Renting out a spare room in your home can be a great way of earning extra income. Here are some useful guidelines for homeowners who are preparing to rent-a-room in their property.
HAVE A WRITTEN AGREEMENT
Though rent-a-room arrangements are not usually subject to the traditional regulations of a tenancy relationship, it is still important that both the homeowner and the lodger know where they stand. Things which should be agreed upon at the beginning of the residency include:
- The period of residency
- The amount of rent to be paid
- How often rent should be paid
- Whether or not utilities are included in the rent
- If utilities are not included, explain how the costs will be divided
- Whether or not guests are permitted
- What the policy on smoking should be
- If pets are allowed
By having a written agreement, disputes relating to these matters are less likely to occur and the arrangement will be much easier for all involved. As tenancies under the Rent-A-Room scheme are not required to be registered with the Residential Tenancies Board, any disputes will not be resolved through their services. It is therefore important to set out an agreement in writing that is signed and copies kept safe by each party. This may prove useful in the unfortunate event of a misunderstanding or dispute.
CHOOSE A RELIABLE LODGER
It is important to ensure that you feel safe with the person you are sharing a house with. As such, you should carefully vet potential tenants and choose the one you feel is most trustworthy and reliable. Have a list of questions prepared in advance to ask enquirers to ensure you are confident with your choice. Request references from employers and/or past landlords and contact them to get an idea of the person.
Even still, it may be a good idea to utilise safe deposit boxes for items of financial and sentimental value.
If you find the idea of sifting through enquiries, arranging and hosting viewings, contacting references, or writing up tenancy/license agreements to be overwhelming, Eldron can help. We can take care of the entire process, from preparing the room, to advertising, organising viewings, and getting an agreement signed. Contact us to book a consultation and we can talk through our service specific to your needs.
HAVE YOUR HOME IN GOOD ORDER
Though you are not legally obliged as a Rent-A-Room landlord for your property to comply to minimum standards, it is important that the property be attractive and pleasant to live in. Much like preparing an entire property for rent, you may want to consider freshening up the paint, and making sure your that home appliances are in good working order before you rent out a room. This will ensure that the living arrangements start off on the right foot, and the lodger will be satisfied with their situation.
If your home has a room with an en suite bathroom, consider the possibility of renting this one out. You will be able to earn more money for this private luxury, and tenants are more likely to be interested in your property.
If you are interested in becoming a rent-a-room landlord, have a look at our blog post for more information.
If you have a spare room in your house and are thinking of availing of the Rent-A-Room scheme, Eldron can help you find the perfect tenants. Book a free consultation with us to see if our service is right for you.