Help is at hand for homeowners across Scotland thinking about renting out a spare room following the launch of an online advice service by leading housing charity Shelter Scotland – which includes a free lodger agreement for download.
Homeowners can now get all the information they need before taking in a lodger or subletting their property, with advice about the legal and tax implications, their responsibilities as a landlord and what to expect day-to-day after taking in a lodger.
Shelter Scotland is also making sample lodger agreements available free of charge in a bid to safeguard the rights of both landlords and their lodgers after identifying that some private firms charge around £10 for such contract templates.
HM Customs and Revenue rules currently allow homeowners to earn up to £4,250 a year from renting a room in their home and recent research shows that five million UK homeowners have taken advantage of this during the recession.
However, eighty per cent of homeowners said they had little knowledge about what it takes to become a landlord and were reluctant about doing so.
Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland which offers expert support services, online advice and a free national helpline for everyone facing housing and homelessness difficulties, said:
“As household finances come under further strain, increasing numbers of homeowners are looking for innovative ways to maximise their income. Once homeowners have considered the legal and personal implications of renting out a spare room, the experience can be a very positive one.
“Our online advice guides are there to help anyone considering becoming a landlord and to help them make an informed decision. If they decide to go ahead the free landlord agreement which can be downloaded from the Shelter Scotland website is there to make sure both landlord and lodger are protected throughout the process.”
He added: “Before taking in a tenant, homeowners should consider the legal implications; does their mortgage provider allow them to rent out their property, do they have adequate insurance, how will their tax allowance be affected, how will they deal with possible damage to their property and of course are they happy to share their home with a lodger and accept the day-to-day changes this will bring?”
In Scotland, Aberdonians can expect the highest weekly rental per room at an average of £92, followed by Edinburgh at £85 per week and Glasgow at £82 per week.
The free lodger agreements can be downloaded at www.shelter.org.uk
Notes to Editors:
1. Shelter Scotland provides expert support services, online advice and a free national helpline for everyone facing housing and homelessness difficulties. For advice and support visit http://scotland.shelter.org.uk or call 0808 800 4444.
2. Spokespeople are available for interview – call the media office on 0844 515 2442.
Shelter Scotland believes everyone should have a home. We help people find and keep a home. We campaign for decent housing for all.
Contact: Sabina Kadic-Mackenzie
Phone: 0844 515 2442