Have a room to rent? Use it to bring in extra income!
Renting out a room in your home is not something that most of us consider when we are brainstorming ideas for bringing in extra income, and it is certainly not for everyone. However, if you have the right set up and the temperament for it, it can be quite lucrative - earning you thousands of dollars a year.
If you do decide that you want to try renting out a room, here are some tips to follow and
things that you should consider before setting out to rent your room:
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- Get help from a local organization if there is one in your area. Go to the Web site
NationalSharedHousing.org to find an
organization in your community that specializes in matching renters with homeowners.
- Screen renters thoroughly. If there isn't a shared housing organization in your community, you
can advertise on your own, but you must carefully screen each candidate who contacts you.
If you have a family member or friend who can help, it's nice to have a second opinion
during the screening and interviewing process.
- Consider renting out a room on a temporary basis at first to see if it is an arrangement that
suits you and your situation for a longer term.
- Before you actively seek a tenant, think about the type of person you are willing to rent to and
outline the house rules. This way, when someone contacts you with questions you will be prepared to answer
- Check for local regulations or legal requirements for renting rooms in your area.
- Make sure your home and its contents are sufficiently insured.
- Before you pay to advertise your room to rent, try to find a renter through word of mouth. It
is surprising how many people know someone who knows someone who is looking for somewhere to stay, and
you may find someone simply by telling people you know that you have a room to rent.
- If you find that you need to advertise, try free websites. There are online websites that
will post rental advertisements for free. A couple to consider are:
Easy Roommate .
- Make sure that when you are checking out prospective renters you always ask for references
and CHECK THEM! If you are going to share your home with someone, you need to know that they are trustworthy!
References should include one from their current employer and one from a former landlord.
- Prepare a written contract. Be sure that the contract covers:
- The amount of rent
- When the rent is due
- The penalty or consequence for late payments
- What forms of payment are acceptable
- The procedure for termination of the contract including how much notice is required
- What is included in the rent (utilities? phone line? use of the kitchen?)
- The policy for damages incurred by the tenant
- Before you rent the room, be sure the contract is signed and dated by both you and the tenant.
- Prepare the room by making sure it is clean and suitably furnished.
- Make sure that the room has a working smoke detector with a new battery.