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3 Ways You Should Prepare before Renting out a Spare Room

With housing becoming a major crisis in the US, renting out a room in your home can help bring in some additional income for you, while helping out someone who may just need a roof over their head. Before renting out a room in your home, however, there are definitely some things you should consider and some steps you should take. Here are 3 things to do before renting out a room in your home.

Set Some Ground Rules

When you rent out a room in your home, you need to figure out what other parts of your home you do and do not want to share. For instance, you need to make arrangements for kitchen use and if they need to share a bathroom, arrangements need to be made for that in advance as well. If you need the house to be quiet after a certain time, that should also be laid out in advance. Sharing expectations before a renter moves in can help you avoid a number of headaches down the road.

Make Sure Everything Is in Good Working Order

Renters have a right to have certain expectations met regarding the condition of the home. Before you rent out a room in your home, it’s a good idea to have all of your major systems checked and call for proper maintenance. This can include anything from plumbing repair to air conditioning services. The last thing you want is for your AC, heat or hot water tank to give out with a renter in your home. You also need to make sure the room you are renting is clean and free of any bugs or pests. If you are renting a room that is part of an addition or remodel, you also need to ensure it was finished with proper permits.

Research the Financials

Renting out a room is not pure income. It costs additional money to have another person living in your home. Make sure that what you are charging is fair and that they understand all of the financial arrangements up front. If you have a family of 5 and they discover you are asking them to pay half the utilities, things could get ugly. Being honest, fair and upfront about all financial transactions will go a long way towards making your experience a pleasant one.

Renting a room in your home can be a benefit to both parties. You never know, the person you rent to may be a great cook, a musician or a world traveler with an endless array of entertaining stories. Like all experiences in life, doing plenty of preparation in advance will often carry you safely through a wide range of circumstances.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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