It feels empty to have a spare room in the house that no one uses now. The best way to put that space into some use and make some money is to rent out that room online. It may not look effortless for the first-timers, and you may have your fair share of concerns about security and privacy. Renting out a room in your house to a stranger might not be safe, and you may need to do a lot of homework before renting out a room. You can’t rent a room to anyone who comes first, so we curated a guide to help you rent out a room in your house.
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Here are some simple steps you can follow to rent out a room in your house:
1. Read about Local Laws
Some states have specific restrictions about renting out rooms. You may wish to visit the city office and read about the local laws and landlord rights. Knowing these would save you from hefty fines and a lot of hassles later.
2. Set an Estimated Rent
Setting an estimated rent is a crucial step as you need to analyze the place and research the average rent in the neighborhood where you live. You may wish to set it a little higher than you expect and be open to negotiating. Ensure that you also know your lowest possible (based on the market standards) not to end up charging way too less. You could do a quick Google search about the average rent trends and set an amount that would be a fair price while listing rooms for rent of your property online.
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3. Frame a Listing
A well-framed listing would help attract suitable applications in a short time. While you plan to post a room for rent, framing a good quality is a crucial task. Make sure you keep it concise and crisp while mentioning all the necessary details about the rental. You may also add any filters or criteria for the tenants; after all, it is your space and house. If you don’t wish to rent out a room to a smoker or a drinker, you can mention such vital criteria in the listings to get only relevant applications.
4. Shortlist and Interview
After you post a room for rent, you would probably start getting many applications from interested tenants. Reading all those profiles and applications might be a hectic task. Since many roommate finders provide an in-app messaging service, you may wish to chat with them to shortlist potential tenants. After you have shortlisted the potential tenants, move ahead to interview each of them in person. You might face confusion about what questions to ask— however, no worries. We got you covered! Here are some questions you may ask your potential tenants during the interview.
- Where do you live currently?
- Why are you moving in?
- What do you do for a living?
- What is your monthly/annual income?
- Where do you work?
- Have you ever been evicted?
- Can you show some references?
- When do you plan to move in?
These questions would help you select the perfect roommate/tenant quite easily. Also, do ensure that you don’t forget to discuss the rent and security deposit before renting out a room to them.
5. Perform a Background Check
A background check can save you from an unfortunate event. Running a background check on a tenant is crucial as they will be living in the same house as yours. Nowadays, many roommate finders online run background checks on applicants by charging a nominal fee. Make sure you cross-check their story and double-check their government-issued IDs.
6. Prepare the room and Redecorate
You might consider changing the decor of the room you plan to rent out. Changing the decor to something neutral or minimal would help the tenant to make small changes they wish to make. Add layered and light-colored curtains and blinds to block the sunlight when not need. You may even want to vacant some space in the common room and clean out the closet. You may even change the wall color and fix any repairs wherever needed. You may even add some indoor plants to make the place look welcoming.
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Renting out rooms in your home is a time-consuming task. If you are a first-timer, make sure you only use a trusted roommate finder while looking for tenants. Trusted roommate finders have verified users and hence save you from spam and frauds. Also, while you post a room for rent, make sure that you don’t reveal any personal information in the listings. Similarly, if you wish to add some pictures to the listing, ensure that they don’t disclose sensitive information like personal address, building name, or landmark.