How do I prepare to lease a room in my house?
Check these legal requirements and landlord responsibilities off your list to set yourself up for success.
1. Ensure your house is up to code.
Research the property codes that apply in your area. Get a professional home inspection to help identify the renovations your home may need before you can turn it into a rental property. Consider making any upgrades that would appeal to tenants.
2. Know the rights of both a landlord and a tenant.
3. Obtain landlord insurance.
Housing authorities may require you to purchase landlord insurance
. In some cases, you may be able to upgrade your home insurance policy to account for tenants.
4. Create a Rental Application and vet tenants.
5. Sign a Rental Agreement with the tenant.
Whether you’re renting a full basement suite or just a room in your house, having a valid contract protects both you and your tenant in the event of a dispute. Create a Residential Lease Agreement
to document the terms and conditions of the living arrangement.
If you’ll be living with the tenant and wish to address details on shared spaces and house rules, create a Roommate Agreement
as well. This contract covers things like chores, quiet times, and rules for parties or gatherings.
6. Keep accurate records.
Use a Rental Inspection Report
to document the condition of the rental property before a tenant moves in (and after they move out). An inspection helps determine who is responsible for any needed repairs.
Use a Rental Receipt
to keep a record of your tenant’s payment history, and remember to claim your expenses and income when filing your taxes each year.