How to Safely Rent Out Your Extra Space

So you have some vacant rooms in your house or apartment, great! Most people just use these extra rooms as storage spaces where everything simply collects dust and is forgotten for all eternity. Some, however, utilize these empty spaces and turn them into easy money by renting them out to other people. But, before you start inviting strangers into your home, make sure to first read this list of how to safely rent out your extra space.

How to let people know you have room for rent.

Try posting ads on Craigslist, Airbnb, or your local newspaper ads. Be specific in your description. Let people exactly what they should expect: how big the room is, does it have its own bathroom, how many windows there are, is it well-lit and ventilated, etc. It’s also a good idea to let people know how near or far is your place to bus stops, train stations, airports, or other interesting places.

Always ask for an interview in person.

Don’t settle with just talking to your would-be boarder on the phone or text. Take the time to meet them face-to-face. It’ll give you a good chance to get the know the person a little bit better, so you can gauge on what kind person they are and of you are going to get along. After all, you’ll be sharing the same place with this person, so it’s probably a good idea if you’re pretty much at ease with them.

Be ready to negotiate.

Before you accept anyone as a boarder, make sure to set some expectations, like how you two are going to split the bills, is he or she responsible for certain chores, and how much and how often do you need them to pay for rent. Don’t get carried away with casual conversations during your interview. Remember, it’s your responsibility to make everything crystal clear before you accept anyone into your home. Though, if you disagree on some terms, leave some room for compromise, but only to the point where you’re still comfortable with your agreement.

Prepare a contract.

Always, always, always put every agreement down on paper. Never settle for a handshake or a verbal acknowledgment. Have the two of you sign the contract where everything you agreed on is spelled out. Don’t forget to include things like how much the rent is each month, when you should expect payment, what happens when something breaks, and other technicalities.