This information sheet tells you what you need to know and what you should do if you are considering letting someone move in to share part or all of your home with you. For more details, please contact our Customer Services Centre on 020 8778 6699.
A lodger is somebody that is not part of your family but who lives in your home (usually in return for payment). They may have their own room, but will share at least one meal a day with the family, and probably share the living room as well.
If you are thinking of taking in a lodger you will need to complete a form (available from Customer Services) and get it authorised by Hexagon before you formally agree anything with your prospective lodger. We will not agree your request if your home will become overcrowded. If you are in receipt of benefits you should check whether taking in a lodger will affect your claim. You can find more information here: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/housing/renting-a-home/subletting-and-lodging/lodging/taking-in-a-lodger-what-you-need-to-think-about-first/.
Sub-letting is where the whole or part of a property is rented out to another person or family member, usually for monetary gain. If you are a tenant or a shared-owner you cannot sublet or allow somebody else to occupy either part of or the whole of your home. You are also not permitted to use the property, or part of it, as an Airbnb or any other short-term rental scheme.
If you sub-let your property you are breaking the law and breaching your agreement. We do investigate reports of sub-letting and will take legal action and claim costs if you sub-let your home.
If you have are a shared owner who has staircased to 100% ownership of your property or you are a leaseholder, you should be able to sublet providing you request permission. We will need to know who will be living at the property and, as you are responsible for all repairs to the property and the behaviour of any tenants, you must provide your forwarding address and contact details. Your lease will give details of any restrictions around sub-letting.
If we discover tenants are illegally sub-letting their home (and we always find out), we will take legal action to get back possession of the property. This can be an expensive process, and we always claim the costs of the legal action from the tenant. People who illegally sub-let are often in breach of terms set out by the DWP, Housing Benefit, or the Inland Revenue as well. Prosecution by these organisations can lead to heavy fines, or even prison.
So if you are thinking about illegally sub-letting… don’t!
If you are thinking about taking in a lodger or sub-letting a room in your home, remember these important points:
- You must get our permission first. You will need to put any request in writing and we will need to know:
– The name(s) and date(s) of birth of any potential lodgers or sub-tenants.
– 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 sub-tenant.
- Any income you get will affect your claims for Housing Benefit, JSA or Income Support, and your Income Tax liability. You should check out the situation with the relevant offices first.
For full details about your rights and responsibilities, you should seek advice from your council’s Housing Advice Centre.