What is a Lodger Agreement?
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. Lodger Agreements are used by live-in landlords to rent out a spare room in their home.
For use in England and Wales only.
When should I use a Lodger Agreement?
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 Agreement is made on the last date of signature below.
- of the Property
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Definitions and Interpretation
- In this Agreement, the following definitions are used:
Agreement This Lodger Agreement and any amendments from time to time Common Areas The rooms in the Property which the Landlord has agreed can be used by the Lodger on a shared basis with the Landlord and any other people living at the Property Deposit £ Early Termination Notice Inventory NONE Property , together with any fixtures and fittings Rent The sum of £ payable in advance: weekly on of every week being payment for the Room and the Services (if any) Room The room at the Property the Landlord has agreed will be rented by the Lodger
A term of commencing on
- In this Agreement, unless the context requires a different interpretation:
- the singular includes the plural and vice versa;
- references to sub-clauses, clauses, schedules or appendices are to sub-clauses, clauses, schedules or appendices of this Agreement;
- the headings and sub-headings do not form part of this Agreement.
- If two or more persons are together the Lodger, their obligations to the Landlord shall be joint and several.
- The 'Landlord' includes successors in title.
- This Agreement is for a Room in private furnished residential property, including the Inventory (if any).
- Any obligation on the Lodger to do or not to do something includes an obligation on the Lodger to use their reasonable endeavours to ensure that no other person does or fails to do that same thing.
Grant of Licence
- The Landlord grants and the Lodger accepts a licence to occupy the Room at the Property for the Term at the Rent with the right to use the Common Areas on the terms contained in the Agreement.
- The Lodger acknowledges that this agreement is an excluded licence from the Protection for Eviction Act 1977 as the Lodger lives in the same dwelling as the Landlord.
- The Lodger accepts that this agreement does not grant as it is a letting granted by a resident landlord.
- The Agreement is personal to the Lodger.
- The Room is part of the Property.
- The Landlord gives the Lodger (in common with other occupiers at the Property) the right to use the Common Areas.
- The Lodger will:
- not damage or remove any of the items from the Property; and
- make good all damages and breakages of items which may occur during the Term; and
- keep the items clean and in a good condition.
- To pay the Rent and all other sums due under the Agreement (whether formally demanded or not) clear of all deductions at the agreed times.
- To pay any overdue Rent and other sums due subject to interest at a rate of 3% per annum (above the Bank of England's base rate) calculated from the date payment is due up to the date payment is received by the Landlord.
- To pay a reasonable and proportionate contribution (according to use) of all charges of gas, electricity, oil, water, sewerage, telephone (including line rental), or other services used at the Property.
- To keep the inside of the Room clean and in a good condition and not damage the Property or any part of it.
- Not to take in any lodgers or assign, sublet, charge or part with or share occupation of the Room or any part of it.
- To use the Room as a single private home and not to carry on any trade, profession or business on or from the Property.
- Not to keep any pets at the Property.
- Not to cause a nuisance to any other person in neighbouring properties or to any other person at the Property.
- Not to use the Room for any immoral or illegal purpose.
- Not to carry out internal decorations to the premises without previous consent in writing from the Landlord.
- To report to the Landlord promptly any disrepair or defect for which the Landlord is responsible.
- To permit the Landlord at reasonable times to enter and check the condition of the Room.
- The Lodger does not have the right to exclude the Landlord from any part of the Property.
- On leaving the Property:
- give the Landlord a forwarding address; and
- remove all rubbish and personal items (including the Lodger's own furniture and equipment) from the Property; and
- return all the keys to the Property to the Landlord.
- The Lodger will not have exclusive possession of the Room.
- The Landlord will provide the Services to the Lodger and provide a copy (if requested) of the insurance policy for the Property.
- The Landlord will pay the council tax in respect of the Property.
- The Deposit (if any) is to be held in an account by the Landlord for the Term as security against the Lodger's failure to pay Rent and other sums due under the Agreement or non-performance of the obligations within this Agreement. The Deposit will be returned to the Lodger at the end of the Term less any outstanding Rent or other sums or reasonable deductions properly made by the Landlord to cover any reasonable costs incurred with cleaning the Room or in connection with damage to the Property (fair wear and tear excepted).
- If the Property is damaged to such an extent that the Lodger cannot live in it, the Rent does not need to be paid until the Property is rebuilt or repaired so that the Lodger can live in it again unless:
- the cause of the damage is something which the Lodger did or failed to do as a result of which the Landlord's insurance policy has become void; and
- the Landlord has given the Lodger notice of what the policy required.
- This Agreement will end at the end of the Term or earlier in accordance with the clauses below.
- Either the Landlord or the Lodger may at any time during the Term terminate this Agreement by giving to the other the Early Termination Notice. On expiry of the notice this Agreement will end.
- If the Lodger breaches any of the Lodger's obligations contained in the section above (Lodger's obligations), the Landlord may at any time during the Term terminate this Agreement by giving the Lodger not less than notice of one week (if rent is paid weekly) and not less than notice of one month (if rent is paid monthly). On expiry of the notice, this Agreement will end.
- If this Agreement terminates in accordance with this clause:
- the Lodger shall not be obliged to pay the Landlord the relevant proportion of the Rent or any other payment that relates to the period after this Agreement terminates, as calculated on a daily basis; and
- on the date on which this Agreement terminates, the Landlord shall refund to the Lodger the relevant proportion of any sums already paid by the Lodger relating to the Rent, or any other payment in respect of the period after this licence terminates, as calculated on a daily basis.
- Termination under this clause will end the Agreement with no further liability for either party save for existing breaches.
About Lodger Agreements
Learn more about making your Lodger Agreement
How to make a Lodger Agreement
Making a Lodger Agreement online is simple. Just answer a few questions and Rocket Lawyer will build your document for you. When you have all of the details prepared in advance, making your document is a quick and easy process.
To make your Lodger Agreement you will need the following information:
Each landlord’s full name. This Lodger Agreement can list up to 4 live-in landlords.
The property’s address.
What common areas (eg kitchen, bathroom or dining room) will the lodger have access to?
The lodger’s details (including their full name and current address). You can add as many lodgers as necessary. However, it is recommended that the number of lodgers per room be restricted to two.
When will the lodging start?
How long will the lodging last?
How much rent must be paid, and when should it be paid?
Does a deposit need to be paid? If so, how much is the deposit?
Will an Inventory be completed?
Will additional services be provided to the lodger (eg room cleaning or meals)?
Does the live-in landlord or lodger need to give advance notice if they want to end the Agreement early? If so, how much notice is required?
Common terms in a Lodger Agreement
Lodger Agreements set out the terms on which a lodger shares a property with their live-in landlord. To do this, a Lodger Agreement typically includes:
The Lodger Agreement begins by identifying the parties that will be legally bound by it: the landlord (or landlords) and the lodger (or lodgers).
Definitions and interpretation
This section explains certain key terms used throughout the Lodger Agreement. Examples of key terms include:
‘Property’ (ie the property the landlord currently lives in and into which the lodger will move)
‘Common Areas’ (ie the rooms in the landlord’s property that the lodger will have access to during the course of the lodging)
‘Rent’ (ie how much rent is payable in advance and when)
‘Term’ (ie when the lodging will start and for how long it will continue)
This section also provides further insight into what the terms of the Lodger Agreement mean, such as clarifying that:
references to the singular (eg one lodger) also refer to the plural (eg all lodgers)
this Agreement is for a room in a private furnished residential property
the lodger must make sure that any other person (eg a guest) complies with the lodger’s obligations under this Agreement to do or not to do something
Grant of licence
This section explains the type of licence that is being created (ie a licence to occupy) and some of its key features. It explains that the Lodger Agreement grants a licence instead of an assured shorthold tenancy or occupation contract and that it excludes protection from eviction for the lodger under the Protection for Eviction Act 1977. It also sets out the lodger’s right to use the fixtures (eg furniture) in the property and their obligations regarding these (eg to keep them in good condition).
This section sets out the lodger’s obligations during the course of the lodging and when moving out. These obligations include, but are not limited to:
paying the rent (and other agreed payments) on time
keeping the room they’re renting in good condition
not keeping pets at the property
permitting the landlord to enter their room to check its condition at reasonable times
This section sets out the landlord’s obligations during the course of the lodging. These obligations include, but are not limited to:
paying council tax for the property
the deposit (if one is taken) being held in an account by the landlord for the duration of the Lodger Agreement, as security in case the lodger fails to pay the rent or other sum due under the Lodger Agreement or fails to comply with their obligations under the Lodger Agreement
providing the lodger with a copy of the insurance policy for the property, if this is requested
This section sets out when the Lodger Agreement will end and when and how it can be brought to an end early. It also explains that the lodger’s and landlord’s obligations under the Lodger Agreement will not continue after the Agreement is brought to an end, apart from any liabilities for existing breaches of the document. For more information, read How to evict a lodger.
If you want your Lodger Agreement to include further or more detailed provisions, you can edit your document. However, if you do this, you may want a lawyer to review or change the Lodger Agreement for you, to make sure it complies with all relevant laws and meets your specific needs. Ask a lawyer for assistance.
Legal tips for making a Lodger Agreement
Consider whether you can take on a lodger
Before advertising your spare room, you should consider if you can in fact take on a lodger. If applicable, you should first:
speak to your mortgage provider to see if you’re able to take on a lodger
check your rental document (eg tenancy agreement) to see if you're able to take on a lodger. You can also speak to your landlord directly and explain your situation, as you may be able to come to an agreement (if you do, make sure to record it in writing)
check your contents insurance policy to see if a lodger’s possessions will be covered
speak to your benefits provider (eg Universal Credit) since taking on a lodger may affect your benefit claims
For more information, read Taking on a lodger.
Familiarise yourself with the rules on HMOs
A house in multiple occupation (HMO) is a property in which different households live together and share facilities. A property is considered an HMO if 3 or more people forming more than one household live together and share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet. If more than 5 people forming more than one household live together, the HMO is considered a large HMO and special obligations apply to landlords (eg licensing and fire safety obligations). As a result, you should think carefully about taking on multiple lodgers. For more information, read HMOs.
Speak to your bank about opening a lodger deposit account
If you’re planning on asking your lodger to pay a deposit, you should speak to your bank to open an appropriate ‘lodger deposit’ account. Doing this ensures that the lodger’s deposit is separated from your income. This will make it easier to return the deposit to the lodger (with or without any deductions) when they move out.
Make sure that you don’t charge any prohibited fees
The Tenant Fees Act 2019 sets out a number of payments that landlords can ask lodgers to make. Any fees that are not expressly set out in the law are banned. If you take a prohibited payment from a lodger, the lodger can reclaim the money paid through the county court and you may be subject to fines and even found to have committed a criminal offence. For more information, read Tenant fees.
Understand when a Lodger Agreement may not be the right document for you
Lodger Agreements are used when a live-in landlord wants to rent a spare room in their home. Lodger Agreements should not be used where the landlord does not live in the property. If you want to rent out a room in a property you don’t live in, you should consider using a Room rental agreement. If you are renting out a flat or a house, consider using a Tenancy agreement for a flat or a Tenancy agreement for a house. If you are located in Scotland and want to take on a lodger, use a Lodger agreement for Scotland.
Consider the Rent a Room Scheme
Under the Government's Rent a Room Scheme, you can rent out a spare room in your home and earn up to £7,500 per year free of tax. This means that you will not have to pay income tax on this income nor will you have to complete a self-assessment tax return. If you earn more than £7,500 per year by renting out a spare room, the first £7,500 will be tax-free. Note that if another person (eg your partner) receives income from letting the spare room, the tax-free allowance is reduced to £3,750 per person (ie you split the allowance between you).
For more information, read Rent a room scheme and tax.
Understand the situation in Wales
Under the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016, which came into force on 1 December 2022, lodgers in Wales can be contract holders. Contract holders have enhanced rights (eg it’s often more complicated for them to be evicted or for them to leave the property). However, a lodger will only be a contract holder if the landlord notifies them that their contract will be an occupation contract (instead of a licence) before or when it is made. This Lodger Agreement can be used to take on lodgers in Wales who aren’t contract holders under an occupation contract. For more information, read Residential tenancies in Wales or Ask a lawyer.
Understand when to seek advice from a lawyer
In some circumstances, it’s good practice to Ask a lawyer for advice to ensure that you’re complying with the law and that you are well protected from risks. You should ask 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 in a lodger in a property that is outside England, Wales and Scotland
lodger agreements that are occupation contracts
Lodger Agreement FAQs
What is included in a Lodger Agreement?
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
Do I need a Lodger Agreement?
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.
If you do not live in the property you want to rent out (eg if you want to rent out a room in a rental property) you will need to create a tenant-landlord relationship using a Tenancy agreement (or an occupation contract in Wales).
How many lodgers can live with the owner?
There should be no more than two lodgers (who are unrelated) living with you at the property if you’re relying on Lodger Agreements. 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.
What is the length of the Lodger Agreement?
The Agreement can run for any length that you agree with the lodger. The term is usually fixed for a period between 6 and 12 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.
Should I take a deposit from the lodger?
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.
What restrictions are placed on the lodger?
This 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.
Is there a notice period for early termination?
This Lodger Agreement includes an optional clause to allow either party to end the contract 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.
Do lodgers have protection from eviction?
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. If things go wrong, you can end the Lodger Agreement and take possession of the room you’ve rented out without having to apply to the court for an order of possession. For more information, read How to evict a lodger.
What is the amount of rent payable by the 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 Lodger Agreement two or more rent payments are due or unpaid, it will end automatically.
The rent payable under this Agreement does not include outgoings (eg gas, electricity and water rates) and the lodger will be responsible for a proportion of these costs and 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.
Are services being provided to the lodger?
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.
Should you include an inventory?
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.