So now you have decided to rent out a room or an annex. What next? Since you would be sharing your premises with a tenant, it is important to be clear on what you want and to know as much as possible about the tenant to make an informed decision.
Use this as a checklist to ensure you find a proper tenant and keep your sanity intact while making sure rental income comes as planned.
1. Setting Boundaries
Prior to posting an ad, assess the boundaries you want to set. For e.g. how much the rent will be, the due date every month, utility payment arrangement such as whether there are separate meters or the proportion shared; other aspects such as common areas in the premises, cleaning, parking, etc. Convey these to the potential tenants at the first instance you can. Draw up a contract and never rely on a verbal agreement.
2. Background Check
Know who will be residing in the portion of your house you renting out. If possible do a background check to determine whether they are trustworthy individuals who will pay the rent on time. Evicting non-payers is a messy process. Make sure the details they give you are correct to avoid getting in to trouble in the future.
You might prefer quiet while the new tenant loves blaring music. You might dislike pets but they might bring one along. They may have friends or partners visiting often, which you might disapprove of. You might have to use communal bathrooms, which might be a problem if both have to hurry out to work in the morning. Work out these details in advance to determine whether the person moving in to the room or annex will cause inconveniences to you.
4. Rent Proofing the House
Prepare the house in advance to accommodate strangers. Add safety locks, segregate the areas to ensure privacy is safeguarded and keep valuable belongings locked away. Better to take precautions to make sure everyone enjoys a hassle-free accommodation arrangement.