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Questions regarding renting out a room


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To help with the mortgage I am renting out my spare bedroom, on a weekday (Mon-to-Fri) let only. I’ve found a professional lady who lives outside London but works in London, so wants to rent the room to save on travel.

This is the first time I’ve ever rented out a room (or house/flat for that matter) so am completely new to the landlord thing! So really I’m looking for advice from existing landlords on what I should be doing before the tenant moves in. Below are some questions that I can think of off the top of my head:

1) For a weekdays only let is a rental agreement still necessary?... if so then where can I get hold of a good rental agreement template?

2) What types of references are acceptable to request? (i.e. bank statements, employer references etc?)

3) For a weekday let I am assuming that the tenant will have a home address to which they return on the weekends, so is it reasonable to request proof of their home address?

4) Is it acceptable to take a photocopy of all references shown?... i.e. I thought maybe the tenant may object to any photocopies made of things like their bank statement etc.

5) If details are provided of their employer, is it okay to contact the employer?

6) Regarding the one month’s deposit, my tenant will be moving in at the start of January so is it acceptable for me to request the month’s deposit now before the move in date? (seeing as I will be taking the room off the market now)

Please let me know anything else I should be aware of or need to check/put in place before letting the room.

Thanks in advance


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Hi Sharon,

I take it this arrangement is to include the rest of the house or flat for use by the tenant? Look on the net for an agreement for renting out a room. A full Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) could be appropriate here and you could use one that you can download from this site - you would have to stipulate in the 'conditions' that the room is available Mon- Fri exclusively. If you use an AST you will have to protect the deposit. Google 'deposit protection' - I favour the DPS government run scheme. Safe and simple.

Is the tenant to pay some of the utilities or are they included?

Definitely ask for photo ID (passort or driving licence) and employers refs - follow these up carefully by contacting them. You could also do a credit check on them - also available via this site on the net in general - cost about £40

Yes get proof of home address (should come with above).

Ask for a 'holding deposit' of say £100 and take this off the actual depsosit when she pays the full deposit ( it is so close I would ask for full deposit now) - if by cheque give it time to clear before getting her to sign the tenancy agreement or get cash. Give proper reciepts for the monies.

You may want to do an inventory of the room or take photos and get tenant to sign them on the move in day.

I'm sure I've left something out but others may give you some ideas.

All the best ,


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I hate to disagree with an established member like Morticia, but there is no way this will be an AST. As the landlord (OP) will be resident then the 'tenant' will be an excluded occupier with relatively few rights.

Tenancy deposit does not need to be protected as this only applies to ASTs

OP may want to consider using one of the may professional referencing agencies who can check ID & do credit checks very reliably - they tend to be less susceptable (sp!) to bogus references written on a mates PC! A basic ID check can cost less than £15 with a full one around £35.

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The previous response is correct. This case is not a tenant who rents the whole property,

its a lodger who rents a room and shares other facilities.

Rent-a-room which has special tax breaks [up to £4,250 a year tax-free]

and does not require deposit protection.

General info.


I recommend this university site has a comprehensive set of notes and advice you can download .


I also bought their £6 pack and used the included legal agreement for my daughters rent-a-room lodger.

Good luck.

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