A recent survey showed that over 200,000 couples now have lodgers – a 15% increase over the last three years, according to a report in the Mail Online.
The figures show that the number of lodgers is now as high as it was in the 1960’s. As the 1970’s sitcom, Rising Damp highlighted, many older women living alone used to take in lodgers to increase their income.
The current trend however seems to be for younger couples in their mid-thirties to let out a room in order to contribute towards the mortgage payments.
The report was published by insurance company LV=. Spokesperson John O’Roarke commented:
‘There has been a significant surge in homeowners taking in lodgers to make ends meet.’
A tax break allows homeowners to rent rooms out to lodgers and earn up to £4,250 each year through rent, completely free of tax.
The survey questioned 1,500 people and showed around 210,000 homes with lodgers paying £4,700 rent on average. A homeowner can charge up to £350 per month for a floor of their home or a single room – providing the accommodation is not divided to become a separate flat – without paying tax.
37% of those with lodgers said it was to help with mortgage payments. 7% said it was after redundancy. A typical landlord is a married couple, aged between 25 and 50, taking in a single lodger who they already know socially. It seems that taking in a lodger is a good way to help with mortgage payments without incurring complicated tax bills.