The Difference Between Tenants Subletting and Taking in a Lodger

by Bhavi Bhudia
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Lodger

As a landlord, it is essential to understand the difference between tenants subletting and taking in a lodger. Both scenarios can impact your property and ultimately, your bottom line. 

Subletting 

Subletting is when a tenant who is renting a property from a landlord decides to rent out their room or the property to someone else. In this case, the original tenant remains the primary tenant and will continue to be responsible for the rent and any damages caused by their subtenant. 

Pros of Subletting

- The original tenant can share the rent and household expenses with the subtenant

- The property remains occupied, reducing the likelihood of squatters or break-ins

- It can be a short-term solution for a tenant who needs to leave the property for a period

Cons of Subletting

- Without proper screening, the subtenant may not be trustworthy and could cause damage to the property or refuse to pay rent

- Additional wear and tear on the property due to the increased number of occupants

- The original tenant remains responsible for any damages caused by the subtenant, which could lead to legal complications 

Taking in a Lodger 

Taking in a lodger means that the primary tenant agrees to rent out one of their rooms to a lodger for a specified period. Unlike subletting, the primary tenant remains responsible for the lease agreement, full rent, and any damages caused by the lodger. 

Pros of Taking in a Lodger 

- The primary tenant does not have to worry about violating any agreements with their landlord

- The additional rent from the lodger can help cover household expenses

- Taking in a lodger can be a practical solution for individuals who live alone and would like additional company in their home

Cons of Taking in a Lodger 

- The primary tenant is solely responsible for any lease violations or damage caused by the lodger

- Without proper screening, the lodger may not be trustworthy and could cause damage to the property or refuse to pay rent

- The additional occupant could lead to additional wear and tear on the property 

Conclusion

In conclusion, both subletting and taking in a lodger come with their pros and cons. As a landlord, it is important to understand the difference between these scenarios and ensure that the lease agreement is clear on whether subletting or taking in a lodger is allowed. Additionally, proper screening of subtenants or lodgers can help minimize the risk of damaged property and unpaid rent. Tenants need their landlord's permission before they can take in a lodger, most tenancy agreements will have a clause addressing subletting and lodging. During the pandemic, and now through the cost of living crisis more of our landlords are allowing tenants to take in a lodger provided checks are carried out.