Hazel shares her experience of renting out a room in her home in Hackney, East London.
Hazel with her lodger, Phil
"I advertised for a lodger Monday to Friday, and after corresponding with a few interested parties, and one or two coming to see the room, I found Phil. He was what I was looking for - someone with a happy home life elsewhere who just needed somewhere to be during the working week which made me feel like the place is still basically mine. He is clean and sociable, without us living in each others pockets, and pays his rent on time.
Phil is in his 50's, currently operating one of those enormous cranes on the Thames link tunnel in London. The rest of the time he lives in Suffolk. After about 6 months, Phil became ill with cancer and left to have a big operation removing his oesophagus and half his stomach - due to the friendly relationship that existed, I even visited him when he was convalescing back home with his family.
The hospital said he'd need a year off to recover from major surgery, but the government knew better, and so Phil returned to work - and to my spare room! He was worried when his work changed to 6 shifts of 'days' followed by 3 days off, then 6 shifts of 'nights', but we've accommodated and 'nights' suits me fine as he doesn't hear the noise of appliances etc and I get the telly to myself all evening. (Not serious - he watches on his laptop if we clash anyway!)
Thank you for helping us to get our complimentary needs together - his for a place to sleep in town when working, and mine for a bit of extra cash (and now I've retired and am not with people all day, it's actually nice to have someone coming and going)."
Hazel benefits from plenty of demand for weekday lets amongst young professionals needing to be in the city for work, and what's more, much of her income from taking in a lodger is tax free! The Rent a Room Scheme allows you to earn £7,500 a year tax free from renting out a room in your own home.
To find out more about how to make renting out your spare room work for you, get your free lodger guide, from SpareRoom.