Lodgers & Meals / Food

There are no obligations for lodger landlords to provide food or cooked meals, but many landlords do it anyways. But essentially, it really is a personal choice.

There are both pros and cons to offering meals, or at least one per day, whether it be breakfast or dinner (lunch is usually never an option, because no one is usually at home during the day).

Why you might want to provide your lodger meals

  • If you wish to include extra services like a cooked meal, you can charge extra and increase profits
  • If you cook a meal for yourself every day, it might not be much extra work to cook for two
  • You may like your kitchen kept in a very particular way, so if you provide meals, there will be limited reason for your lodger to use it
  • You might enjoy cooking for other people

Why you might not want to provide your lodger meals

  • You might not enjoy cooking
  • You may not be very good at cooking
  • Your schedule is not regular, so you might not have the time to cook regularly
  • You don’t want to commit yourself to the responsibility of providing a meal every day
  • It can cause problems if the lodger doesn’t like your cooking

Communal food

Providing communal food is also quite common, things like cereal, milk, juices, bread and butter. Basically the essential every day food.

You can arrange this between yourselves- you can either take full responsibility and charge a little extra, or you can take it in turns.

Everyone is responsible for their own food/meals

This is probably the easiest option, and consequently favoured by most landlords, because it means both landlord and lodger know exactly where they stand, and everyone is in control of what they eat and when. This also eliminates the issue of the lodger feeling short-changed when they’re provided with meals/food they don’t really like, even though they are being charged extra.

Have an open discussion from day one

Whatever you decide, it’s always best to have a clear and frank discussion with your lodger about all aspects of the living arrangements before coming to any kind of arrangement. There’s usually room for compromising, and you generally want to do that at the very early stages. The important step is to make clear what is included with the rent.