Housing Options Guide-3

3. Private rented housing

This section tells you about:

Private rented sector 

The private rented sector is becoming more popular and there are a variety of types of accommodation available including furnished and unfurnished properties, bedsits, and family homes. In Moray, the private rented sector is quite small.  

Most private landlords only have one or two properties to rent and use many different methods to advertise when they have an empty property.  There is no single place that potential tenants can access this information, but often they have to use a variety of methods.

To view more information click 

Rent a room scheme

Sharing or renting a room has become more popular as more people struggle to afford private let accommodation or a mortgage.  From the landlords point of view it helps to pay the rent or mortgage.  As a lodger you may be able to secure an improved property if it’s the landlord’s home as well as yours and it is often cheaper than renting your own place.  By sharing it is often possible to live in a better area than you could afford otherwise.

HS223 Rent-a-Room Scheme(2018) update 6 April 2019

The Rent-a-Room Scheme allows owner occupiers and tenants to receive tax-free rental income if you provide furnished accommodation in your only or main home.

For the tax year 2017 to 2018 the annual Rent-a-Room limit is £7500.  This reduces to £3,750 if someone else receives income from letting accommodation in the same property, such as a joint owner.  The limit is the same even if you let accommodation for less than 12 months.

This is due to a government scheme called Rent a Room designed to encourage people to take in lodgers.

What you have to do:

  • You let out a room or part of your main property (it can be a whole floor but not a self-contained flat)
  •  It must be furnished (unfurnished rooms do not qualify)
  • You don’t have to be a home owner.  If you have your landlord’s consent you can take advantage of the scheme as a tenant.
  • If you don’t normally fill out a tax return and the income is below £7,500 (around £625 per month) you don’t even have to do anything, the exemption is automatic.  If the amount you earn is above, just let the tax office know.
  • If you usually fill out a tax return, first consider whether you are better off in the scheme or not.  Under the scheme you can’t claim expenses for wear and tear, insurance etc. so you may be better off out of the scheme.  If you spend more on decorating a room and keeping it in order than you make you’ll make a loss and not be liable for any tax.

More details of room sharing, the rent a room scheme and taking in a lodger can be found by clicking the following links:

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