Make money by taking in a lodger

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Disposable income is up but so too is the cost of living. Families searching for the latest money saving ideas could be missing out on a huge Government tax break.

Under the current rent a room scheme homeowners in the UK are currently entitled to £4,250 tax free cash each year by renting out a spare bedroom in their home.

According to the English Housing Survey almost half of privately owned homes are currently under-occupied. These homeowners could be benefitting from an additional £81.70 each week and also benefit from having the space back for weekend visitors.

The number of lodgers in the UK doubled to almost a million last year.

Websites like help homeowners find lodgers in need of a place to stay for the working week. Some use the extra cash to pay off debts, for home improvements or as extra spending money to pay for luxuries or a holiday.

Taking in a lodger is also a great idea for anyone who wants to know how to save money on a mortgage – according to Sam Hubbard, Managing Director of Encompass Financial Solutions, taking in a lodger could reduce the term time by as much as ten years as well as save £20,000 in interest.

Judy Niner, founder of, would like to see more homeowners unlocking the full potential of their homes and offers the following tips to anyone planning on taking in a lodger :-

Meet in person

Interviewing a potential lodger is a great way to make sure you're both on the same wavelength. It's important to be honest and talk about your daily routine, eating habits, and what TV shows you enjoy making sure you don't clash.

Take a reference

Ideally you want to speak with their employer for a telephone reference but a previous landlord wherever possible might also be useful.

Ask for their permanent address

Be sure to write down their permanent address and try posting something there to make sure it's correct too.

Take a deposit

Be reasonable – an amount equivalent to the second month's rent is reasonable.

Notify your insurance provider

Taking in a lodger will affect both your home and contents insurance so speak with them as soon as you begin to look for a lodger.

Write everything down

A signed agreement can be as detailed as you like but will make things easier for both you and your lodger. It should include everything from weekly rent to details on who changes the sheets.

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