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The Rent-a-Room Scheme

The Rent-a-Room scheme is designed for hosts and people with a spare room or even two or more spare rooms. The more space you have, the more you can earn.

 

This is a UK government promoted scheme that has been in place since 2019.  The UK government is involved because they will not tax you on up to £7,500 of any earnings from the scheme and, for some participants, they will not even require a tax declaration through self-assessment.  

This is something you should consider if:

  • you are hosts who have had a Ukrainian guest for a while and you are finding the arrangement works for you

  • you are house owners or tenants with a spare room(s)

  • you are a bed and breakfast business

 

Why is the scheme helpful?

There is a challenging private accommodation market.  Individual houses are hard to find and the cost is often greater than the Housing Benefits that many displaced people will rely upon. This scheme can free up additional accommodation that might not otherwise be available.

The Rent-a-Room scheme encourages home owners and tenants to rent out spare accommodation, with earnings of up to £625 per month tax free. The room(s) can be paid for through Housing Benefit because the scheme is eligible for this.

The scheme is low on administration. 

 

If you want to start the scheme all you need to do is:

  1. Read about the scheme here

  2. Prepare your room(s)

  3. Set a rent and decide what is included

  4. Advertise your room - or contact Love Ukraine or NFDC

  5. Download the Rent a Room Template Agreement 

  6. Declare your tax, if is is above £7500 p.a., within the time limit

How can you advertise your offer of a Room for Rent?

If your offer is for your current guest(s) then start a conversation with them as soon as you can.  You do not need to wait for a 6 month or 12 month Homes for Ukraine period to end.  You can move from the Homes for Ukraine scheme to the Rent a Room scheme at any time once your guests have arrived in the UK. Our comparison sheet should help you and your guest understand the differences between the schemes.

To advertise more widely, groups like ours have contact with guests from Ukraine and if you would like to make an offer of a room, then we can circulate it.  This first contact could just be your contact number and town or village and you can then arrange to meet a guest and take it forward.  However, to help guests sift through the offers some details of room size(s), furnishings and use of house facilities would be helpful as well as a little about your own circumstances and the location, access to transport etc.  You can register your accommodation with us using this registration form

You can earn more than £7500 p.a. from this scheme, however, this will be subject to tax and you should obtain tax advice. 

The rent a room scheme is not for you if your accommodation is:

  • not part of your main home when you let it

  • not furnished

  • is divided into flats

  • used as an office or for any business - you can use the scheme if your lodger works in your home in the evening or at weekends or is a student who is provided with study facilities

  • in your UK home and is let while you live abroad

The information above was correct at the time of writing. Tax rules can change, so please check the government advice for the latest rules and obtain specific financial and tax advice according to your circumstances.

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