I own 45% of a part-ownership flat, shared with a large well-known housing association here in London, UK.

I pay a mortgage to my lender for the 45% and rent the rest from the housing association. In the contract it specifically states that I cannot let the whole flat or any room to anyone. I was wondering what penalty I would be risking if I were to take on a lodger for my spare room?

I understand why this kind of limitation is in place, but would I be at risk of losing my home or mortgage if I were caught, or would I more likely just be given a slap on the wrists and told not to do this again?

Many thanks for any insights!

  • In general, a penalty, fine, etc., is not a waiver of a policy, unless explicitly stated, (e.g., pet policies). Commented Aug 14, 2019 at 5:25

1 Answer 1


As the housing association is a co-owner, and has the larger share, you can't legally take in a lodger without their permission.

However, what you might be missing is, you can't legally take in a lodger without the permission of your mortgage lender as well.

Lastly, you also need to talk with your insurance holder and get their agreement (insurance adjustment) as well.

The worst case scenario if you proceed to take a lodger without permission is foreclosure and you don't want that.

You might have gotten away with a lodger under the table, but having notified the housing association of your intentions / desires to take a lodger, they are now more prone to keeping an eye on you.

In your situation, I would not take in a lodger, without negotiating and getting a written consent from all relevant parties.

  • "but having notified the housing association of your intentions" - where do you read that in the OP. Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 14:12
  • I also observe you said "foreclosure" which makes me think you are in the US rather than UK (where the normal term is "repossession"). Are you sure you can't take in a lodger without permission from the mortgage lender? I don't remember those terms in my mortgages. (Sub-letting, yes; but not lodgers.) Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 14:15
  • This may be the only answer, but I am not convinced it is accurate. Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 14:16
  • 1) I'm pretty sure when I answered this the OP had mention some discussion around this with the HA. 2) Based entirely in the UK. 3) The default rules are to ask for permission if you allow anyone else to live in the property with you / instead of you for long term arrangements. This includes sub-letting and lodgers and even a girlfriend. The contract should address this in detail and you should follow whatever is written there. 4) It may not be, but I've answered to my best knowledge :)
    – AudreyW
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 8:47

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