If you have a spare room in your home and are thinking of renting it out as a way to earn some extra cash, don't jump the gun too quickly. There are some matters you will want to check on first to ensure that what you are doing is legal in your jurisdiction and that you aren't setting yourself up for problems down the road.
Is the bedroom in the basement or an attic?
In many areas, it is illegal to rent out a bedroom in the attic or basement of a home. If yours falls into this category, then check with the housing authority in your city or county to see whether you can legally rent it. Some areas will allow such a rental if there is a second fire exit, smoke alarms, or other provisions. However, don't be surprised if you find out that your spare basement or attic bedroom cannot legally be rented out even with modifications.
Do you have the proper fire safety measures in place?
Regardless of what floor your spare bedroom is found on, most municipalities have some sort of
Do you need to register your home as a multiple dwelling?
In most jurisdictions, even if you are only renting out one bedroom, you will need to register your home as a multiple dwelling prior to doing so. If you fail to register, and you have an issue with a tenant that results in you going to court, your case may not even qualify to be heard by a judge since the tenant would then be considered an illegal tenant. Paying the fee to register as a multiple dwelling is well worth it, since it grants you this protection.
Do you have a formal lease agreement drawn up?
A formal lease protects both you and your tenant. You can find many examples of leases online and modify one to suit your needs. It's always a good idea to have a real estate attorney look over the lease for you to ensure all of the terms are reasonable and legal. Most attorneys offer this service for a reasonable one-time fee.
Once you address the issues on this list, you're ready to find a tenant for your spare bedroom. Enjoy the extra income -- and company!Share
19 November 2015
Stop -Don't sign that! I was unfortunate to learn the hard way that real estate documents should never be signed without a real estate lawyer looking over them. It took nearly two years to undo the damage that was done when I took a few minutes to read and sign a contract to purchase a piece of land. If you are looking to buy land, talk with a real estate attorney. This attorney should always read any contracts or documents that you are presented regarding the property you are purchasing. Find out what could happen if you fail to have a professional read over those documents here on my blog.