If you are lucky enough to be based in London and have a spare room at your disposal, then there’s likely a queue waiting for it longer than that at the Breakfast Club on a Sunday morning. The reasons for this sudden space surplus are myriad; it could be that the kids have (finally) left home, you’ve eventually cleared out an empty room or a previous tenant has just flown the nest. Whatever the reason, there are ways and means to maximise the potential of your spare room. With that in mind, here are 4 IDEAL tips for renting out your room in London.
FIGURE OUT WHAT FACILITIES YOU NEED TO OFFER
When renting out a spare room in the capital, you need to think about the facilities you have to offer, and how to make them the focal point of any potential viewing. As well as having the room itself – well appointed and welcoming – don’t forget the tenant will also need to have access to a bathroom and according to the law, a kitchen too. Depending on what you’re comfortable with, it’s a good idea to make other areas of the house such as the living room, dining room and communal areas available too. Hospitality and harmony over hostility, we think.
MAKE SURE IT’S PROPERLY ADVERTISED
You can choose to advertise your space privately, and, sure, that can yield results, but there are some great companies such as London Shared that can make the process easier for you and offer a wider reach than more closet channels. The process is simple on such a website. They come out to your property to valuate it, send you an offer within the next day and then arrange a telephone call with you. If you’re happy with the figure quoted, they then fire the contracts across.
MAKE SURE YOU SET YOUR GROUND RULES
You’re gonna be living in close proximity with someone else, and we’ve all been there when this can lead to totally unexpected, multi-nuanced friction. It’s important then, to know what you should expect from each other straight away. Declare early on what gets your back up, and expect a similar level of candidness from your coexisting comrade. Don’t let things fester (and we’re not talking about that mouldy cuppa), always communicate if something is irritating you, and expect the same of your housemate.
CHECK YOUR INSURANCE AND COUNCIL TACX
This will depend on your individual circumstances – but having a tenant could affect your council tax and insurance. If you live by yourself, you are normally entitled to 25% discount on your council tax bill which could change if you open your arms to a lodger. It’s also a good idea to revisit your home insurance policy using sites such as Money Supermarket. Depending on who you’ve filed this with, it could fall into one of their policy exclusions.
DON’T ACT LIKE NAGGING MOTHER
If you’ve entered into contract with a lodger, whereby they’re paying your spare room, then you owe it to them (and common decency) to behave like a housemate, not a mother. Sunday roasts and listening to their day, sure, that kind of mother is fine, but nagging, complaining and bossing your new tenant around is not the way to behave. A transaction has occurred, money is changing hands, and you should act with decorum accordingly.