Pros and Cons of Renting out a Room in Your Home | My Move

Pros and Cons of Renting out a Room in Your Home

Author: Dave Goodboy

Who's not looking to make some extra cash? Whether you need additional income to help pay the mortgage, buy a few luxuries, or take a much needed vacation, a little extra cash can go a long way to make life easier. One of the most obvious, effective and popular ways to create an extra cash flow is by renting out a room to a short- or long-term tenant. Consider the primary pros and cons to renting out a room in your home so that you can make an intelligent decision whether or not to take the plunge.

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The Pros to Renting Out a Room in Your Home

Extra Income. First and foremost, the extra income generated is the primary pro to renting out a room. Talk to a local real estate agent to help determine the best rent to ask for the room. Also consider the size and amenities included in the rental before setting the price. For example, if the room has a kitchenette and its own bathroom, the rent will be higher than if it's simply a bedroom. In addition, if it happens to have its own entrance to the outside, it will demand a higher price than a room that forces the tenant to pass through your living space when entering or exiting.

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House-Sitting. The next benefit to renting out a room is having someone else look after your property when you are not home. While, of course, this only applies to a good tenant whom you trust, the peace of mind knowing that someone is at home when you are not can be quite comforting.

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Work/Rent Exchanges. In addition, in exchange for a small rent concession, many room renters are more than willing to take on small odd jobs around your property. This can include dog walking, feeding, cutting the grass, shoveling snow, weeding, painting, cleaning and many other routine maintenance items. Just be certain that your tenant is aware and accepting of a rent concession/work exchange arrangement.

The Cons to Renting Out a Room in Your Home

Loss of Privacy. The primary con to renting out a room is the loss of privacy. Remember, even if they have their own entrance, your tenant will likely need to share your kitchen, bathroom and laundry facilities. If you treasure your privacy, perhaps renting out a room is not a wise choice.

Bad Tenants. Next is the possibility of renting out a room to a nightmare tenant—one that seems to be great on paper, but once moved into the room becomes very difficult to put up with. This could be anything from loud snoring, bad smells and even simple sloppiness. It is critical that the new tenant is screened in the traditional ways, like pulling a credit report and calling references, and that you truly consider what it will be like to live in close proximity to this person. If you have any doubts, it's best to move onto the next tenant. It's due to this reason that it's best to have a month-to-month lease with the new tenant. Tenants often like month-to-month leases, also, since it's easier for them to move on short notice.

Remember to always check the local ordinances and laws prior to renting out a room in your home. Some jurisdictions may frown upon the practice and the last things homeowners need are possible fines and problems from the authorities. Tenants can be found in a variety of ways. Checking CraigsList.com and airbnb.com can be good ways to start finding a quality tenant.

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