Renting a room to a lodger can help you make ends meet during tough economic times and also give someone a roof over their heads. Lodgers can also benefit by just renting out a room, without the extra expense of forking over money for a whole house. It is important to get the relationship right straightaway so that the arrangement works. How can you respect your lodger’s privacy?
It’s Your Home, but It’s Their Room
Even if you start off on the right foot, it is easy to go wrong early on in your landlord/lodger relationship, especially if you fail to respect boundaries and your lodger’s privacy. Remember that even though you may own the property you are living in, once you let a lodger move into your home, their room is theirs to sleep in, read, surf the Internet or a place of refuse where they can just get away from it all when they need some time alone.
You do not have the right to barge into your lodger’s room, as this is an invasion of their privacy. If you need to get your lodger’s attention while they are home, knock on the door and wait to be admitted if you need to talk to them. The same goes for barging in to change the sheets or vacuum. The responsibility for keeping the room clean falls on your lodger.
Don’t Eat Your Lodger’s Food!
Are you down to the last slice of bread? Or are you almost out of milk? It can be tempting to reach over to your lodger’s food supply and to help yourself when you are low on supplies, but you should resist the urge to do so. Even when you plan to replace food by the end of the day, it is still stealing, unless you have an open agreement with your lodger that allows you to borrow items if you are running low on supplies. Do the right thing and stay well away from your lodger’s food and stock up on your own food supplies.
Handling Your Lodger’s Mail
The risk of mail theft has many worried about the possibility of identity theft. Have an agreement in place at the very beginning of your tenancy agreement that covers all the basics, including more mundane issues such as the mail. Do not handle your lodger’s mail unless they agree to it, as they may feel as if you are snooping into their private affairs.
If you want to maintain a good relationship with your lodger, start off as you mean to go on and always be considerate of your lodger’s privacy. Even though your lodger is living in your home, they still have a right to have their privacy respected.