If you're a homeowner who finds yourself with plenty of extra space in your home, you might consider renting a room out to make extra income. College students and single people are commonly interested in room rental situations, but you might come across a small family that wants to rent from you. Before you finalize this arrangement, there are a few details to cover.
Examine the size of the room to assure it is large enough to accommodate all of the family members. Since an entire family will live in one room, you might consider allowing the family to rent the master or largest bedroom so that they adequate space.
Call your local town administration building to ask about zoning and occupancy rules. Ask if the local building code limits the number of people you can allow to rent the same room. Abide by the town's limit or you could be fined.
Furnish the room with bunk beds to maximize space (if you're promising a furnished space) and provide a separate full- to king-size bed for the parents. Add a dividing curtain to the room can give the family members (parents and kids) some level of privacy.
Attach a set of house rules to your lease with the family to clarify your expectations of the tenants. For instance, your list of house rules might include "no additional overnight guests," "parents responsible for cleaning up after children and themselves," and "do not allow children to wander through the house after a certain hour." Clarify which rooms of the house are accessible to the tenants, such as the laundry room, kitchen, and living room.
Set firm rules at lease signing regarding electricity and water use. For instance, ask each family member to limit his bathroom time to ten minutes each morning and turn off lights whenever they aren't in use. The amount of your monthly utility bills is one of your top concerns when renting a room to a family because the costs of supporting several people as opposed to just one in a room can become expensive.
Be sure to do a credit check on the heads of the family to discover if they have a history of evictions or a foreclosure. The final decision on whether to rent is up to you, but a previous eviction or bad credit could indicate that you'll have an issue getting on-time rental payments from the tenants.
- room image by Andrey Rakhmatullin from Fotolia.com