JulioSeda_C

Julio Seda Highlands Real Estate

When you are considering to rent out a room in your home it is to your advantage to hire a Realtor who specializes in renting and leasing property in your community. Your Realtor shall guide you on the bells and whistles your city and county requires, if any.

The fact that it is a room inside the house you own and live in, it is not exempt from regular home renting terms and conditions. You become a landlord, the same as if you’re renting a separate unit, home, apartment not attached to the home you live.

Renting a room in your living homestead property can be good income. Be sure to structure and handle it in a fair, legal way between you and the tenant. This will prevent and control misunderstandings especially since the rented space is inside the landlord’s home and kitchen, family room, entrance garage and it is shared space.

Some homes have in-law quarters with a separate entrance, bathroom, kitchenette or a bedroom inside with its own bathroom plus kitchen access or not. Regardless of the space, realize you have a person living with you sharing common areas, meaning allow a reasonable time for both parties to adjust, and that there will be times of getting along wonderfully and times where people will be getting on each other nerves.

Remember that renting out a room is different than subletting, which happens when you are renting a place you don’t own, but rent your space to someone else, while still being responsible for rent to the landlord.

Renting out a room in the property you own and live is a different situation, which is more of a landlord/tenant relationship than two renters together. Your Realtor can guide you with the municipalities’ rules and restrictions about renting rooms in homes, so make sure your desire to rent out unused space will keep you compliant with the local law.

There are a number of conditions that might affect whether or not you can even rent out space in your home. Your city or town might also have zoning laws that prevent residents from renting to people who are unrelated to them without a license or permit. There could also be restrictions on the number of unrelated people to whom a homeowner can rent.

In some cases, there might be conditions to renting out a room in your home, such as if your city requires unique, independent outdoor access for any rental space inside a home. In some municipalities, you might need to get an inspection completed in the room before you can rent it out. Make sure your unused space is in compliance with whatever regulations govern your area.

Ideally, your unused space is a habitable place with proper heating, electric and plumbing system in place. You can’t deny your tenant roommate the use of a bathroom, so make sure you specify which one “belongs” to the tenant. Your tenant also has a right to privacy, so you may want to consider installing a lock on the bedroom door, keep a copy of the key and be specific that the lock is not to be changed.

Many people looking to rent a room are seeking one that is furnished. If you decide to provide the room for rent as furnished, make sure you take a careful inventory and both complete a walk through inspection before signing the lease agreement. You can take pictures of the furniture, walls, carpet and so forth so you both have a visual record of the condition of the room before occupancy.

You can set up specific criteria for who you will consider, just as you would if renting an entire property. When selecting a roommate, Federal Fair Housing laws allows some exceptions to the traditional protected classes. What this means is that when it comes to renting out a room in your own home, advertising for a tenant roommate and choosing one have certain conditions and exceptions attached.

Federal Fair Housing laws don’t allow anyone to use discriminatory language when advertising for a tenant or tenant roommate. However, you can include a preference for the sex of the roommate in your ad. In other words, if you are a female, you can advertise for a female tenant, but can’t include any other qualifiers in the ad.

When it comes to making the decision about which applicant to choose to live in your home, however, new court rulings have opened the door to allow homeowners and tenants seeking roommates to choose based on their own personal criteria, even if it is discriminatory.

Recently, the 9th circuit court held that applying a nondiscrimination requirement to a homeowner or tenant’s roommate selection would be a serious invasion of privacy. When selecting a roommate, therefore, the anti-discrimination provisions of the FHA don’t apply. You can be free to choose your new roommate, even by discrimination, because of the shared space factor.

Because selecting a roommate increases personal risk and affects an owner’s quality of life, the court allows more particular reasons for selection. If you were selling or renting an entire unit separate from your own living space, nondiscrimination laws would, of course, apply.

One thing to ask for in a room rental/roommate situation is to get references for previous roommates if the applicant is willing. It’s easier to find out what a person is like from a former living partner than to ask the landlord, who probably won’t know what that person is like in the day-to-day.

Owning a condo does have a complete different set of rules and regulations due to your homeowners association, which can prohibits additional occupants who aren’t family members and have a maximum to occupy the unit, based on the square footage. Be sure to ask for the amendments on renting a room in your unit.

Remember there are Realtors who cater to residential rentals and who can assist you with the management giving you the owner and landlord, peace of mind.

To submit questions, comments or topics, call Julio Seda at 786-991-8235 or email 0532315@gmail.com.

Photos:

JULIO SEDA

TODAY’S REAL ESTATE

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