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Sharing Scheme and Lodgers

​​​​illustration of 2 owls sat on a house roofWith the changes and benefits and the cost of living increasing you may be considering looking to share your home and costs.

Read on to find out more about the 2 options you could consider:

  • Sharing Schemes
  • Taking in a Lodger


Sharing Scheme...

The sharing scheme was introduced in May 2014.  This new initiative is to help provide single people with affordable housing...​​​

  
Accordion Description
  

The scheme is aimed at friends/relatives who are not in a cohabitating relationship being offered a two bedroom property.​

  

​If you are a new applicant to GGHT you would be given a Joint Assured Shorthold Tenancy for as long as you are sharing. Sharers would have separate use and responsibility of a bedroom, agreed between them. The rest of the property such as living room, kitchen, bathroom, hall, stairs and landing are shared between you both. If you are already a GGHT tenant, you may be offered a different tenancy, please contact your Neighbourhood Officer​​ for more information.

  

As this is a joint tenancy, each sharer will be jointly responsible for the payment of the rent.  It would be the sharer’s responsibility to apply for Housing Benefit.

  

If one sharer leaves the home, the remaining sharer will take on responsibility for the whole property until a new sharer is found; they will also be responsible to pay the entire rent. It will be the remaining sharer’s responsibility to find a replacement sharer. If no new sharer is found within three months, this may lead to the tenancy ending, but we will discuss this with you should it happen.

​Taking in a lodger...                                            

You may want to offer your spare room to a lodger...​
  
Accordion Description
  

Anybody who is not a dependant of the tenant of the property, for example a partner or a child would not be classed as a lodger.

  

Yes! GGHT would encourage you to perhaps offer your spare bedroom to known friends or extended family.

  

It would be a good idea to do a background check on your lodger for your own safety and security as they will be sharing your home. This could be getting a reference from their previous landlord. You may also want to check they will be able to afford their rent. Please remember each person is different, so it will be up to you to decide the amount of checks you carry out.​

  

Yes. Complete the lodger notification form (pdf) for you to complete so our records are up to date, once completed, please return to Bank Park House or your Neighbourhood Housing Officer.​

  

What you decide to charge your lodger will depend on what facilities you provide for them.  To give yourself an idea, check out the useful websites on this page.  You could also look up what other people charge in your area.

  

​If the income you receive from having a lodger exceeds a certain amount known as a threshold, then you may be liable to pay income tax. We would advise you to get independent advice about these tax implications.​

  

Possibly, however each case is individual. Sometimes having a lodger can top up your income and may enable you to afford the shortfall in rent now the bedroom tax has been introduced in April 2013. However, if you do make the decision to take a lodger in, you will need to inform your local benefits agency straight away, as this may have an effect on the amount of benefits you are entitled to. If you don’t tell them, you could end up having to repay an overpayment. For further advice we would advise you to get independent advice from organisations such as the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) or Welfare Rights.​

  

You may be liable for the Bedroom Tax if you ar​e on Housing Benefit, as you would have to meet the shortfall in the rent due to GGHT.

  

If you claim single occupants discount for council tax, you may no longer be eligible for this if you take in a lodger. We would advise you to obtain independent advice about the implications.

  

If you have a home insurance policy, you must contact your provider to make sure you are still covered and inform your lodger if they need to take out their own insurance.

  

This would be your choice. You could either charge an amount for the bedroom only where you would provide the usual bedroom furniture, or you could include the cost of the household bills in with the rent you wish to charge. You may want to include meals, however the choice is yours to make. A lodger must have access to other communal areas such as the kitchen and bathroom. Also you would need to ensure your home is safe and fireproof. Check out the useful website for more information.​

  

You as the tenant still have full responsibility for your home and tenancy, so you would be liable.

  

As the tenant, you will still remain responsible for the behaviour of your lodger or any visitor to your property.  Any action taken by GGHT would be against you as our tenant.

  

The responsibility lies with yourself to end the arrangement, giving your lodger a reasonable time to leave and we would suggest 28 days. When you take in a lodger it is advisable to write up a licence that you both sign and agree to the conditions of. To give yourself an idea, there are links at the end of this page you may wish to refer to.

  

You are responsible for the collection of rent from your lodger, if they don’t pay, you will have to make the decision as to whether to allow them to continue to stay or not. 

  

​​Your lodger has no rights to the tenancy or to remain in the property and they would have to vacate the premises when you do.​

  

Before Universal Credit​If you had a lodger after the Under Occupancy Charge came into force on 1 April 2013, their bedroom will be classed as occupied. As long as all the bedrooms in your property are occupied on a permanent basis, you will not be classed as under occupying your property and will not be affected by the charge. However, the rent you received from your lodger may affect benefit entitlement. The first £20 of rent received from lodgers is disregarded when calculating housing benefit entitlement.


After Universal Credit: If you have a lodger after you have moved over onto Universal Credit, their bedroom will not be classed as occupied under the Under Occupancy Charge rules. This means that you will be classed as under occupying your property and will be affected by the Under Occupancy Charge. However, the rent you receive from the lodger will help you pay the charge and any excess rent you receive over and above the charge will not reduce your benefit entitlement.