The most common unexpected benefit of taking in a lodger is something we touched on in our last email: friendship.
We get thousands of emails from SpareRoom users telling us about their experiences. Probably one of the most commonly used phrases amongst them is ‘friends for life’. There have been bridesmaids, best men and women and (while we’re on the marriage theme) we’ve had a surprising number of SpareRoom weddings. I should stress at this point that one of our golden rules for choosing a lodger is not to select one you’re attracted to, but romance can spring from unexpected places!
That’s not to say you should expect to become best of friends, or feel like the arrangement has been a failure if you’re not. There’s a very comfortable middle ground that many lodgers and landlords occupy, where both get on with and respect each other, have the occasional conversation or meal together but otherwise get on with their own lives.
Another great benefit that doesn’t always occur to people is security. Have you ever gone away for the weekend or on holiday and wondered which light you should leave on so it looks like someone’s home? With a lodger chances are there will always be one of you at home. Unless, of course, you’re one of the ‘friends for life’ ones who goes on holiday with their lodger (as several SpareRoom users have reported!). If you have a pet then your lodger may well be happy to take care of feeding duties whenever you’re away.
There are many other weird and wonderful benefits we’ve heard about. For instance, several people have taken in lodgers from overseas and learned a new language. You never know what skills, talents and interests your lodger may have. Some landlords had their laptops fixed, gardens manicured, dogs walked and even driveways cleared of snow by their lodger.
Of course the money is the reason why most people take in a lodger, but nobody said there had to be just one upside.