Pros – more money. You will take in more income each month, which you can put towards your mortgage and utility bills (unless they are included). You will also be eligible for the Rent a room scheme, which entitles you up to £4,250 tax relief.
Cons – less freedom. Your dinner times might clash. Or morning shower time… Of course, you can easily establish a rota but prior to taking in the lodger, you ate and showered when you liked…
Pros – company. You may be glad of some extra company (especially if you live alone). As creatures of habit it’s very easy to get into the robotic routine of travelling to work, clocking in, getting home and going to bed. It could be quite nice to spend time with someone in the evening. Additionally you could end up cooking for each other, which will save you yet more money.
Cons – less personal space. You now have another person rattling around with you in your home. Also, what if they are a nightmare? You can interview lodgers for weeks-on-end but you never really know someone until you live with them. I once lived with someone with a perennial dry cough. So… the worst CAN happen.
Pros – Short time and part time lodgers. Some people only want to stay for a few months so even if they are a nightmare, there is at least an end in sight (and you can just count your pennies). Others only want to stay during the week (contractors from another town for example) so you still have the weekends to yourself.
Cons – you hate each other. Forget the dry cough or poor personal hygiene (which are huge deals of course) – what if you HATE your lodger? Or what if they hate you? What if you dread going home so much that you stay out late until they’ve gone to bed? You can of course ask them to leave, but that will be one awkward month before they are gone…
Ultimately it really depends on you, and your priorities. Does your need for money outweigh your desire for personal space? Or perhaps you want company – but just make sure you find the RIGHT company. There are definite monetary and social benefits to having a lodger but it can come at a price – adapting your lifestyle to accommodate them.
Finally, taking in a lodger may give you an unpleasant realisation… it’s not the lodger who is the problem – its YOU.
Written by Gareth Brown | @GarethBrown26