Lodger Agreements (Contracts)

While setting up a written lodger agreement is not a legal requirement, it is recommend for the protection of both landlord and lodger so everyone is clear what their rights and obligations are.

However, the reality is, many lodgers never use a written lodger agreement and therefore operate under mutual agreement, which generally works out fine, because taking in a lodger is not the same as taking in a tenant, and a formal agreement is less essential (i.e. it’s easier to remove a lodger than a tenant, landlords don’t need a possession order in order to evict a lodger).

Just to clarify, a “tenancy agreement” should not be confused with a “lodger agreement”- the status of a tenant and lodger are entirely different.

Free Lodger Agreements

There are various resources online which offer free lodger agreements. However, be wary, as many of them have been modified and are often “tenancy agreements” as opposed to a lodger agreement. This could potentially lead to problems if there are any legal disputes.

Recommended Lodger Agreements

A formal lodger agreement drafted by a professional is the best option, because it is the safest.

We recommend the Lodger Agreement Form Pack on Amazon (£11.15) by the reputable legal firm Anthony Gold Solicitors (full disclosure: it’s an affiliate link).

Most lodger agreements will include the following:

  • How much rent is
  • What happens if rent the lodger falls in rent arrears
  • How often rent should be paid
  • How long the let is for
  • The shared areas e.g. kitchen, bathroom
  • Lodger’s accommodation e.g. bedroom
  • Start/end date of agreement
  • The lodger’s deposit amount (if one is taken)

Lodger agreements a lot more easier to understand and basic than tenancy agreements- there are a lot less terms and conditions.

Clauses in lodger agreements

The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 is a regulation which applies to all contracts in the UK, and it’s something you should take into consideration when using a lodger agreement. More information on the regulation, you can go to the legislation.gov.uk website.

While all the regulations will largely not apply to most lodger landlords, as they are mostly geared towards businesses, it is still recommended to stick to the principles of the regulations, which is to remain fair and transparent. However, if you have multiple lodgers and/or are making a full-time living out of it (which isn’t the case for most lodger landlords), the regulations may apply in its entirety.

Period of let

There is no minimum length of time that you must allow the let to run for, but you should provide an approximate expectation, so it’s fair on both parties.

In many cases, there is no fixed period set, the contract runs indefinitely from one rent period to the next.

Contracts in use

Once you have a lodger agreement drafted and printed, you should end up with two signed copies- one for yourself, and one for your lodger.

House rules

There’s often confusion between the role of the lodger agreement and domesticated house rules. A lodger agreement will cover the terms of the let (e.g. the rent), it typically won’t include any domesticated issues like what the rules are on having guests over. Landlords can draft a separate, more formal set of house rules, which the lodger can also sign. More details can be found on the lodger house rules page.