Tips for Renting Out a Room in Your House
Some landlords would rent rooms in their house instead of the whole unit. If you currently stay in your house but has some vacant rooms, it would be an advantage for you to rent those vacant spaces for some additional income. Renting rooms instead of the whole house can be more profitable because you are charging per room which could cost more than renting the whole unit.
It is advisable that you check with your state and local county laws for compliance. Here are some tips you can use to prepare before renting out.
Prepare The House
Decide which rooms you will rent out and clean the clutters. You might need to do general cleaning of your entire house so tenants will feel that it’s a suitable place to live. Check if there are personal belongings in each room and keep them in a safe place or move them to your own room. You may want to rearrange things to make rooms spacious and organized. Not only the rooms should look presentable to tenants but also your entire house. Potential renters would want to check your place first so make sure everything looks neat and clean before marketing your place.
Put proper locks in each room. Smart Key locks are preferable. Make sure there’s proper heating, plumbing and electrical systems are in working order. Safety and security of your tenants should also be considered.
Set a Rental Price
To determine a reasonable charge for your monthly rent, check the average rent in your area. You can check Rentometer.com to see how much you can ask for rent based on your zip code. This way you won’t overcharge nor undercharge your tenants.
Take Quality Photos
Take great photos of each room and ensure there’s bright lighting so photos will look appealing to your potential tenants. It should be clutter free and organized when you take photos. You can use photo editing software but don’t over filter to set expectations of your tenants. Photos are very important to draw possible tenants to rent your place. You need to get as many interested applicants as possible before choosing the best ones.
Advertise Your Room
Now that you have cleaned your rooms and have taken quality photos, it’s time to show them off to those looking to rent. Publish your ad on your social network, spread the word to your friends or in other venues. Craigslist is a very popular site to advertise your rentals. As soon as you get inquiries from applicants, you can gather their information on a spreadsheet and contact them once you have enough applicants. You can also organize an open house and invite your applicants or you may just interview them one by one either through a phone call or in person.
Write an appealing description. If your place is near schools, malls, hospitals, recreation centers, etc., you can also add it to your description to entice applicants to rent. Make your advertisement appealing. A good description and attractive photos of your rooms make a great deal to encourage potential renters.
Conduct A Background Check
Screen applicants by asking basic questions first then you can select from a pool of applicants which ones you want to interview further until you choose the right tenants. Investigate further by checking credit scores, criminal background, proof of payment and feedback from previous landlords. You need to ask these questions for your security and safety. We can’t just rent out to anyone. We have to make sure they can pay and that they are harmless individuals.
Set Your Rules
As a landlord and owner of the property, since you are only renting the rooms, means it is a shared space with everyone in the house. You need to set limitations especially when it comes to your privacy. If you occupy the room upstairs and your tenants downstairs, you can inform them they are not allowed to occupy nor roam around the areas upstairs for privacy concerns. Let your tenants know which appliances they are allowed to use and if you have more than 1 bathroom, tell them which ones they can use.
If you are keen to pets, inform your tenants ahead of time that pets are not allowed. Smoking, inviting friends too often can also be disturbing. You have the right not to allow smokers and warn them of causing noise in the area.
Prepare A Lease Agreement
All your rules should be put into writing and need to be signed by the tenant as a clear agreement that the tenant understood and agreed to what is written on the contract. Here is an example of a lease agreement.
The agreement should contain the essential parts such as monthly rent, due date, utilities to pay, rules about sharing common areas, and all other concerns.
Renting out your rooms doesn’t need to be a terrifying decision. As long as you are prepared and knows the boundaries between your space and the tenants, things should work out fine. Carefully select your tenants to avoid future conflict. This will even be beneficial for you to earn more and to have somebody living with you if you’re single.