What is a live-in landlord? The clue is in the title, of course. A live-in landlord continues to live in the property in which a lodger rents a room (sharing facilities but without any exclusive right to any part of the dwelling). The more conventionally titled landlord typically lets an entire, self-contained dwelling to tenants, who enjoy exclusive rights to occupy the property for the duration of their tenancy agreement.
This difference establishes the essential distinction between a tenant and a lodger – and the website SpareRoom publishes a guide for landlords who choose to offer a lodging in this way.
Homeowners may choose to rent out a spare room in this way. The option may also be open to private sector tenants and those in social housing – provided, of course, that they have the landlord’s permission and that their tenancy agreement allows such an arrangement.
Rent a room insurance
What you also need to know if you have someone lodging in your home is the insurance necessary to protect you against the risk of various financial losses and damage.
This specialist, live-in landlord insurance differs from regular home insurance bought by owner-occupiers or even the landlord insurance used by those who own buy to let property.
Of particular concern for live-in landlords, for example, maybe the heightened risk of loss or accidental damage to the home’s contents when a lodger is living there – not to mention the opportunities for theft that might tempt the unscrupulous lodger.
Here at UKinsuranceNET, we are specialists in the provision of all types of property insurance, including lodger insurance, so you might want to consult us about any doubts or queries you have about keeping your home safe when you have a lodger or lodgers under your roof.
The typical arrangement is for a lodger to be offered a room in which to sleep but to share most other facilities with the permanent residents of the home. The legal term for this type of lodging is “excluded occupier” and grants very limited rights to the lodger who may be asked to leave after you have given them “reasonable notice to quit”.
If you have provided your lodger with accommodation that requires no sharing of facilities with you, however, they may enjoy “exclusive occupation” of the space they occupy. In the case of such “non-excluded” tenancies, notice to quit must be given in writing, typically four weeks in advance (depending on the specific terms of their tenancy agreement).
House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)
It is also important to know that if you take in three or more lodgers as tenants, and they are not members of the same family, but share facilities such as a toilet, bathroom and kitchen in your home, the house is officially recognised as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO).
As the landlord of an HMO, you have considerably more onerous responsibilities, may need to be licensed by your local council and may also need those special circumstances to be reflected in any live-in landlord insurance you arrange.