Here’s a reader question I received a week or so ago:
I am somewhat considering this undertaking. By my first question, you may immediately say it is not for me. However, I like the thought of paying off student loans. Is there ever an arrangement where you can rent out a room with kitchen privileges, etc. but not access to your entire house? If so, what is that term?
If not, I would still consider it, but only in an ideal scenario. I live in a double gated community in Arizona. It is a very nice place. Swimming pools, gym, etc. I have a full bath in the room that I would considering renting.
Ideally, I would love someone that works nights and weekends. 😉
Also, I don’t know what to charge. I don’t’ think anyone here rents out rooms. I am not sure I can even do it with the HOA rules yet. Many rent out their entire homes. Also, our eviction rules, etc. the same as if you rent out your entire home?
Thank you and thank you for your website.
Here’s my response:
When you rent out a room you can set your own terms. You can set you guest policy, you can include access to your laundry and dryer(this is a huge selling point because of the convenience). In short, be realistic about setting expectations. Tell them that this is your first time renting out a room and you’re a little apprehensive.
You can set a trial period with a roommate or look for a roommate that’s
looking to rent for 3 months so you know it’s a fixed time line. There’s plenty of roommates that are looking for either 3 month or 6 month terms. A lot of apartments have yearly leases, which make it unattractive for the short-term renter. On my last search, there were several people looking to stay 3-months, but I like to find roommates looking for at least 6 months.
As far as the HOA, if it’s a short term renter say 3 months, you probably don’t need to say anything to them, but the best way to indirectly and ask is to find a similar unit FOR SALE in your community and call that real estate agent and ask the real estate agent.
I think everyone’s ideal roommate is someone that pays rent on-time, in-full and lives somewhere else. Believe it or not, I had one roommate like that. He was in the military and went out to sea a month at a time.
I was pretty much either forced either to take on student loans or rent out my spare room. So the decision was easy for me. It’s not an easy choice for everyone.
Does anyone have advice to overcome the apprehension about renting out their spare room for the first time?