Zurich: Lodgers costs Brits millions

24 November 2005
Taking a lodger to help pay off your mortgage may seem like a good idea, but millions of Brits have learned otherwise, says Zurich.

Almost one in five British homeowners have suffered expensive damage to their home because of careless lodgers, says the home insurer.

However, many Brits simply cannot resist the prospect of an extra income to help with mortgage payments, even though 18 per cent of homeowners say they could not take advantage of the extra cash because of late rent.

Maria Donald, spokesperson for Zurich, said: "Property prices and the cost of living mean that many homeowners are feeling the pinch.

"Bringing a lodger in seems like the perfect way to earn a bit of extra cash if you've got a spare room, but as this research shows, it does need some careful thought and planning beforehand."

The home insurer found many homeowners are careless about who they allow to lodge at their homes and three-quarters admitted that they did not check out their lodger's background.

Zurich has launched a checklist to help homeowners pick the perfect lodger.

The tips include checking out your prospective lodger's rental history and signing a written agreement to avoid problems in the future.

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