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How to make a Lodger agreement

Put a lodger's occupation on a formal footing with this lodger agreement. This can make it more straightforward to have a lodger leave when you need. 

This excluded tenancy agreement deals with all the key issues of a lodger's occupation and complies with the tenant fees ban. As long as you get the details right, this lodger agreement can be a tax-efficient way to raise some extra cash.

For use in England and Wales only.

Recently reviewed by Adnan Mahmood, Solicitor and Head of Legal, UK. 

This lodger agreement was last reviewed on 22 March 2022.

Use this lodger agreement:

  • when you are looking to rent out a room at your property

  • when you will be living at the property (ie you are a live-in landlord)

  • when the property is your main home, and

  • only for property in England or Wales

This lodger agreement template covers:

  • the amount of rent payable

  • the level of deposit (if any) required

  • the lodger’s right to use the common areas in the property

  • the landlord's responsibilities

  • what the lodger can and cannot do at the property

  • how the agreement can be ended

  • requirements under the Tenant Fees Act 2019

A lodger agreement is a type of residential licence that sets out the terms under which a lodger can occupy the property where the landlord lives. 

If you do not live in the property you want to rent out you will need to create a tenant-landlord relationship using a Tenancy agreement (or an occupation contract in Wales).

Use a lodger agreement if you own or rent a (furnished) house or flat in England or Wales and want to rent out a spare room to a lodger.

If you have a lease of the property (eg you’re a tenant or Welsh contract holder) you must check the terms of your own tenancy agreement or occupation contract to ensure that you are permitted to take in lodgers before completing this lodger agreement.

There can be no more than two lodgers (who are unrelated) living with you at the property. If there are more than two lodgers, the property may be classed as a house in multiple occupation (HMO). In these circumstances, you must comply with additional regulations and may need to apply for a licence. There are large fines for non-compliance.

The agreement can run for any length that you agree with the lodger. The term is usually fixed for a period between six and twelve months and then renewed.

At the end of the term, the lodger must leave the property with their items and leave the property in good condition, unless you agree to extend their occupation.

As a lodger usually only occupies for a short period of time, a deposit is not always required. However, a deposit of a month's rent can be taken to cover the cost of any breakages or damage to the property or its contents. The money should be returned to the lodger if there is no damage or rent due when the lodger leaves. There is no requirement to protect the deposit under a tenancy deposit protection scheme but it is good practice to place it in a separate bank account.

For more information, read Taking in a lodger.

The agreement includes a list of what the lodger can and cannot do at the property. This includes not causing a nuisance, not keeping pets and not allowing any other person to occupy the room. Consider making House rules for lodgers to set out the main rules lodgers should follow in your home.

The lodger is not granted exclusive possession of the room at the property and you keep the right to enter the room at reasonable times to check its condition. Ensure that you show respect when dealing with your lodger in this way.

This lodging agreement includes an optional clause to allow either party to terminate the agreement by giving notice to the other. The amount of notice that needs to be given to the other can be set out in either weeks or months. You can decide what length of notice is needed but it is advisable to keep the notice period as short as is reasonable (eg one week) so that you can end the agreement quickly if problems occur.

For more information, read Taking in a lodger and How to evict a lodger.

Lodgers do not have the same protection from eviction that tenants and Welsh contract holders have. If a lodger does not move out (after being given notice to leave in accordance with the terms of the lodger agreement) they are trespassing. You can end the agreement and take possession of the room you’ve rented out without having to apply to the court for an order of possession if things go wrong.

For more information, read How to evict a lodger.

The rent can be set at any level and can be payable monthly or weekly. Generally, the level of rent will be the market rent similar to other lodgings and tenancies in the local area. If at any time during the term of the agreement two or more rent payments are due or unpaid, the agreement will end automatically.

Under this contract, the rent does not include outgoings (eg gas, electricity and water rates) and the lodger will be responsible for a proportion of the costs of other outgoings at the property. A separate contribution can be agreed directly with the lodger. If you want your document to include specific provisions on outgoings, speak to a lawyer.

The rent should include any council tax, as under this agreement it is the landlord's obligation to pay council tax for the property.

A lodger can or may be provided with services in addition to the use of the room and the common areas. Such services might include cleaning the room or providing meals.

An Inventory is a detailed list of all of the contents at the property and their condition. It is usual to provide a detailed inventory of the items in the lodger's room plus any items in the property that the lodger can use. 

The lodger will only have full responsibility for the items in the room and the items listed on the inventory must be left in the same state of repair and condition when the lodger vacates. If not, any deposit held can be deducted to cover the cost of repairs.

This lodger agreement meets the requirements of the Tenant Fees Act 2019. It excludes fees prohibited under the Act, while it also allows for certain damages to be recoverable. For more information, read Tenant fees

Ask a lawyer for advice on:

  • lodgers who want to run a business from the property

  • student or college accommodation

  • lodgers who want to live at the property on a part-time basis

  • situations where there are 3 or more prospective lodgers that form more than 1 household, as the property may need to be licensed

  • taking on a lodger in a property that is outside England and Wales

Other names for Lodger agreement

Resident landlord agreement, Lodging agreement, Lodger contract, Lodger licence agreement, Lodgers agreement.