Resident Landlord Questions

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    Resident Landlord Questions

    Given recent postings on the subject of letting to Lodgers/Tenants and a misconception on what is allowed or not I am detailing an extract from an article issued by Alan Boswell Insurers which sets out the situation very clearly, apologies for the length but I believe that this might help those considering such an option.

    "What are the different types of tenancy with a live-in landlord?
    There are some subtle, but crucial, differences in tenancy types where a landlord shares a building with a tenant.

    They are:
    Excluded occupier
    Excluded occupiers are lodgers, who share a portion of the property with their landlord or a member of the landlord’s family.

    This is a typical situation where someone rents a bedroom to a lodger, who shares bathroom and kitchen facilities with the live-in landlord.
    Occupier with basic protection
    These tenants share the building with their landlord, but have exclusive occupation of their own accommodation and don’t share any areas other than stairs or storage facilities.
    They have more rights than excluded occupiers, and landlords must go through a full eviction procedure if they want a tenant removed.

    Can a landlord live in a buy-to-let property?
    No, the terms of a buy-to-let mortgage expressly forbid a landlord living in the property.
    Doing so risks invalidating the terms of the mortgage, and committing the criminal offence of fraud.

    Becoming a live-in landlord: first steps
    Let’s assume you’ve decided to take the plunge and rent a room in your home. What legalities do you need to bear in mind, and who do you need to inform?
    Who do I need to inform about renting a room?
    You will need to inform your mortgage lender, if you have one, that you will be renting out a room in, or part of, your home.
    If you are a long leaseholder, you should check the terms of the lease to ensure that you can let part of the property and, if necessary, get the freeholder’s agreement first.
    Taking in a lodger can also affect any housing benefit you receive, so it’s worth checking with your local authority to see if any of these changes to your circumstances will have an impact on your payments.
    If you live alone, you will be receiving a discount on your council tax, so you need to inform your local council that this is no longer the case.
    Finally, you must inform your insurance company, and you may need to take out specialist landlord insurance to ensure you are fully covered for all eventualities.

    Do I need a tenancy agreement?
    You do not have to have a tenancy agreement unless the tenancy period is for a minimum of three years, but it is highly advisable that you have a contract for renting a room in your home as it will make it easier to sort out any disagreements which may arise later.

    A tenancy agreement should cover:
    • The period of the letting
    • How much rent the occupier has to pay, and any arrangements for review if necessary
    • How much notice each party will give the other to end the letting
    • What meals or services will be provided, if any

    What safety steps should I take when renting out a room?
    There are three key areas you need to address when taking in a lodger or a tenant:
    Fire safety: all furnishings supplied, including sofas and mattresses, must meet the fire resistance requirements.
    There are no specific fire regulations, unless your property is classed as an HMO, but it is recommended that home-owners:
    • Make lodgers aware of escape routes
    • Put a working smoke alarm on each floor
    • Provide a fire blanket in the kitchen
    • Provide a fire extinguisher
    Gas safety: Gas safety regulations apply if you are taking in a lodger, which means you must ensure all gas appliances are maintained in good working order and have an annual gas safety carried by a Gas Safe engineer.
    You must keep a record of safety checks and must usually provide the lodger or tenant with a copy within 28 days of the inspection.
    Electrical safety: The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations do not apply if you take in a lodger, which means there is no requirement to have an electrical inspection carried out every five years.
    However, you still need to ensure the electrical installation is safe, including any appliances the lodger may use like kettles toasters and washing machines etc. You could be held legally liable in the event of an accident if the installation or device is deemed unsafe.
    Ready to rent: top tips to renting a room in your home
    Once you’ve got your home ready to take in a lodger and informed all those who need to know, it’s time to find your tenant, or lodger. Here, we’ll provide some tips to help get you up and running and try to ensure a smooth-running tenancy.

    Set your rent
    Before you try to find a tenant, work out how much you are going to charge, and think about what bills will be included in the rent.

    If you were going to set up a sticky thread, you should have at least got terminology right and ensured that what you are writing is correct.
    1. Tenants rent; landlords let.
      The English language has provided us with terms that clearly identify which side of the relationship is being considered in any statement, and using "rent" for both sides creates confusion or uncertainty, not the clarity that is claimed.
    2. Landlords CAN live in a buy-to-let property.
      For example:
      1. None of my buy-to-let properties has ever had a mortgage on it.
      2. The landlord may be renting the property from a superior landlord.
      3. There is no law that requires that a mortgage on the property disallows the situation.
    3. If there is a letting of a property, then there is always an agreement for that let.
    4. The "tips" appear to have run out mid-flow.
    5. And it would be a darn sight clearer if you had had done something better with the layout (indentation, vertical white space, and sub-headings).
      e.g. "Excluded occupier" and "Occupier with basic protection" are very important terms in this post, but are hidden amongst the other words.


      Good evening MdeB
      Firstly may I say welcome to commenting on the posting albeit some 8 days late, so one can only assume you do not regularly read the Forum.
      Secondly If you are going to try and appear pedantic please read that the posting was an extract of an article from Alan J Boswell’s of Norwich , a very good General Insurance Broker both locally and Nationally, so any factual error, misspellings lie with the original source of the document since this was “Cut & Pasted” not retyped so I make absolutely no apologies for errors & omissions , a phrase often used as I am sure you will be aware of.
      When I post I try to be constructive and avoid negativity.
      Finally may I wish you a very peaceful Festive Season and the spirit of Goodwill.


      ps no need to reply as I will make no further utterances on this topic.


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