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.
Sub-letting is where a tenant lets part (or all) of their home to somebody else. They will have a part of the house or flat for their exclusive use (usually a bedroom), will take all their meals independently and will not share any living areas except the bathroom, kitchen and access areas like the hall, stairs and landings. Under most circumstances, Hexagon Housing Tenants are allowed to have a lodger, or sub-let a room provided they get our permission first. If you have room, this can be a good way to share some of the bills. We would not allow you to have a lodger or sub-let if:
- It would make your home overcrowded.
- You are in breach of a Suspended Possession (Court) Order.
- We have good reason to believe it would cause problems for you or your neighbours.
A lodger or sub-tenant never becomes part of the Hexagon tenancy and does not have any rights to it. If you rent out a room, however, you may have certain responsibilities towards your lodger or sub-tenant, and you should get advice from an independent Housing Advice Centre or other advice centre before you decide.
Sub-letting the whole of your home is a different matter. Although it may be permitted under certain special circumstances, we do not normally allow it. This is because we let your home to you (and your family), because you needed a home. If you do not need to live in your Hexagon home any more, we will relet it to another person or family that does need it.
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.