Whether you want to help a college student with housing or you enjoy being around young people or you want to supplement your income, renting our a room in your home is a great way to make some extra money.
Call your local college and put your name on the list for potential tenants. Be prepared to answer questions like deposit, rent, curfew and whether their is kitchen or laundry facilities that can be used.
Place an ad on craigslist.com and also search for ads on craigslist.com and roomster.com. Check other advertisements for rooms in private homes to get an idea of average prices. When you advertise make it clear that you are renting out a room in your private home and this is not a roommate situation. Outline some of the rules so that you will only get calls from students that are willing to follow your rules.
Consider if you will be offering use of kitchen facilities, and appliances and how you will be allocating refrigerator room, consider if you will be offering use of your laundry facilities or would rather they use a laundromat. Decide how much of a deposit to ask for.
You can also offer a rent reduction and pay in exchange for work. You may wish to offer the room for rent and/or pay in exchange for babysitting, yard work, or household chores, or even building and maintaining a website.
Provide a comfortable room. Make sure there is a television, phone, cable, lights and bathroom. Make it as homey as possible so that the tenant will find the room a sanctuary.
Make up a rental agreement outlining rules of the house. If there is no cooking in the kitchen after 10:00 p.m., put it in the rules, no overnight guests, put it in the rules. Have the potential tenant read the rules before they decide to rent.
Rent is usually collected in advance on the first day of the month for which the rent applies. A dated receipt should be given to your tenant each time the rent is paid. This will help keep accurate records.
You should both sign and date a rental agreement, and both should keep a copy. Usually a month-to-month rental agreement is the most satisfactory arrangement for renting out a room in your home. This situation allows the landlord or tenant to terminate the arrangement. It does not include any commitment for any specific time period beyond one month. Basically, it is an agreement that the tenant may rent for a month at a time, and the agreement is automatically renewed for one more month each time the tenant pays the rent.
If both the tenant and the landlord are happy with the arrangement, the agreement may keep on being renewed each month indefinitely. However, if either the tenant or the landlord becomes dissatisfied with the arrangement, then it may be terminated or altered by a written statement to the tenant from the landlord.
School vacations: If a student has been a good tenant and is leaving at the end of the school year (or semester) but is intending to return at the end of the break to rent again in your home, ask him/her to write to you by August 1 (or January 1) to confirm his/her intent to return and rent from you again. It would also be a good idea to get his/her vacation address and write requesting this commitment. If the student is not returning, this will give you sufficient notice to get another tenant.
Storage tips: If a student will be gone for an extended period of time (like the summer) and requests you to store his/her belongings, you may be willing to do this. However, it is a good idea to have the student pack them in mailable boxes and have him/her move them to an appropriate storage place in your home before leaving. Then collect a deposit from the student which will be sufficient to cover the cost of mailing these belongings if the student does not return. Set a date that you will mail them if you have not been contacted before then, and get an address where you can send them. When the student returns, return the deposit. You may wish to sign an agreement that if he/she returns but does not move back in with you, all or part of the deposit may be kept by you as a fair storage cost.