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Renting Out Your Spare Room? Here's a Guide That Helps

No need to lose hope if you want to become a landlord but don’t have a rental property - you can rent out a spare room in your home. Yes, this also makes you a true landlord.

In today’s post, let’s talk about what renting out spare rooms mean, their benefits, and helpful success tips.

What does it mean to rent out a room?

This kind of scenario is common to individuals who have unused rooms in their house. You can rent out any type of room. It can be your baby’s room, small space, or a room with a kitchen. What’s great about renting out vacant rooms is that you earn extra cash.

Because you’ll be having one or more people living with you, you need to be prepared for possible challenges. Tenants who break the rules, create noise, or accidentally damage anything in your house will stress you out. It will seem like renting out rooms is a bad idea after all - but it shouldn’t be that case.

As a responsible landlord, make sure to check state and local county laws first. That way, you proceed legally and avoid running into any trouble.

Benefits of renting out a room

The most obvious advantage of doing this is the opportunity to make money. Some landlords who need additional sources of income to pay down their mortgage finds renting out their rooms an appealing option. Luke, a landlord who rented out his rooms, said that he was able to live in his house for free. 

It’s also a nice thing to meet new people, socialize, and easily get help when you need some. These advantages are attainable if you attract good tenants. Start by doing a proper screening process (a thorough background check).

Success tips you should know

Decide which rooms you want to rent out.

How much do you expect to earn? Would you want a tenant’s room to be farther from yours? Do you prefer staying on a different floor (if you have two or three-storey house)? These are some of the things to consider when choosing a room to rent out. Rooms with a toilet or kitchen area allow you to charge a bit more.

Be careful about what you disclose.

When you interview a prospective tenant, avoid sharing too much about your home and personal life. You could share details that might attract people with bad intentions. For example, be wary of saying that you live alone and mentioning valuables. As always, investigate a person’s background. Check his or her credit report, employment history, and previous rental experience.

Suggested reading: 3 Ways to Screen Potential Tenants

Set clear house rules.

Eliminate the possibility of confusion right from the start by being clear with your expectations. You’ll want to tackle cleanliness, bringing guests, noise, bathroom access, and the use of your appliances and furniture. On the topic of pets, please note that some tenants with disabilities have assistance animals with them. Refer to my post on Assistance Animals and Your Obligations as a Landlord.

Use a lease agreement.

Written agreements are always the best because they clearly outline your obligations and those of your tenants. They also help in cases of lawsuits. You use a different rental agreement when you rent out a room versus a house. The difference is in the details - sharing of utilities, payment method, acceptable behaviors or habits, etc. 

Final Thoughts

Whether or not you should rent out an unused space in your home depends on you. It requires extra patience on your part but comes with financial advantages. Will you rent out your spare rooms today? 

Want to be a successful landlord?

Finally, I offer you the opportunity to take a complete DIY landlording course: Landlord Prep: Video E-Course and How-To Tutorials. Everything you need to know to become not just a landlord, but a successful landlord, is here.