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Paying BnB Guests not Lodgers affects entitlement of Housing Benefit

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Hi i am self employed on a low income and claiming Housing Benefit on a 1 bed (2 room) flat in an inner london brma.

I have been renting one of the rooms out to a lodger on a permanent basis and receiving the 2 bed rate minus income deductions from the lodger.

I would like to begin renting the room occupied by my lodger on a less permanent basis, to paying BnB visitors for weekend.

 

Is this possible and what would be what is the best way to go about this without creating a change of circumstances every weekend that I have a paying visitor?

 

All i can find is that there isn't any distinction at all in the regulations between a lodger and a temporary BnB guest

- a 'lodger' is defined as 'someone who is liable to pay you or your partner rent, on a commercial basis, to live in your home'.

 

There's no clarification on what 'to live in your home' means, and this means that it's quite possible that any paying weekend guest will be treated the same as any other lodger, and this may potentially mean that I have to notify the council of a change in circumstances frequently.

 

Could i incorporate the business' under my self employed umbrella that does not interfere with my award which would be single occupancy with 1 bed LHA.?

 

Would really appreciate any concrete info please. Thanks in advance.

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interesting thanks!

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If I recall correctly, there is definitely a distinction in Housing Benefit that says it has be the lodgers "Main Home". As it would not be a temporary paying guests "Main Home", perhaps there a chance I wouldn't need to declare/notify of the short visit and only declare the income with my self employed? Declaring a BnB would be something I'd want to totally avoid though also it seems.

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Well running a B&B would be classed as a business.....if you opted for it to be a legit business ?


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That doesn't concern me too much from a Benefits point of view, as there is still part of the home that I occupy, live, sleep in that isn't used for the business. Its more this bit i hadn't thought about..

 

"by declaring your self a B&B you may be required to join the tourist board, have inspections made, carry out fire risk assessments, third party insurance etc"

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“1 bed (2 room) flat”, “one of the rooms”, “2 bed rate”, “1 bed LHA”.

 

I’m confused. Is it one bed or two?

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1 bedroom flat. 2 seperate rooms, classically a living room and a bedroom. But this is zone 2 london where single room living is extremely common due to prices :(

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"by declaring your self a B&B you may be required to join the tourist board, have inspections made, carry out fire risk assessments, third party insurance etc"

 

Well thats the legal requirement to ensure your guests are safe..Im sure you wouldn't want to be responsible for any potential dangers and put your guests at risk?


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From the web...

 

Turning your home into a bed and breakfast is both simple and complex. On the one hand a small B&B won’t need the same sort of infrastructure a large hotel would but on the other you can’t simply open your doors to the paying public without making some changes.

 

From the legal requirements for starting a bed and breakfast to the things you don’t need to cover but really should, here is a short list of some of the changes you will need to make if you are setting up a bed and breakfast in your home.

 

Kitchen hygiene

 

An outbreak of food poisoning could be an end to your B&B dream, so hygiene in the kitchen is a priority. The Food Standards Agency will class your B&B as a fully-fledged ‘food business’ too.

 

Your local Environmental Health office should be your first port of call but the basic equipment you’ll need will include colour-coded chopping boards, a food hygiene diary and a qualification in food hygiene. The latter can be done simply and cheaply online, so don’t get too hung up on the need to study and sit an exam!

 

You’ll be inspected and given a star rating that must be displayed in your front window.

 

Fire regulations

 

Fire regulations are mostly a matter of commonsense but a few of them still caught us out. As an example, we had to reinforce the bedroom doors to form a more resilient barrier and to help slow the spread of fire: your local fire officer will be able to help identify what needs doing in your home.

 

We also had to add locks that could be opened from the inside without having to use a key and a plan that shows our visitors what to do if they smell smoke, see a fire, or hear the fire alarm.

 

You’ll also need to do a fire risk assessment to work out what sort of fire extinguishers you’ll need and where you’ll need to put them. The same goes for the number and location of smoke and fire alarms and fire blankets.

 

Someone from your local fire brigade will then inspect your house and certify you for a period of time. We get inspected every two years and while I’m not saying it’s a pleasure, it is never as grim as we think it will be.

 

Emergency lighting

 

If, God forbid, you do have a fire then you might lose your electricity and hence your lighting. We found some clever torches that you leave plugged into the mains to keep them charged and if the power is lost they light up.

 

You might find another solution but you will need something. You’ll also probably need some way of showing them where the fire exits are. Again, your fire officer will be able to help you plan an escape route.

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"by declaring your self a B&B you may be required to join the tourist board, have inspections made, carry out fire risk assessments, third party insurance etc"

 

Well thats the legal requirement to ensure your guests are safe..Im sure you wouldn't want to be responsible for any potential dangers and put your guests at risk?

 

it doesn't strike me that all of those are immediately related to safety, but yes i would ensure safety etc met the standards of the hosting service used to source the guests.

Edited by jems97656

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... but yes i would ensure safety etc met the standards of the hosting service used to source the guests.

 

By which you no doubt mean you will comply with legislation...

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OK this is all great info around the legalities of the BnB thanks guys. I know about rent a room scheme, tax etc and will definitely be reading through all of safety regs etc.

 

Now does anyone know how a "Visiting Paying Guest" who does not use the room as their "Main Home" affects entitlement to Housing Benefit as appose to a "Lodger" who does use the room as their "Main Home" ? Not in an income sense etc but in a Circumstances sense. This is my main query.

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Why not ask your LA? They’ll be able to tell you exactly what you can and can’t do and then you’ll have concrete info from the horse’s mouth...

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You obviously don't know my LA! I have posted the question to Shelter and LA both see it is as grey area. In the past I have found LA and CAB not as useful as Rightsnet and such discussion boards. From research and a few forum posts it seems there are a couple of ways it could be interpreted.

 

I was hoping there would be some experts on here to discuss with. I would post on Rightsnet but I am sadly not an advisor! :)

Edited by jems97656

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I think your scheme may make you liable for Business Rates?

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Yes, i see your point,

though I'd rather not think of it as a "scheme" if you please.

 

As I said I am currently self employed, on a low income.

 

I already have a permanent live in lodger, this is perfectly allowed, and encouraged if you can't make the full rent.

 

I just want to make my life a bit easier by not having someone there all of the time but still making enough to get by and meet my full rent as the max LHA rate your receive for the area is £80 pw below current average rentals in the area.

 

It is no my idea of enterprise or a scheme to kip down in one room with a stranger bobbing around in order to make ends meet.

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be aware that if your status of self employment is not 'running the BnB' but some other trade

you could be on sticky grounds....

 

are you 'sole trader' with regard to the BnB?

 

if so

I've seen two differing LA's treat things in 2 differing ways...

 

dx


..

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So yes, it would be a separate sole trader self employment.

 

Please do tell! :)

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who owns your flat? Many leases forbid this.

If you are a tenant you can bet your botton dollar the tenancy forbids it.

 

If you are allowed by the tenancy then you will have to register it as a BnB with the LA and you will be paying business rates on the property and only renting at weekends will make no difference.

 

Also you have to consider things like fire regs ,

a second TV licence for the room

whether the food hygiene people want you to alter your kitchen to fit in with their safety standards and so on.

 

You really havent thought this through properly, have you?

 

Stick to having a lodger and no hassle

councils go though AirBNB to see if people are abusing their properties or arent declaring income in cases like yours.

Edited by honeybee13
Paras

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You really havent thought this through properly, have you?

 

 

And you havn't read through properly have you? As i keep reiterating, i'm only looking for how the LHA entitlement is affected by the circumstance in such a case.

 

a second TV licence for the room

 

why is watching TV in 2018 in an airbnb room in central London!

 

It seems some of you guys don't get the original intended vibe of international room surfing . Remind me not to give out party invites on here :)

Edited by jems97656

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whoever edited [removed] for "why" can you please change it back.. it should be [removed] not why ..

 

[removed]

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post above edited

please read our forum rules....

 

dx


..

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you repeat that you are only looking for advice on how your benefits will be affected

- well the asnswer lies in all of the other bits you dont want to hear about.

 

As said, you havent thought this through and people are not here to help you break the law and we dont want to be giving advice to you as a homeless person in 6 months time because you are either too ignorant or too arrogant to consider the pitfalls of your plans.

 

To answer you question about the HB aspect,

the council may determine what your income is from this venture and it is for you to prove that they are wrong so they WILL say that you are earning £99k a year from this and you will have to produce proper certified accounts that show otherwise.

 

Your tax return wont suffice and the appeals process still requires you to provide all of the information and permissions as outlined, will take at least 9 months and you wont get a penny until the matter is settled at a tribunal. If you lose the tribunal that stops you from applying for HB for another 6 months after that. Been there so know it is so

 

Obviously any other benefits or allowances you get will be affected in the same manner as well.

Edited by dx100uk
spacing

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