How many lodgers can I have?

Is a house share right for mha

Many live-in landlords prefer to have only one lodger, but if you have a larger home and want to offer more rooms for rent, then the questions of how many lodgers you can legally have will arise.

In the UK, HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) regulations apply to properties with three or more tenants who form more than one household and share common facilities, such as a kitchen or bathroom. However, if you are a live-in landlord and you only rent out one or two rooms in your home, you are exempt from HMO regulations. If you rent out more than two rooms you will need to check local HMO licence requirements, which differ by local council.

If you are a live-in landlord, there are still some regulations you need to comply with, including:

  1. Fire Safety: As a live-in landlord, you are responsible for ensuring that your property meets fire safety regulations. This includes having working smoke alarms and fire extinguishers in appropriate locations, as well as maintaining clear escape routes.
  2. Gas Safety: If you have gas appliances in your property, you must ensure that they are serviced and maintained annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
  3. Electrical Safety: You are responsible for ensuring that all electrical installations and appliances in your property are safe and maintained in good condition.
  4. Deposit Protection: If you take a deposit from your lodgers, you do not have to use a government approved tenant deposit scheme, but you will need to protect and return the deposit (less any reductions for unpaid rent or damages) in good time. This is usually a number of weeks and a maximum of a month. Withholding return of a deposit can result in court action.
  5. Right to Rent Checks: You must conduct Right to Rent checks on all prospective tenants to ensure that they have the right to rent in the UK. This is best achieved by using an Identity checking service, or by simply requesting a copy of your prospective lodgers’ passport or driver’s licence. You can also request references of course.

Other things to think about with multiple lodgers

It’s important to note that while live-in landlords are exempt from HMO regulations, you may still be subject to planning regulations and building regulations. It’s important to check with your local council to ensure that you follow all applicable regulations.

Lastly, and this is a key point for successful longer-term sharing, even if you are exempt from HMO regulations, it’s important to consider the impact that having multiple lodgers in your home, and how it affects your quality of life. It’s also worth noting that the more lodgers you have, the more wear and tear your property may experience.


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