Preparing your room rental agreement
A room rental agreement is a contract between a landlord and tenant that sets out the terms and conditions of the tenancy. The agreement should be signed by both parties and should be kept in a safe place for future reference.
In the UK, there are no specific legal requirements for room rental agreements. However, it is strongly recommended that landlords draw up a lodger agreement to avoid any disputes that may arise during the tenancy.
The agreement should include details such as the names of the landlord and tenant, the address of the property, the length of the tenancy, and the rent amount.
It is also important to include a clause that sets out what will happen if either party breaches the agreement. By taking these steps, landlords can protect their rights and avoid any problems with their tenants.
Further reading: Your responsibilities as a landlord in England and Wales
Preparing to rent a room to tenants
The thought of renting out a room to strangers can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. By taking some time to prepare the room and screen potential tenants, you can ensure that you find the right lodger for your home.
When preparing the room for rental, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, you’ll want to make sure that the room is clean and in good repair. This means fixing any damage, such as holes in the walls or broken fixtures, and deep cleaning the space.
You’ll also want to remove any personal items from the room so that the tenant feels like it’s their own space.
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I made a few changes to the room rental contract in MS Word and then printed the PDF file for my tenants to sign. It’s easy to change and just what I needed.
– Alison Campbell, Leeds
Getting your room rental contract ready
Next, you’ll need to draft a room rental agreement for the tenant to sign. This should outline the expectations for the tenancy, such as rent amount and due date, as well as any rules you have for the house.
For example, you may want to include a quiet hours policy or a rule about no smoking inside.
Screening potential tenants to rent your room
Finally, you’ll need to screen potential tenants before selecting one to rent the room. This can be done by conducting a background check and interviewing the tenant.
When conducting a tenant background check, you’ll want to look for personal and work references, as well as their rental history. This can be done by running a credit check and speaking to their previous landlords.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential tenants, it’s time to interview them. This is your chance to get to know them better and see if they would be a good fit for your home.
When interviewing potential tenants, there are a few key questions you’ll want to ask:
- What is your current employment situation?
- Do you have any pets?
- How long are you looking to rent the room for?
- How many people will be living in the room?
- Do you have any questions for me?
Asking these questions will help you get to know the tenant better and decide if they would be a good fit for your home.
After you’ve screened the tenant and conducted an interview, it’s time to sign the room rental agreement.
What is included in a UK room rental agreement?
Our UK room rental agreement includes the tenancy agreement itself in MS Word document and PDF versions, a landlord inventory template, a tenant advice sheet and a landlord advice document.
Do I need a room rental agreement by law as a landlord?
In England and Wales you are not required by law to have a written agreement but it would be very unwise to rent a room without an agreement in place. This protects both you, the landlord and your tenants and helps avoid disputes further down the line.
What checks should a landlord do when renting out a room?
Even though you are only renting out a room you should still conduct tenant background checks and ask for employer and former landlord references, a deposit and ask your tenant to sign the rental contract.
What is the rent a room scheme?
The rent a room scheme from the UK government allows you to earn up to £7,500 per year tax free by renting our a furnished room in your home. The rent a room scheme is optional but well worth taking advantage of if you are able to.
How do I find a UK lodger agreement template?
If you are renting a room out in your own home and require a UK lodger agreement template which you can adjust, then the MS Word version of our tenancy agreement can be easily adapted into a lodger agreement. This contract can then be printed and signed with your lodger.
Editing the tenancy agreement to suit your room rental
One of the major benefits of our tenancy agreement template for England and Wales is the ability to edit the document before printing.
The Word document version of the tenancy agreement is fully editable, so it is simple to adapt it to suit your property. Once you are happy with the edited version, simply save the tenancy contract as a PDF and print it.
You can pre-fill certain details before printing the agreement, such as the address of the property and the names of the landlord and tenant, but other parts such as the check-boxes should be left blank and completed in front of the tenant.
Completing the UK room rental agreement PDF with your tenant
One of the benefits of completing the room rental agreement PDF in front of your tenants is the ability to explain each section in detail to your tenant, allowing them to ask questions as you complete the rental contract.
You may want to include clauses that are specific to your property and these should also be explained to your tenant.
Make good use of the extra documents when renting out a room
Included in the tenancy agreement package are some handy extra documents which are perfect for using when renting out a room in your home.
Tenant advice document
This fully editable document allows you to give practical advice to your tenant as an extra in addition to the actual room rental agreement.
It can outline advice such as what to do if something happens, how to contact you personally and quickly, and other handy tips for your tenant such as local numbers and the location of bus stops, train stations and local stores.
Although not a legal document it gives your tenant something to refer to without having to refer to their actual rental contract, which many tenants may give to their accountant or solicitor.
It also adds a professional touch and presents you, the landlord, in a very good light with your new tenants.
Landlord inventory template for room rentals
Renting a room to tenants usually means including items such as furniture in the room as part of the deal. You may also include other items such as a TV or refrigerator, a small cooker, or other items.
You must document these items before renting your room out and this is where our printable landlord inventory template comes in.
Although a very simple layout, the inventory template allows you, the landlord, to list items by name, their location, and their current condition. You can complete this before renting and go over the document with the tenant, asking them to agree to the condition of the items in the landlord inventory template.
Once completed, ask the tenant to sign the bottom of each document as a way of acknowledging the condition of the items. This helps avoid conflicts afterwards if a tenant should dispute the condition or presence of an item when they leave.
Lodger agreement template
One issue that pops up from time to time is landlords asking if this tenancy agreement can be used as a lodger agreement template. The simple answer is yes – a room rental agreement and a lodger agreement are essentially the same (most of the time).
For example, if you are renting a room in your own house, then your tenant is a lodger. If you have a room rental arrangement with a tenant in a property you do not live in, this may be regarded as a normal tenant in the terms of the room rental.
Normally in the UK a lodger is a person renting a room in your own home. However, since our tenancy agreement is fully editable, you are able to adapt the contract easily into a lodger agreement template to suit your own needs.
Summary of your complete room rental agreement
In short, when renting out a room and assuming you have found a suitable tenant, you should present them with:
- The UK room rental agreement PDF to complete and sign
- The tenant advice document
- The printable landlord inventory to sign
View our section on how to use our tenancy agreement documents
Return to the tenancy agreement for England and Wales