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New Year New Tenant - how to get your home ready for a lodger
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Christmas is a lovely time of year but it can really stretch those finances. If you have a spare room you might be tempted to try and improve the health of your bank balance by renting it out to a lodger. Of course, before you can open your doors to a stranger you need to tidy up and get everything ship-shape and Bristol fashion. At the very least you need to find a new home for all the junk you've been storing in that spare room. Whether that's another room, self-storage or the bin!

What is a lodger?

A lodger is someone who shares your house with you for a weekly or monthly payment. You are known as a resident landlord (sometimes a live-in landlord) and the contract between you is known as a licence.

Typically, you will share bathroom and kitchen facilities with your lodger and you will need to consider where they keep their toiletries and food. Whilst you can expect that they will keep themselves to their own room, a lodger cannot be excluded from any part of the house, nor can they exclude you from their room.

Providing Space

If you want them to spend much of their time in their own room you need to make it a pleasant place. Make sure you move all your things out of the room before you start looking for lodgers. Sort the items as you move them – either find them a new home in the rest of the house, find somewhere to store them, send them to a charity shop or sell them or file them in the bin as appropriate. It's a good time to be ruthless – after all if that souvenir straw donkey has been gathering dust for ten years then perhaps it's time it moved on to pastures new.

In the kitchen as well, you will need to find cupboard space for their food, unless you are intending to cater for your lodger as well as share your home. If you have unused kitchen gadgets taking up cupboard space then they are good candidates for rehoming.

Unless the room you are intending for the lodger has an en-suite you will also need to find a space in the bathroom for them to store their toiletries, toothbrush, shaving equipment etc. You won't know until they move in whether they are likely to keep leaving things in unlikely places so it's best to make spaces for their stuff in advance.

Too Much Stuff Too Little Time?

Just after Christmas is a common time for people to be looking for a new place to live but if you have too much to sort out in the spare room you could consider moving it into a cheap self-storage unit for a few weeks to give yourself time to sort through it. It certainly beats simply lugging it all into your room and stumbling over boxes for the next few years!


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