/01/2013 7:47 pm

firstly, who told you? if not your landlord - i.e. the council - then don't take their word for it. if in doubt, ask your housing officer.

i would highlu doubt they will agree to it to be honest. but in the fairness of answering your question.

pros: extra income, company, someone in the property if you go out (security) 

cons: extra cost for utilities, someone else in the property getting in the way, someone in the property to steal your stuff if you go out.

horses for courses really...

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H4rdwork

H4rdwork

Posts: 66

18/01/2013 8:41 am

Bill has covered the pros and cons but the question about whether you can let a room out or not depends on what sort of tenancy you have.  If you're a secure tenant, you have a statutory right to take in a lodger.  You do not need your landlord's permission, or even to tell them, but must not cause overcrowding and if you're in receipt of benefit or Council Tax single person discount you should notify them. 

Secure tenants also have a statutory right to sublet, but you need written permission for this and must not sublet the whole of the property.

If you're not sure, check with your landlord what sort of tenancy you have and ask them for a copy of their procedure.  Most will have an application form for permission to sublet. 

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Mrs D

Mrs D

Posts: 7

18/01/2013 11:40 am

Hi,

If you have a secure tenancy with your Council then you can take in a Lodger. At present, this is one of the suggestions the government have come up with to cover the benenfit loss on spare bedroom tax. The government also feel it is a way to help single people to find a place to live.

However - do check your tenancy and speak to your housing officer.  Many tenancy agreements do state that the landlords will need the details of your lodger and you will need written confirmation from the landlord before the lodger can move in.

Check out the information on Shelters website about taking in a lodger, they have useful informaiton about having a written agreement and setting out ground rules before you move in.

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blacsox

blacsox

Location: London
Posts: 4

23/01/2013 7:38 pm

 Thank you,

Bill Douses, H4rdwork & Mrs D for your replies. I didn't know I could rent out the room, but that may have to wait for the future.

I still don't understand the spare room tax. I like having my grandchildren over to stay weekends, their mother grew up in that (so called) spare room and I consider it as their bedroom, but I bet, I can't tell the Council that.

Blacsox

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Beth Watson

Beth Watson

Posts: 1

24/01/2013 3:10 pm

It would be well worth you speaking to your landlord to get clarity on this issue.

Many landlords are having to reconsider their approach to allowing tenants to take in lodgers due to the impact of welfare reform, and some landlords have now moved actively encouraging tenants to consider taking in lodgers as a means of mitigating the impact of welfare reform. This is a big shift, so you may find that your landlords stance on lodgers has changed in recent months.

I would also advise you to speak to your landlord about the 'bedroom tax' and what impact it will have on you. Generally speaking you will be able to keep that spare bedroom as a spare for your grandchildren to use if you wish, but are likely to have to bear the costs of that from your own income. Most landlords are very keen to speak to people in your situation now, as they want to speak to you about your options before there is a risk of you falling into arrears - so do give your landlord a call or make an appointment to see someone as soon as possible.

Hope this is helpful

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Anonymous

Anonymous

24/01/2013 4:38 pm

Blacsox,

You mention that your grandchildren stay over, not assuming anything here but bedroom tax (spare room tax) only applies to working age people so if you are pensioner or in receipt of pension credit, the spare room tax wouldnt apply anyway.

Thought it was worth mentioning as don't want you and any others worrying if you are not going to be affected by incoming benefit changes anyway.

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blacsox

blacsox

Location: London
Posts: 4

24/01/2013 10:11 pm

Thank you all for your replies.

I have been doing some research and found The Discretioary housing payment.

Is this award going to be around in April? Plus I'm on JSA would it be affected?

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Anonymous

Anonymous

25/01/2013 9:26 am

Hiya Blacsox

The Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) is a pot of money that people can apply to in order to top up their Housing Benefit and it's available all year round, but the main issue is that the Government have reduced the amount of money that is being given to Local Authorities to use for these payments.

The changes to benefits will mean that the pressure on this reducing pot of money will be huge, so applications will probably be quite strictly assessed. If you were going to make an application, you will need to present a solid case that you would need the additional help, can't afford it yourself, and why finding alternative accommodation isn't practical.

You mention that you have JSA, which will mean that you will be affected by the Bedroom Tax. So, come April, you will lose 14% of your Housing Benefit, as some of the guys above mentioned, get in touch with your HO as soon as and have a chat to them about how you're going to manage the shortfall.

Good luck.

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Expert post

Abimbola  Badejo

Abimbola Badejo

Posts: 120

01/02/2013 11:54 pm

If your tenancy agreement permits it, you can rent out part of the premises, typically a room. The tenancy agreement will require that you obtain the consent of the landlord. You will then be a resident landlord which means that your tenant will have no security of tenure meaning that you will not require a court order to recover possession. The obvious pitfall is sharing with a complete stranger and as the landlord you will be responsible for repairs and it will not be a defence if your landlord fails to repair promptly. Also you must declare this tenant to housing benefit department, if you are in receipt of housing benefit and you are bound to have your benefit reduced.

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blacsox

blacsox

Location: London
Posts: 4

05/02/2013 3:19 am

Thank you all for your replies.


I will contact my HO and let them know my fears.

Hopefully I will find a real person to talk to.

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H4rdwork

H4rdwork

Posts: 66

06/02/2013 3:34 pm

Abimbola and Mrs D, landlord permission to take in a lodger is not needed for secure tenants.  It is an absolute right, provided for by the Housing Act 1985 s 93(1)(a).

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amanda boote

amanda boote

Posts: 1

06/02/2013 3:48 pm

i also wanted to know if i could rent out my spare bedroom  to either language students or someone who worked in city in week went home at weekends

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18/03/2013 6:45 pm

im getting my spare room ready too rent out.Has anyone had problem rent they room?

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karen callaghan

karen callaghan

Posts: 1

19/03/2013 9:03 am

all comments above are very very good advice but above all be vey very careful who you choose don't let your need to offset the bedroom tax cloud your judgement as to whom you rent your room to if indeed you do.maybe it would be worth looking at getting a part time job earning enough to cover your increasd cost?

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