Does a Lodger Need a Contract

As the cost of renting continues to rise, more and more people are turning to taking in lodgers to help pay the bills. However, when it comes to renting out an extra room in your home, many people wonder whether a formal contract is necessary.

The answer is simple, yet complicated. In short, a lodger doesn`t technically need a rental agreement. However, whether or not you have a written agreement in place can have a significant impact on the landlord-tenant relationship.

What is a Lodger?

Before discussing the need for a contract, it is important to understand the definition of a lodger. A lodger is someone who rents a room in someone else`s home and shares certain facilities, such as a bathroom or kitchen, with the homeowner or other lodgers. The homeowner remains in the property while the lodger rents a room, making it different from subletting a whole flat or apartment.

Does a Lodger Need a Contract?

There is no legal requirement for landlords taking in lodgers to provide a written contract or agreement. However, it is still highly recommended to have a formal agreement in place to protect the interests of both the landlord and the lodger.

Without a rental agreement, there are no clear guidelines for how the landlord and lodger should interact. This can lead to confusion and misunderstandings about issues such as rent payments, security deposits, and eviction procedures. In the absence of a written agreement, disputes may be harder to resolve and costly legal action may be required.

What Should be Included in a Lodger Contract?

If you do decide to have a written lodger contract in place, make sure it includes the following:

– The rental amount, including any bills and the date payment is due.

– The deposit amount and terms for its return or retention.

– The length of the rental agreement, including any notice periods required to end the agreement.

– A list of shared facilities and any rules or restrictions the lodger must adhere to.

– The landlord`s responsibilities, such as maintenance or repairs to the property.

– The lodger`s responsibilities, such as keeping their room and shared areas clean and tidy.

– Any other terms and conditions agreed upon by both parties.


While there is no legal requirement for a lodger to have a rental agreement, having a written contract in place helps to establish clear guidelines for both the landlord and lodger. This can help prevent misunderstandings and disputes, and make it easier to resolve any issues that may arise during the tenancy. Therefore, it is highly recommended that landlords take the time to create a rental agreement for their lodgers.