Preparing to Rent Out a Room in Your House

So you have a spare room that doesn’t seem to be doing anything other than collecting dust. It’s almost pointless having it there as it is right now, so you may as well look into doing something about it.

Instead of trying to force yourself to use the room, why not try renting it out instead? Not only will the room finally have a purpose, but you will also be making a little extra money on the side.

If you’re leaning towards that decision, you need to ensure the room is up to the standards that tenants will require. Follow these steps and you should be ready in no time.

Check The Law

The conditions you must follow for renting a room out will differ depending on which state you are in. Some will prevent you from renting out a room to anybody other than a relative, whereas others will be much more lax. Just make sure that you have a secure legal footing and know exactly what you can and can’t do before getting too far into the process.

Pick The Room

If you have the opportunity, it is important to make sure you select the right room to rent out. Any room that has an en-suite bathroom is always going to command a higher rent than one without, as many tenants will feel uncomfortable sharing a bathroom with everyone else in the house. Consider what each room offers in terms of space and amenities before making a decision.

Prepare Your House

Having a tenant occupy a room does still come with some risks, so you need to make sure that you are prepared. Ensure any valuables are securely locked away and you don’t tell the tenant where they are. It is also wise to place locks on all of your doors, both so the tenant can’t go snooping in your bedroom when you are out and also to ensure everyone in the house, including the tenant, has their privacy.

How Much To Charge

Deciding how much to charge is another important factor. If you ask for too much you will put people off, but too little and you aren’t getting what you deserve. Consider the following factors and remember to speak to an estate agent if you are unsure:

• How close is the house to malls, the city centre and other areas of high demand?

• What extra amenities does the room offer.

• The average rent for similar properties in your area.

• The size of the home itself.

House Rules

Your tenant is obviously paying you for the privilege, but at the end of the day this is still your house. Make sure you draft a set of house rules that your tenant is aware of before signing the tenancy agreement. Be sure to make a copy for them and enforce them when they are broken. If you don’t, you may find some tenants will just run all over you and end up leaving the room in a terrible state.