Back to Square One

My lodger has moved on.

Just my luck – I’ve had two full months of pay from my ‘proper’ job, and three months’ worth of rent from the lodger, and I was just beginning to think I could relax a little. Silly me.

And now I need to decide whether to go looking for another one.

On the one hand – £595 a month is good.

On the other hand – there are costs. I wasn’t, of course, actually making £595 a month in profit.

The costs included –

  • Losing my 25% single person discount on the Council Tax
  • Sky Multi-room
  • Gas Certificate as a landlord
  • Extra heating – when I might be happy to just wear thicker socks and another jumper, the heating had to go on for the lodger
  • Extra water – showers, washing, loo
  • Extra electric – I always hang my washing outside, or round a radiator overnight, before I use the tumble dryer – but if the lodger wants to put the load straight from the washer to the dryer, I can’t really stop them
  • General wear and tear

And there are other downsides to having a lodger.

  • Just having another person in the house
  • I couldn’t mooch around in my PJs, and I certainly couldn’t scurry from the bathroom to the bedroom wearing nothing at all!
  • Worrying that if I can’t sleep at night and put the TV on, it’ll disturb them
  • Leaving them on their own in the house if I’m away

But there are benefits too, apart from the money.

  • Just having another person in the house
  • Coming home in the dark and seeing a light on
  • Someone to have a chat with
  • Someone who would offer to make a cup of tea
  • Someone who could feed the cat if I was away

I reckon I was probably making £400 a month clear profit, after all the additional expenditure is taken into account. So – is there anything else I could do to make up the shortfall? Although, of course, it would have to be more than £400 a month – rental income under £7500 pa is tax free and if I was earning money from any other source it would be taxed. So basically I need to make £500 a month before tax to make up for not having a lodger.

I could look at reducing my outgoings even further –

  • Cancel the window cleaner
  • Reduce my gas and electric usage even further
  • Reduce my water usage even further
  • Gas servicing (going back to being a ‘normal’ person rather than a landlord)
  • Sky – get rid of multi-room
  • Reduce the food budget further – no takeaways, no alcohol, no meals out, no coffees out
  • No hair cuts
  • No clothes

It’s do-able – but it’ll be pretty miserable. Cold and miserable.

Or a challenge, depending on how you look at it.

Also – it would only save about £200 a month max – so there would still be a shortfall.

I have a few bits and bobs that I’ve been meaning to put on ebay – and they might even make £400 – but that would only happen once. It only solves the problem for one month!

A friend does AirBnB, which might be another option. My hours at work are very unpredictable, so that could make things complicated – but it’s worth looking into. After all, I have the space!!

I’ve also been approached by SisterStay, a network of women offering accommodation to women. That could bring in a bit of money too – but the unpredictable hours would still be an issue.

Or – I could just advertise for another lodger. I think I’m unlikely to get one before Christmas now, but it costs nothing to advertise, and you never know.

Lots to think about.

……….

And I’ve thought about it.

Time to find a new lodger.

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12 Comments Add yours

  1. gosforthgirl says:

    Hiya,

    I’ve had ‘guests’ for about 5 years now and your thoughts summarize the predicaments that we think about in sharing our homes.

    After trying different avenues, theatre digs, long stay and short stay etc, I now prefer Monday to Friday stays.

    It means I have the weekend to myself and also because my home is not their ‘permanent’ home I keep my single person status for council tax. ( Different councils have different criteria but worth exploring)

    Spare Room is a great site and free…!

    Also you might like to investigate Lakeland ‘s heated airers which I’ve bought 2nd hand on Ebay. They solve the problem of getting washing dry and cost 6p an hour to run.

    I bought two for my sons and their families and they’re fantastic.

    Lidl sell oil portable heaters which are very user friendly too.

    I’m sure you’ll find someone very soon.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think taking all in all, a lodger is a Good Thing. This is a big house, and it needs to be able to pay towards its own upkeep!! I use Spare Room – no complaints!! Didn’t know that about Mon-Fri people, definitely worth looking in to!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sarah says:

        A friend of mine used to have 2 Monday to Friday lets in her previous house. She found it worked well as she was getting money in but still felt the house was hers.

        My BIL rented a room 3 nights a week as he had relocated offices saved him a long commute daily.

        Like

  2. anglosvizzera says:

    Yes, a predicament indeed – and the suggestion of Monday-Friday only might be a compromise too, depending on where you live of course. At least you’d have a regular income from a lodger rather than the variability of Airbnb etc, so that’s probably a great advantage.

    Great idea from Gosforthgirl about the heated airers – my washing’s currently outside in the gloom – it’s not actually raining but the air is probably full of moisture – and is not likely to dry much, if at all. It’s a pain having sheets and duvet covers hanging around in the spare room and, like you, we usually put on more and more layers of clothing before turning the heating on! We try to aim for about one-one and a half hours twice a day to ‘take the chill off’. (My mother was from the north, so I guess I’ve inherited her frugality as well as tolerance to the cold!)

    And the oil-filled radiator might also be an option for the lodger, assuming they remember to turn it off when they go out…but will save your having to switch all the heating on just for them.

    Good luck! There may be people looking for accommodation even at this time of year, so don’t let that put you off.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He had a fan heater. I think anyone looking for accommodation at this time of the year is likely to be serious about needing somewhere, so that’s a plus!!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. gosforthgirl says:

    Just an extra thought. I have my appliances and CH checked every year but don’t have a gas certificate because I’m living in the property.

    Unless it is a separate dwelling I didn’t think you had to have a gas certificate but please let me know if I’m wrong!

    Like

    1. My understanding was that you absolutely had to have one, even as a live-in landperson! Happy to be proved wrong!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. SisterStay says:

    Ouch! £595/mth down hurts. Thanks for mentioning SisterStay. Although you’d earn £30 a night, you’re unlikely to make £400/mth on a regular basis. We’re more of a friendly travelling community than a full-time lodger provider. You can still use us as Guest though … while your new lodger minds the cat. Good luck with finding one. It is lovely to come home to a house with a light on … and preferably dinner on too!

    Like

    1. No stone unturned – I know SisterStay isn’t about the money, but every little helps!! My unpredictable hours make things complicated. I’ve had an enquiry about the attic since I posted this, so fingers crossed!!

      Like

  5. Sarah – I think Monday to Friday lets are like the Golden Ticket!! But to be honest, with me working shifts including Saturdays and Sundays, it isn’t really that much of an issue!!

    Like

  6. gosforthgirl says:

    Hi. Have a look at the advanced search on Spare Room re Monday to Friday option or maybe post your own post.

    I found someone recently who advertised. I emailed him once the Early Bird period was over.

    Fingers tightly crossed re the new lead!

    Like

    1. Thanks Gosforthgirl!! Because I work shifts, weekends aren’t particularly special for me, so not too worried either way. My Early Bird period will be up in a couple of days, so we’ll see!!

      Like

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