When it comes to the topic of renting, most of us envision a physical separation between the landlord and tenant. The notion of a landlord being able to have separate housing for a tenant is often the norm when it comes to renting, however, the idea of a landlord and tenant cohabiting together is becoming increasingly normalised. People are opting to become landlords by opting to rent out a room in their current home, instead of setting up a separate premises to lease. This is known as becoming a ‘Resident Landlord’- in which you live with your tenant. There are plenty of reasons people choose to rent out a room in their house, whether that’s to generate extra income to help cover things such as mortgage costs or to trial becoming a landlord without investing in property, there are several reasons as to why people may choose to do this. Although the regulations may differ when you choose to become a residential landlord, there are still regulatory and legal implications that you need to adhere to, otherwise you could end up with a potential lawsuit. Here at We Buy Any House we have compiled a how to guide, providing all the best tips and tricks on how to legally rent a room in your house.
Room Rental Agreements:
Before you decide to get any legal paperwork underway, you may want to decide amongst the other members of your household (or yourself), how your property is going to work as a part-rented residence. It’s important to have all these topics covered and spoken about, as you don’t want there to be any confusion once you begin the legal paperwork. A few things to consider are:
Creating House Rules:
Beforehand, house rules need to be identified and clearly established, so that everyone is on the same page as to what will and won’t be allowed on the property. These can be as strict or relaxed as you desire, however you may want to think about how these rules may impact on the tenants’ living conditions and attitude.
You need to work out how much you’re going to charge for the rent of a room, and how frequently these installments need to be paid and how. Pricing may be a hugely determining factor for a lot of people, so it’s worthwhile to ensure that you have thought about this beforehand.
Pets and Smoking:
If you have a tenant who is a smoker, then you may want to think about if this will be a problem for you. Will they be able to smoke inside the house? And if not, where will a recommended smoking space be provided? Additionally, a lot of tenants may come with a pet. You will need to assess if you want pets in the property, or does it depend on what type of animal it is?
Overnight Guest Stays:
You need to decide whether your tenant is allowed to have overnight guests stay over at the property. Also, you need to consider if there will be any penalties if your tenant has a guest over quite often, such as increased utility bills.
Will the tenant have access to parking? Or if there is only one designated parking space, will you need to decide if you will take turns occupying the designated space?
Entry to Their Room:
If you enter your tenant’s room without their permission or them being present, they may see it as a breach of their privacy. You need to discuss when you will be allowed access into their room, and under what circumstances so there are no accusations of intrusion.
Marketing and Discrimination:
When advertising your room to rent, you must ensure you abide by the Fair Housing Laws’ traditional protection classes. This ensures that throughout the selection process, you don’t use any discriminatory language, or that specific factors impact your final choice. These include things such as race, religion, gender, mental/physical disability, nationality or ethnic background.
Get Lenders Permission:
If you currently have a mortgage, then you may need to get lenders permission before you are entitled to rent out a part of your house. Furthermore, if you are already living in a rented property, you must speak to your landlord to avoid being penalised for subletting.
Council/ Income Tax:
If you live alone and are thinking of taking in a lodger, you need to be aware that you will lose the 25% discount on your council tax. However, there may be exceptions to this, such as if your tenant is a full-time student. In terms of income tax, you need to enquire as to how having a tenant will affect your home contents insurance. You can contact your government website to find out more on how this will affect your tax.
Condition of Your Home:
Any landlord or building owner must comply with health and safety regulations. These rules still apply if you are renting a room in your home. Any furniture provided must comply with set fire safety regulations, alongside gas safety regulations, electricity and water systems too. The welfare of your tenant must be a priority, and you must have the correct procedures in place to avoid a lawsuit. Additionally, you may want to find out how a tenant will impact on your home content insurance, as the same policy protecting may not apply to additional belongings.
Deciding to rent out your house is a huge step that has many rewarding factors. However, your home may not be suitable to do this, so you may want to look for a bigger space which is more convenient to undertake the rent-a-room scheme. If you’re wondering “how can I sell my house fast?” head to the We Buy Any House website to find out more information for all property related enquiries.