Many people who want a little extra income consider renting out a spare room they have in their house.
However, it is important for prospective landlords like you to understand what you may get yourself into before accepting your first potential tenant.
Keep a professional boundary
U.S. News discusses some of the important things to keep in mind when renting out a room. First and foremost, remember that these relationships are business relationships by nature. This means do not treat a tenant like a friend. Do not let them know where you keep valuables, and do not let them know every entrance point to the house.
Vet your potential residents
Related, pay for background checks. Some people do not want to dish out the expense, but this is a person you will share your living space with. Surely you want to know about their financial history, potential criminal record, past evictions and more.
Interview all tenants, too. Someone who seems like a good fit on paper may turn out incompatible in real life. For example, say a person has a great credit score and history of making timely payments. However, they are a smoker and you run a smoke-free property.
Know local housing laws
Finally, make sure you know the local housing laws in your area. First of all, not every state even allows a person to rent out a room in their home. Second, tenants have rights even within someone else’s home, and you need to make sure you abide by them. If you end up violating their rights, you could end up on the wrong side of the law.