A Spare Room To Rent Could Be Extra Cash
In Your Pocket

A spare room to rent is not something that many of us consider at first, but when you realise that you could earn several thousand from it every year it is certainly something to think about.

For many the thought of having a stranger living in your home isn't that appealing. However if you need to earn some extra cash and have the space it is certainly worth considering.

It may be that you decide to rent out a room on a temporary basis at first, just to see if it is something that you are happy to do long term.

If you do have a room to rent, it is important that before you advertise it, you should have a good idea of the sort of person you are looking for and also what the house rules will be.

This way when someone does apply you will be able to have all the information at your fingertips and will avoid any embarrassing misunderstandings later.

What is it and how do you go about renting a room?

There are many ways to advertise a room, some of which will cost you next to nothing. They are:

Word of mouth - tell all your friends that you have a room to rent. It is surprising just how many people know some one who knows someone who is looking for somewhere to stay.

Websites - there are many online websites that you can post advertisements for free. (See bottom of page for suggestions)

Local Newspapers - Some local papers will allow a small ad for free. If not the cost is minimal

Local Agent - this is the most expensive way but then you are likely to have more choice and also the agent will have vetted the client.

Make sure that when you are vetting prospective clients that you take and check (always telephone them) their references.

The last thing you want is to have someone who will cause trouble or who will be bad at paying his or her rent. Of course there are no guarantees but the more checks you make the better chance you have of finding a suitable person. These references should include:

  • One from their current employer
  • One from their bank

Also you should provide a written contract, which you should both sign, which states:

  • How much the rent is and when it should be paid.
  • When the rent starts from
  • How it should be paid
  • How much notice is required by either of you to terminate the contract
  • That the tenant should pay for all breakages. (You can ask for a months rent in advance, which is returnable when they leave, if the contract is adhered to)

Qualifications or training needed?

No, but you should make yourself aware of any legal requirements that are required by law in your area i.e. health and safety and letting rules. Also a knowledge of your countries tax requirements, In case your income from the rental exceeds their allowable rate.

Are there any costs involved?

  • You will have to furnish the room to a liveable and comfortable standard.
  • You will have to take into account and pay for any extra usage of utilities.
  • You should have sufficient house and contents insurance.
  • You will have to make sure your home is safe and so electrical and gas appliances should be checked once a year and a working fire alarm should be fitted.

Pros/cons

The pros of having a room to rent is that it is an easy way to earn some extra money at little cost to yourself. You will not be expected to look after your tenant i.e. cook meals for them etc. Making money from a room that was otherwise doing nothing is definitely something worth considering, if extra income is high on your want list.

The cons are obvious; you will have to learn to share your home. If you prize your privacy, then this can be a very uncomfortable situation. Communal areas such as the kitchen and bathroom etc will have to be carefully organised and kept cleanerthan perhaps they would be if you lived on your own.

Useful contacts

www.thegumtree.com
www.roomforlet.co.uk
www.craiglist.com
www.roomforlet.co.uk

(Please note we do not recommend these companies, they are for illustrative purposes)

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