Have a spare room you’re thinking of subletting? Make sure your home is suitable for a sublet and how it may affect you.

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Subletting is when you rent part of your home to someone else. They will pay you rent for living in your home. It can be a good way to use a spare room and make some extra income.

Can I sublet?

If you rent from us, you may be able to sublet if:

  • you’re currently living in your property
  • you have a spare room available
  • you have an assured/lifetime tenancy or a fixed term tenancy.

You cannot sublet if:

  • you have a starter tenancy
  • you haven’t received our permission. 
  • you want to move out and sublet your whole home; if you do you will lose your tenancy.

How do I get started? 

If you’re thinking about subletting, there are several things to consider. We’ve broken them down into six easy steps below. Make sure you carefully consider each step before you start the process. 

Step one: Assess your home

Make sure your home is appropriate for subletting. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I have a spare bedroom(s)?
  • Is my home big enough for me and another tenant(s)?
  • Is the room I’m looking to let safe and fireproof?
  • Do I have an assured/lifetime or fixed term tenancy agreement?

If the answers are all yes, proceed to the next step.

Step two: Get our permission

Contact us and let us know you are interested in subletting. We will check if your home is suitable for subletting. Once you’ve received our permission you can proceed to the next step.

Step three: Advertise

Take some pictures of your spare room and home. Create an advert and post it:

  • on the spareroom website
  • in your local shop or community centre
  • on any social media sites you use
Step four: Do viewings

When someone who’s interested contacts you, make sure you:

  • arrange for them to view your home
  • talk to them and briefly get to know them 
  • make sure they’re a good fit for your home
Step five: Check their right to rent

If you’ve found someone suitable, you’ll need to check their:

  • Right to rent. Carry out a right to rent immigration check 
  • Character references. Ask for references from a previous landlord or employer
  • Financial status. Ask for proof that they can pay the rent (check payslips or bank statements)
Step six: Prepare a contract  

Once you’ve checked the above, you should prepare a written contract. This will make sure you have a legal agreement between you and your lodger. This should include:

  1. The agreed rent amounts
  2. How often rent should be paid
  3. How rent should be paid 
  4. What happens if they don’t pay rent
  5. Any share of household bills
  6. Any house rules
  7. How long they are staying with you
  8. A notice period if they want to leave

You will both need to sign and date the contract. 

Subletting safety tips

Here are a few safety tips for doing viewings of your home:

  • try to have a friend or relative with you 
  • if you’re alone, call or text someone before and after 
  • keep valuables locked away
  • make sure you ask lots of questions.

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust website has lots of further info about staying safe.

Will subletting affect my benefits?

If you’re currently receiving benefits, subletting may affect your:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (IB-JSA)
  • Income Support (IS)
  • Income Related Employment and Support Allowance (IR-ESA)
  • Pension Credit (PC)

If you receive more than £20 a week in rent, your benefits will be reduced. Universal credit will not be affected. 

Seeking advice about benefits

If you’re receiving benefits, it may be best to get individual advice. You can:

  1. Talk to our Benefits team if you need advice.
  2. Carry out a benefits check to see how subletting will affect you
  3. Speak to Citizens Advice 
Will subletting affect my council tax?

Your council tax may be affected by subletting. This depends on whether you currently have a Council Tax Reduction. If you live alone, you will lose your 25% single person discount. There are exceptions, for example if you are letting to a student.  

Find out more about council tax here

Will subletting affect my income tax?

If your rental income is less than £7,500 a year, you won’t have to pay tax it. You can also earn up to £1,000 in other property-related tax-free income. This might include renting a parking or storage space. Make sure you get our permission before subletting parking or storage. 

tenancy-subletting, hands passing keys over.