Renting out a room

To encourage people who own homes to rent out their spare rooms, the government has developed the rent a room scheme. Any income received under the scheme is tax free as long as:

  • You live in the same property as your lodger
  • The room you rent out is furnished
  • The rent you receive is not more than £4,250 per year (which works out at £81.73 a week for a year)

You can choose not to join the scheme and can pay tax on all the rent, and then claim certain expenses (such as agent’s fees, repairs and gas/water bills).

More information is available from Shelter and Housingplus.

Renting out your home

If you decide to rent out your home, you need to understand all of the responsibilities that you will take on as a landlord.  These include:

  • keeping your property in good repair and free from hazards
  • ensuring all electrical and gas appliances you supply are safely installed and maintained
  • providing an Energy Performance Certificate for the property
  • protected deposits in a government-approved scheme.

You may also need to get permission from your mortgage lender to use the property in this way. You should have a written contract between you and your tenant, which sets out the legal terms and conditions of the tenancy. 

More information is available from GOV.UK or Housingplus.

Financial assistance for landlords

The Housing Renewals Policy is currently under review and the only funding available at this time is a Vacant Homes Loan to assist owners of empty properties to bring them back into use in the private rented sector.

Under certain circumstances, the council may be able to offer Landlord Renewals Assistance – Tenanted Properties, where a tenanted property is in very poor condition and where there rent paid is significantly lower than market rent.  These are likely to be regulated tenancies where the tenancy started before 15 January 1989.

Landlord accreditation

The Cheshire Landlord Accreditation Scheme (CLAS) is a voluntary scheme developed by officers from Warrington, Cheshire East, and Cheshire West and Chester to ensure that landlord standards are consistent across the county.

Check out the CLAS code of standards. If you meet the criteria and are interested in joining the voluntary scheme, use our application forms.

Landlord support

Local support

The Landlord Forum provides an opportunity to spread awareness of the landlord’s legal obligations and good practice and for the council to engage with landlords on any related matters including policy changes.

The Landlord Forum started in January 2002 and meets twice a year at the Gateway, Sankey Street.  A landlord newsletter is also published twice a year and is circulated to landlords.

All landlords operating in the Warrington area are welcome to attend the landlord forum. Please contact the private sector housing team by calling 01925 248483 or email privatesector@warrington.gov.uk

National support

There are several private sector landlord associations that can assist and support landlords to comply with their legal requirements.

Legislation and legal information

There are considerable legal requirements for companies or individuals who choose to operate in the private rented sector. 

These requirements can relate to property conditions, rental agreements, tenancy deposit protection, and compliance with legislative requirements of furniture and gas and electric appliances are provided in the property.

You can find details of the legal requirements for landlords on the Gov website at gov.uk/renting-out-a-property

The council's Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy details our approach to enforcement in the private rented sector and how we deal with private landlords after receiving service requests from tenants about their living conditions.

Possible enforcement actions include:

  • Serving an improvement notice 
  • Making a prohibition order 
  • Emergency remedial action 
  • Serving a hazard awareness notice 
  • Serving a demolition order 
  • Declaring a clearance area

Redress

It is now a legal requirement for all lettings agents and property managers in England to belong to a Government approved redress scheme.

The approved schemes are:

You may get a fine of up to £5,000 if you breach the Order.