5 Tips for Renting Out a Room

 In Real Estate Articles

If you’re thinking that it might be beneficial to rent out a spare room in your home to cover expenses, there are several things you need to consider before committing to the idea. Most of the time, you’re going to be trusting a stranger with your property, sharing your space with them. Even if the tenant is a friend, things can go south quickly when money is concerned, so be aware of the situation. Here are several tips to make the room renting process as smooth as possible.

Know the Law
Before you get excited, check your local laws to be sure that it’s legal for you to rent out a room in your home. Each state has different laws regarding rent and the landlord-tenant relationship. Familiarize yourself with your state’s rental laws so that you’re on the right track legally before you start the process of opening your home to another person.

Plan Your Interviews
Think carefully about what questions you’d like to ask potential tenants, and write them down so that you have an outlined interview plan at your disposal. If you’re going to be sharing your home with another person, it’s wise to make sure that your personalities are compatible. Even if you don’t plan on seeing your roommate often due to different schedules, it’s better to live with someone that shares and understands your lifestyle. For example, if you’re extremely clean, you’re going to have a difficult time living with a messy roommate.

Consider a Background Check
Though your interview process might be stringent, it might be in your best interest to order a background check on your potential roommate. Even if you covered questions about arrests or credit issues, it’s very possible that you’ve been lied to. It’s better to look into a potential roommate’s background before you agree to have them in your home. That way, if anything comes up that was not disclosed before, you are not obligated to share your home with a person you don’t trust.

Have a Written Contract
If you have narrowed the list down to one person, write a contract before you allow the move-in to take place. Any financial agreements, house rules, or anything important should be included and clearly outlined in the contract. That way, the ground rules are set, and your roommate is fully aware of what is expected of this agreement. He or she can’t make claims about house rules or lack thereof if they’ve signed a written agreement. Be sure to include everything that might need to be verified.

Traditional Rent Applies
Asking for rent upfront is the best decision in these cases. First and last month’s rent is the standard move-in requirement. Have your payment either in hand or in the bank before allowing your roommate to move into your home. Allowing them to pay you “later” leaves too many doors open for something to go wrong. It’s best to start off on the right foot, drama-free and by the book.

Renting out a room in your home can be a pleasant experience if it is done right from the beginning. Research your legal rights, and let your potential roommates know the terms and agreements of living in your home before arguments can start. Protect yourself and your property, as well as possibly starting a mutually beneficial partnership along the way.

Let my team at Keystone Realtors meet all your real estate needs. I have over 14 years of experience in buying and selling in the Santa Clara and San Mateo County areas, specializing in the high-end, luxury market. Visit our website at http://www.paulphangureh.com/ for listings and information. You can contact me at 650-924-2544, or emailat [email protected].