Want extra cash? Get an extra person.

12 October 2012

bedroom2012 is heading inexorably towards its expensive December conclusion, and with no sign of the economic tightness easing off, many of us might think of ways in which we can raise extra cash. Obviously, Bitterwallet staff are always being approached to sell our bodies* but what about less drastic ways to get a nice wedge? Well, according to LV Home Insurance, around 950,000 UK homeowners in the UK are now doing so by renting out spare rooms in their houses.

And it seems to be a good plan. Whether homeowners just want to boost income or, like 30% of survey respondents, they need the extra cash to pay their bills, there is also a market for tenants who can’t get a mortgage and who can't or don’t want to pay extortionate private rental prices.Neither is it just those struggling to get on the housing ladder- the average age of a lodger is 29, with 6 per cent of lodgers now aged between 45 and 54.

What’s even better about this extra cash is that it could be completely tax-free. Under the well-established rent-a-room scheme, homeowners can receive up to £4,250 a year as a tax free income from the room rent. Even if the rents received exceed this amount (with average single-room rents averaging £400 a month), the first £4,250 can be tax free so you only pay tax on the rents over and above this amount. Alternatively you can deduct all your expenses and be taxed on the net receipts if this would result in a lower amount of taxable income.

Besides, 70% of landlords say they would prefer part-time lodgers to their full-time equivalents. While this might sound silly, if you live near a University (for example) renting a room to a mature/foreign/postgraduate or mature foreign postgraduate student would mean you could have your home all to yourself for large parts of the calendar year, but still rake in thousands of pounds of lovely money.

So if you’re thinking of taking the lodgering plunge let us know- we’ll send Mof round.

* for medical research.

TOPICS:   Tax   Mortgages


  • Inspector G.
    I'd be very cautious to move into someone's spare room. A friend did that and was only allowed in the kitchen to prepare food, only allowed in the dining room to eat food and not allowed in the sitting room/lounge* at all. *delete based on how far north you live
  • Interweb E.
    @Inspector Gadget - I don't see the issue with that, hes renting a room, not a fucking house.
  • Sicknote
    For many years we've had a lodger / occasional fuck toy for the missus and it's proved a great benefit in many areas; not just the obvious financial benefit.
  • LoveIt
    @ Interweb Expert Your ignorance is fucking overwhelming. If I rent a room, guess what, i'd like to use the fucking house aswell. Because, guess what? I'm a human being too. And guess what? I'm paying for it. So many of these cute and fluffy landlords have got their heads so far up their own arse, they're quite happy to charge me an arm and fucking leg towards their mortgage, whilst denying me some basic fucking standard of living. Should I just roll over and be grateful I have a roof over my head? I say, Fuck Off.
  • Interweb E.
    @ LoveIt - How the fuck do you expect the 'features' and 'functionally' of renting a whole house when you are paying for a room? You are renting a room, you are paying the cost of the room, you get unlimited access to the room. THAT is what you are paying for. Want access to the rest of the house? Sure, rent the whole house then. Do you fly economy class and get angry when you can't access the First Class lounge and can't have complementary drinks? You are deluded.
  • Paul C.
    @Interweb Expert - Spoken like Mr O'Leary himself. I rent out my spare room. I tend to get on with my tennants. They have access to a fucking lovely house, PS3, flat screen, internet, huge DVD/blu Ray collection, a library and a kitchen with all mod cons. The thing with tennants is that they never contribute to any cleaning, it's muggins here on his day off trying to keep all the communal areas up together. Last time I checked, being a landlord didn't double up as being a cleaner as well. Happens to be quite a common gripe - it's not their house after all, so they couldn't give a flying fuck who keeps it looking lovely. It's a bit like living at your parents.
  • dodgydude
    I am with Inspector Gadget on this one as I have rented rooms in the past. If you are a landlord and rent someone a room, have the courteousy to respect them as human beings. You can't confine them to just a room. They should be allowed visitors and occasional partner sleepovers. They should be allowed access to the kitchen and bathrooms. And when you are not there, they should have access to the lounge. I have looked at rooms in the past and landlords have said no visitors as if I lived in a bubble. I just walked away from them.

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