Hello Dear Reader,
Whilst we were paying off debts, we needed an extra income and the tax free way to do that is to have a lodger. We’re now in a situation, where we have empty rooms and are looking again to increase our income, this time to pay off our mortgage as quickly as possible. I’ve mentioned before that I will be tidying the house up on a tiny budget and that includes doing up two of our bedrooms to rent out. We advertise the rooms nationally to people who are working away from home and need some where to stay four nights a week and then go home at the weekend. We were popular with renters as they knew they would come back on Monday to clean sheets, a clean and aired room and I didn’t charge an unreasonable amount.
We aim to do this again and will be renovating the two bedrooms and don’t have a lot of money to spend but know that freecycle and junk shops just won’t do if we want to charge market rents for our rooms. We try to make them as hotel like as possible but on a tiny budget. This means we will be shopping really carefully for new bedroom furniture that will last for years and will be a good investment. I’m aware that I have an eclectic sense of taste and go for that shabby chic look but know that the renters are likely to be builders and labourers with no appreciation of a patchwork quilt and hand painted thrifted furniture. They will need something far more substantial and as Argos sell beds, I won’t have far to go as I’ll be able to order them online and I’ve had no problems with any of the beds I’ve bought off them in the past.
I’ll make sure that both the rooms are the same, neutral in decor and design and hard wearing. People working away from home also appreciate not having to take everything home at the weekend and will leave some personal items behind and I’ll make sure I buy a couple of practical and stylish wardrobes so their items can be safely put away but the rooms are available for visitors when they are not there. When contractors are working away from home, as my son does, having lodgings instead of a hotel or B&B can make being away from their families just that bit more bearable. We haven’t had any problems with lodgers so far as we’ve negotiated terms and conditions in advance of their arrival and advertise that we live in a very quiet home in a rural location and that in turn attracts older lodgers who want to just get their head down in comfort at the end of the day.
Here are the terms that we negotiate before their arrival:
- · Shared use of kitchen and leaving it clean and stacking dishes into the dishwasher.
- · Shared use of the dining room
- · No use of laundry facilities and expect them to use the local launderette.
- · No smoking in the house.
- · TV and audio to a reasonable level and none at all after an agreed time.
- · Five minute showers (men are quick any way)
- · Use of wi-fi.
- · Payment of rent in advance for the duration of their stay, or monthly in advance if a longer contract.
I know many of you wouldn’t consider this, and that’s fine but it’s worked for us in the past and we know the difference comfortable lodgings make to people working away from home and we’re happy to make them welcome and they are happy to have somewhere homely and comfortable.