Renting out a Room in Your Home

If you are considering renting out a room, there are many factors you need to think about before you do.

First, you need to think about the reality of renting a room to someone you do not know. It may seem like a good idea to rent your spare room if you are trying to save money at home, but will you really feel comfortable sharing your home with someone you are not related to? Next, you will need to know if it is permitted by your state law and homeowners association (HOA) if you have one.

Once you have decided to rent out a room, you will need to find someone to rent it. The process of finding a tenant can be intimidating and overwhelming, but with enough preparation, you can ensure you rent a room out to the right person. Use the following information to learn more about renting out a room in your home safely. Once you know more about the various factors involved in the process, you will be ready to rent your room and make a little side money in the process.

Benefits of Renting a Room

There are many benefits that come from renting out a room, but there are also some drawbacks you should be aware of. First, you need to make sure you are legally allowed to rent out a room. You also need to consider the fact that you and your renter might be tripping over each other’s feet, especially if you have a small home. Additionally, you will want to do a background check on any serious potential renters. After all, you will be letting a stranger live with you.

Despite all the steps you have to take before you take in a tenant, however, you should know that there are many advantages to renting out a room in your home, such as:

  • Extra Income: This is usually the biggest incentive people have for renting out rooms. The extra income could make a huge difference to your life, whether you need to pay off debts, build home equity, save money or have more disposable income to spend on little luxuries. You could put the money toward paying off your mortgage.
  • New Friendship: If you live by yourself, you may feel lonely. If that is the case, renting out a room to someone you get along with can make a real difference. Whether the renter is someone who you have a brief chat with in the mornings or someone who you build a lasting friendship with, just having someone else in your home can ease your loneliness.
  • Security: By having someone else living in your home, you may be safer. It means there will be someone at home more often when you are out, so someone can be kept on the property. You may also feel safer by having someone else sleeping under your roof at night too, since there will be someone there to help during emergencies.

How to Find a Renter

There are many ways of finding a renter. You can use a rental agency to find people on your behalf, or you can place an advertisement in a local newspaper, in a local store or on the internet. The process of finding a renter is not just about finding someone who is willing to rent. It is about finding the right person. After all, you will be sharing your home with this person. Therefore, rather than just accepting the first person who shows an interest in the room, you make sure to do your due diligence when finding a roommate.

The best rule of thumb when looking for someone to live with is to use your intuition. Most people get a feeling as to whether they will get along with a new person they meet, so trust your gut. However, you still need to perform checks on that person before you give him or her the keys to your front door.

Before you start having potential renters coming to view your home, prepare some questions that you want to ask. Some of the better questions to ask include:

  • Where do you work?
  • Do you have pets?
  • What is your daily schedule like on weekdays and weekends?
  • Do you like to entertain often?
  • Do you have a significant other who may be spending time here?
  • Why did you leave your last living situation?

The most important thing is to know if the person is being genuine, so ask the potential roommate about his or her situation and double-check to verify the story is true. For instance, if the person tells you he or she is a student, ask to see a form of identification that can prove it. Asking for references is crucial. You also need to get the contact details of the person’s previous landlords, so you can call them for verification. Finally, if you have found someone who you think is ideal, do not sign a contract before you have run a credit check to check the potential tenant’s credit. You need to know the candidate can afford to pay the rent.

Follow the Rules

Before you start your search for a renter, you need to find out if you are allowed to rent out a room in your home. There are specific state laws concerning the matter, so be sure to check what the rules are for your area. Additionally, if you have a home with a homeowners association (HOA) or you live in an apartment building, condo or other property with rules attached, you need to know if the rules let you rent a room. Whether the HOA can restrict you renting a room depends on the specific association, but it is definitely within their power to do so. If your landlord or HOA has given you permission in writing and you are abiding by state laws, you will be able to rent out a room.

In many cities, you may have what is referred to as a “mother-in-law suite,” which is a type of self-contained addition built onto a home. These units often have their own kitchenettes and bathroom facilities. They are often rented out when they are no longer being used for family members. However, some cities or rural areas have rules governing the rental of such an addition due to zoning regulations. To find out if you are in compliance, you will need to contact the local county clerk’s office and inquire.

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