You may decide to rent out rooms in your house because you need the extra cash. Or maybe you just want to have a few companions in your home. There are many people looking for affordable accommodation, such as students, backpackers and interns, so you won’t have trouble finding tenants. But the problem is finding quality people to live in your house.
Renting out rooms in your home to a few tenants can be tricky because you’re trying to cater for different personalities. You could have the loud extrovert, the quiet bookworm and the constant complainer all under one roof. And you have to figure out a way to keep them all happy. The tenants you pick have to be respectful of one another. A person who wants to blast music loudly after 9pm can make life difficult for the others.
Here’s what you need to know about renting out your space.
Know your tenant
Before you let someone into your home you might want to screen them first to make sure you’ll be able to share your house with them. Treat your home like any other business. Employers don’t just hire people on the spot, they take the time to do interviews and background checks on potential employees. They do it so they can find out if the person they’re interviewing will be a perfect fit for the company. And there’s no reason why you shouldn’t do the same when you allow someone into your home.
Employers even go through a candidate’s social media. You can do the same by looking at their Facebook account to see if it’s someone you could tolerate living with. For example, you may want to set a quiet, tranquil tone for your home but by viewing their Facebook page you can tell they’re a party animal and might bring the party home. Tenants may be the lifeblood of the landlording business but it doesn’t mean you should just allow anyone into your home.
Meet them in a public space so you can test the waters to figure out if you’ll get along or not. And also ask essential questions. For example, they may tell you they’ve had five addresses in the past two years, ask them the reason for this. If it wasn’t a life or death situation, this should set off alarm bells. Because if they can’t be settled in one place, it could indicate they were a handful to their past landlords.
Don’t give too much information
When you interview your potential tenant, make sure you don’t overshare. Be careful not to give out critical information when you’re in conversation with them. For example, don’t let it slip that you leave your key under the front doormat of your house. You could live to regret it because they could be a criminal.
Take a stand
If your tenant has a habit of paying rent late, you may need to have a talk with them. They could be going through a hard financial time or they’re just lazy.
If you have tenants in the house, they could be careless with items around your home. Whether they break your mugs or ruin your furniture, it could cost you. You may need to repair your furniture and appliances frequently when you have tenants living in your house.
Establish boundaries from the get-go. When you allow a person to rent a room in your house they need to be informed of what they’re allowed to use and what’s off limits. For example, you could decide on sharing groceries or that certain appliances are not to be used by them.
Make a few changes in the rooms and add appliances so you can attract potential tenants. The more beautiful and tidy the room looks, the more you’ll have potential tenants queuing up to rent one of the rooms. You should make preparations in your home before you show the room. Scrub the floors, remove clutter and paint over washed out walls.
Make sure that the rent you ask for is fair. Do market research to find the right amount to charge your tenant.
Renting out a room might make good financial sense, but you need to make sure you run a check on the potential tenant. All that glitters isn’t always gold. They may seem amazing over a few shared emails but are a nightmare in person. Ensure you meet up in person because this is the person you’ll share the kitchen, bathroom and lounge suite with and if you don’t get along with them, it could be a match made in hell.