How much should I charge for my room?
Setting an affordable and fair price for your room can be the difference between the length of time it takes to find you the ideal home-mate and someone who merely occupies a room. What makes a person compatible is a separate topic in itself but, in our experience, it goes beyond how much you respect each other’s attitude to cleanliness, noise and drugs/alcohol use and speaks to shared values and one's approach to life. I liken it to going on a holiday with a best friend, only to discover they leave their knickers and all their other clothes on the floor every time they get into bed or never volunteer to wash a plate or a cup. It’s the stuff that you often find out about when it’s too late that can make or break the relationship.
I’m not suggesting that it’s possible to find out everything about your prospective home-mate before they move in but it’s certainly easier when you’ve given yourself enough time and thought about what kind of person you’re seeking and set the budget at an affordable price in order that your choice is not limited solely to the one person who is in a position to pay a higher-than-market-rate price.
Set the rent too high and you may find yourself with someone that, while able to pay it in the short-term, may not stick around or may have expectations that don’t meet your own. On the other hand, setting a more affordable and attractive rent can mean you are in a better position to find someone with whom you gel and becomes a real friend.
For some older Silver Sharers, having someone around who can help out with chores, walk the dog or be there for security reasons, holds equal importance to finding someone who is only there for financial reasons. In such instances, charging a smaller amount with the proviso that the renter commits to providing a set number of hours a week may be the ideal solution. My experience is that the more accommodating and clear you both are, the easier it is to find the right person. You can even think about setting this out in your lodger's agreement so that there's no hidden surprises on both sides.
In general London prices for a room tend to start at £400/month (perhaps with some home help involved or in Zone 3) up to around £1000 which would assume sole use of a bathroom, sometimes kitchen and a large living area in Zone 2. Generally, the closer to Central London and the bigger the space in which the lodger has sole occupancy, the higher the price.
Renters prefer rooms with as little of the owner’s personality stamped upon them. You’re setting up a person with a home, not temporary accommodation. It’s unlikely that anyone is going to care or wants to pay extra for a designer wardrobe or Egyptian cotton sheets on the bed.
If you need any help with setting the price of your room, send us a message and we’re happy to help. We want to help you create a harmonious household.