Private landlords

Renting part of your home

You are a resident landlord if you rent out part of a property which is your only or main home.

Resident landlords range from someone taking a lodger into their family home to someone sharing certain common areas with the tenant but otherwise living separate lives. Although you do not need to register with us if you have more than two lodgers, you need to get a house in multiple occupation license.

Resident landlords and their tenants have certain rights and responsibilities. Tenants generally have common law tenancies if they share facilities such as the kitchen and bathroom with the landlord. Although they have fewer rights, a court order is required to evict them if they don’t want to leave. Shelter Scotland’s information on sharing with your landlord explains tenant’s rights, responsibilities and ending tenancies. They also provide a model lodger agreement.

If you are thinking of renting out a room in your house, there are a few things you need to do. You can get more information on taking in a lodger from the Shelter Scotland website.

Important points include:

  • If you are a home owner, check your mortgage agreement to see if you need permission from your lender to take in a lodger
  • If you are a tenant you will generally need to get your landlord’s permission to sub-let. Highland Council tenants must ask for permission
  • If you receive benefits, they may be affected. It is important to let the relevant benefits services know as soon as you start receiving rent. If you don't, you may have to pay back any money that you weren't entitled to
  • You must let the Council Tax Team know of any changes to your households. Remember you can charge your tenant for their share of the Council Tax bill
  • The Government’s Rent a Room scheme lets you earn some tax-free income from letting out furnished accommodation in your only or family home
  • Make sure you have the right contents insurance. You need to tell your insurer that your circumstances have changed

You can also find a lodger and get advice on sites such as