How much rent to charge your lodger

This is often the deciding question that many prospective landlords ask when deciding whether to get a lodger- how much rent could they charge?

It should come to no great surprise that most landlords flirt with the idea of getting a lodger because of the extra money, so it’s not surprising it’s one of the most important and frequently asked questions.

It’s perfectly normal for landlords to back away from the idea because they feel the amount they’ll receive from renting out their spare room won’t compensate for the loss in privacy, as they’ll have to start sharing their home to potentially a stranger.

On the flip-side, the extra income is welcomed by many.

In any case, the answer is… it depends. Several factors will determine how much rent you can charge, including size of room, fixtures and fittings, location, condition of property (not just the room) etc. But to give you some perspective, according to, the current UK average for a double room, including some bills, is approximately £90 per week. However, that is an average across the UK, and doesn’t take into account location. For example, a room in central London can demand more.

See what other landlords are asking for

The best way to find out how much to charge is by looking at what other lodger landlords are charging for similar properties in similar areas. You can do this by going on the websites listed on the how to find a lodger page (e.g. Spareroom, Gumtree).

Even if you don’t find a property similar to yours in the same area, you’ll still be able to make a fair judgement by analysing the market.

Inclusive extras

You will also need to consider what services you will supply your tenant, for example, meals, clean bedsheets and towels. You may want to charge a little extra for those. It is important to discuss this with your prospective lodger, and make it clear what is included with the rent.

Bear in mind the extra costs of having a lodger (e.g. additional costs for bills, possibly council tax, insurance, wear and tear, repairs and maintenance etc); it’s important to set a rent which will be able to absorb those costs and make a little profit, otherwise a lodger could end up costing you money.

How & when to get paid

Generally, most landlords request rent to be paid weekly or monthly, either by standing order or cash. By standing order is recommended because of the following reasons:

  • Payments are recorded and easily tracked by bank statements
  • You know exactly when rent will be paid
  • Your lodger doesn’t have to remember to pay, it’s all automated
  • You avoid awkward situations where you have to actively chase rent every week/month

If you accept cash, you should provide your lodger with a printed rent receipt book. You can find a receipt/rent book from most stationers, you can also order one from Amazon…

If your lodger agreement is run on a week-by-week basis (not monthly), the law stipulates that you must give your lodger a rent book (regardless of how the rent is paid, even if they pay by standing order).

Calculating your lodger’s rent

Remember, not every month has exactly the same amount of days (i.e. there aren’t exactly 4 weeks in every month). You need to bear that in mind when calculating/collecting your rent, otherwise you could lose out.

For example, let’s say the weekly rent is £80.

If you charge and collect rent monthly, for example the 1st of every month, you would charge the following: £80 x 4 weeks = £320 per month.

But if you calculate it on a weekly rate, you get the following: £80 x 52 weeks / 12 months = £346.66

So ultimately you will end up losing out on £26.6 per month (£346.66 – £320).

To make it easier, you may want to charge rent weekly.

First rent payment

The first rent payment and your lodger’s deposit should be paid up front before your lodger moves in.