Renting out a room


There are many perks of renting out a room in your home. Renting out a room could introduce you to interesting characters. You could meet backpackers who have explored the world and have fascinating stories to tell about their journey. Or students who have just had their first taste of freedom. The encounter could lead to lifelong friendships.

If you are in a financial rut, the additional income might come in handy.  The extra money gained can go towards the electricity/water bill, groceries or pay for your mortgage.


The cleaner and more attractive the room is, the more it will attract potential tenants. If your house could benefit from a few minor touch ups, then do so. Are the walls clean? Do the appliances in the room function properly? Do the light switches work? The room should be in the best possible condition. If the walls are washed out, consider painting them with fresh new colours that will brighten up the room. Remove any stains on the carpet by scrubbing them thoroughly.  The bathroom should also be squeaky clean. Protect your tenant from any health hazards, by removing any mould. All the utilities should be working and there should be no pipe leakages.


The advertisement should describe the type of person you are seeking. If you only prefer students as your tenants that should be mentioned. The ad can be placed on Gumtree, Facebook or in the local newspaper.

A few guidelines need to be set:

  • Are they allowed to bring friends for a sleepover?
  • Is there a specific time they have to be indoors?
  • Will the room include bed sets for example sheets and duvet covers?
  • Will it be okay for them to use certain appliances around the house? If you do not want them to use certain items it’s best to stipulate it in the contract.
  • How much rent must they pay?
  • Are they allowed to bring pets into your home?
  • Will you share the groceries with your new tenant? If so, how much must they contribute?
  • Do they need to pay extra for cleaning services?

Furnished bedroom

If the room you have available has furniture and appliances, like a television, the tenant should be charged more. University students and backpackers who will only spend a few months of the year renting out the room will benefit substantially from a fully furnished room.


An interview is crucial in order for you to get to know the prospective tenant better. It’s best to meet in a public space for your initial meeting. There is safety in numbers, so take a friend along with you. During the interview, try to find out if they are responsible. Living with a tenant who is irresponsible can be an utter nightmare. They might forget to lock the doors when they come back from a night out or destroy items on your property. Take the opportunity to discuss the rules and regulations of your house. Try to also get a feel of whether you’ll get on with the potential tenant.

Background check

Your safety and peace of mind is crucial. You need to make sure you do a thorough investigation on the potential tenant. If they have rented a room before, request for a reference. Their previous landlord can give you an insight into their behaviour. They can also let you know if the tenant paid their monthly rent on time. Ensure that you also find out if they have a criminal record. Ask them for their proof of registration or their employment contract. Make sure you have all the information so you can make an informed decision.

Personal safety

In order to ensure you have peace of mind whenever you leave the house, make sure all your valuables are securely locked. Put locks on all your doors.

Find the correct rent amount

If you overprice the room, you might lose out on tenants and end up with a vacant room. You need to take the time to research the fair market price. An extremely low price will not help you either, because you will lose on a potential income. Stipulate in your contract if there are extra charges for specific items, for example, you might decide to charge them extra for using the laundry machine.

Renting out a room can be beneficial in many ways. It could be a source of a second income, which will help you pay off bills. The prospective tenant needs to be checked before they sign that lease agreement. If your personalities clash it could make for an unbearable time. The tenant needs to sign on the contract that they agree with the terms and conditions stipulated.