Lodger agreement: licence to rent a room
Use this lodger agreement to rent a room in your home to one or more people. This agreement creates a licence to use the property, with far fewer legal requirements for the landlord than a lease or a tenancy agreement.
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About this lodger agreement
This document grants permission to one or more people to occupy a room in your home under the terms agreed.
There is no requirement to have a formal written legal agreement with your lodger, but having one clarifies what the lodger can expect in the arrangement, and provides a reference point should any dispute occur in the future.
Whether you’re renting a room to a friend for a month or two, or wanting a long term lodger, there are practical and legal advantages of having the rental terms in writing.
The law relating to this document
In legal terminology, this document is called "a licence to occupy" and gives a lodger permission to live in a property without creating a tenancy.
If you are taking a lodger in as a flat or house mate, this is the document you should use. We recommend granting a licence on a short-term basis (less than 12 months) and renewing it when it expires.
When to use this licence
This lodger agreement would most commonly be used in the following circumstances:
- A property owner renting out a spare bedroom (to a stranger, a friend, or a couple)
- A student owner landlord renting spare rooms in a property to other students
It is suitable for any type of property: flats or houses, and can be used to let more than one room in the same property. You can reuse it for subsequent lodgers.
You can also use this agreement to sub-let a room if you rent under a tenancy agreement (subject to your tenancy agreement allowing sub-letting) and subject to someone on the original tenancy agreement still living at the address.
The document is not suitable if:
- The lodger will run a business from the property
- The lodger will occupy the whole property and the landlord lives elsewhere
- The lodger will only live in the property on a part time basis (use a part time lodger agreement)
Some helpful and practical pointers for lodger agreements
Mentioned in the help notes to this document (along with others) are the following pointers:
- Taking a deposit (a bond) can be done (and is covered in this agreement) but we advise that if you can avoid doing so, you should. A court may see a deposit as pointing toward this arrangement being a tenancy.
- Work in to your agreement the right for you to enter the room rented to your lodger at any time. Although this needs to be done discretely, avoiding giving the lodger exclusive occupation of the property helps identify your arrangement as a licence rather than a tenancy.
- Living with a lodger can be less pleasant once you’ve given him or her notice. Consider a short term. The expectation of a short arrangement will make giving notice easier (e.g. you can mention that you don’t plan to renew, rather than that you want your lodger to leave).
Agreement features and contents
- Includes sensible, practical provisions to protect the landlord’s interests
- Full description of the property and the services that the lodger should expect to receive
- All likely provisions for restrictions on what the lodger may do in the property
- Rent period and amount
This document was written by a solicitor for Net Lawman. It complies with current South Africa law.
What other customers thought
Average customer rating
By Cheryl Ferguson 29 March 2017
Payment and download simple and efficient. Contract straightforward, easy to understand and edit. Had one small query which was addressed promptly. Will be happy to use this website again.
By Raymond Gertzen 22 August 2016
This website is, in itself, an excellent service provider. In stead of having to visit a lawyer for legal guidance with this kind of agreement, a form which is legally accurate and correct (on the internet) is wonderful. The form is very detailed and all possible scenarios are catered for. Editing the form is made a breeze since it in the MS Word-format. I will definitely recommend this website to friends, family and colleagues.
By Elma Fourie 04 July 2016
Found it self explanatory with regard to why to use the lodger agreement instead of a tennant agreement in terms of SA law. Was easy to edit and personalise. It was a very convenient manner in which to access a legal document fast and easy and this website really comes highly recommended - not only the document.
By Hedda Kaeding 10 January 2017
Thank you very much, the contract was good enough for the very demanding embassy of South Africa in the Netherlands, which is a big compliment! I needed a legal proof of residence for the whole period of my studies.
By Wayne Sinclair 08 June 2015
Process to pay and download document was straightforward and painless.
I did not give it a five star because the price I paid was R133.68, but the advertised price was less than this (I cannot remember exactly, but it may have been R99)
I urgently needed the document, so I paid the higher amount, but this discrepancy will stop me from buying from this site in future, since the advetised price may not be the actual price :)
Net Lawman responds 02 July 2015
So sorry, Wayne, this is a constant problem for our clients in South Africa. The difference is the conversion charge by your own bank. These charges are sometimes 5% and sometimes more. We have never before seen 33%.
By Liezl Hugo 04 November 2013
The document covered the main aspects that needed to be included without being over complicated. Furthermore it contained some helpful tips. I would definitely consider using Net Lawman for other documents.
"The website is great, the access easy, documents professional. All very smart. Immediately got a good impression of Net Lawman."Hendrik J Pfaff, CFA, Stellenbosch, South Africa
"Very useful and practical for start-ups and entrepreneurs."Purple Cow Ventures
"The document was extremely useful and I shall certainly use your service again."Colin Poole