Pitfalls of a 'carer' lodger - any thoughts

We are pondering offering a double room with en-suite at a low lodging rate (say £200 a month) for a student or professional person in a caring role or doing a caring course in exchange for being around on Sundays and maybe one weekend a month to provide meals and be available if my wife with MS needs help while I am out/away.
My wife is wheelchair bound but can just about toilet and wash, sometimes needs help with dressing when fatigued.
Has anyone experience of doing this, does it work, what are potential problems?
We are in Worcester.

Maybe a trainee nurse?

Old article from the Guardian on this :

I lived with an older person in return for cheap rent, but my chores quickly grew | Nicola Slawson | The Guardian

Plenty of schemes available through an Internet search … HOMESHARE.

Hi Martin,
I don’t have experience of this, but have been a lodger and also lived in a shared house in times gone by. It all depends on who you are sharing with.

I would go through a recognised scheme, like Homeshare, as Chris suggests https://homeshareuk.org/ as they will have experience of what makes a successful arrangement.

Let us know if you go ahead, it could help others.


One immediate thought … exchanging accomodation for labour … bartering ?

Be interesting to see the reaction of several Government agencies on this … HM Revenue & Customs ( Benefits in kind ? )
and the Department of Employment ( Potential employment law ) … two that immediately spring to mind.

Enter the DWP if either party are also claiming benefits / allowances.

Yes, there used to be a scheme like this in Worcester for students in a caring role, which gave me the idea, but it was discontinued a couple of years ago

HMRC - you are allowed to earn up to £7500 from a lodger before paying tax on it.
DWP - no issue as ‘income’ is not as the result of work (limited to £140 pw for carers benefit)
Department for Employment is the DWP.

If said arrangement is one of employee / employer , pretty straightforward.

If the minimum wage is payable , the £ 123 weekly limit ( From 6 April ) would soon be exceeded so as to remove
Carers Allowance from the equation.

Complications will arise if family members … with either claiming benefits / allowances … and if direct payments
enter the equation.

The link to Homeshare will , no doubt , clarify the legal position of all involved.

Trouble is all the various homeshare schemes don’t have anything specific to our our area AND most expect both the homeowner and sharer to pay the scheme. I’m struggling to find any accounts for them in the .gov database and suspect, like many pseudo-charities there are some well oiled executives up the top creaming off the disabled (as usual).
Anyway I’m hoping somebody will actually have experience and be able to offer more info.

The point is it is not an employer/employee arrangement

A case of … bartering ?

One for the legal eagles out there.

Even if the value of the ‘work’ in exchange for reduced rent were considered income it would probably be less than the total £7500 permitted for lodgers, and under the tax threshold for me anyway.
We don’t have any benefits that would be affected by this ‘income’
There is no contract of employment and none of the Homeshare companies consider it employment.

Always look on the bright side of life, don’t let the darkness drag you down!

Going off the point a bit but I remember a Meet David Sedaris episode in which he talked about looking after a disabled room mate at an American College in return for a discount on his fees. It sounded like a standard set up there.

My first concern would be how to ensure the carer is suitable before they moved in. It’s not like an agency that can just change the individual concerned.

Yeah, I think I’m a pretty good judge of character having interviewed a multitude of students and prospective employees over the years, my success rate was way above those of other managers and tons better than HR!
Should also mention that I do have son and daughter-in-law living in a caravan in the garden, the task of ‘carer’ will be very limited, only needed if nobody else around, it’s not a critical assignment.
Students might be good as if useless will move on year by year, whereas a mature person might be far more capable with more life skills.
Won’t know until we try it, but don’t really want to be paying £150 a month to an agency for ‘peace of mind’.
Could rent room for £400 a month and carry on employing local agency carers to call in 3 times a day whenever I’m away.