To help make ends meet in Florida, or to have another source of income, some homeowners decide to rent out a room in their home. While a great idea, it is one that requires a lot of thought and foresight.
U.S. News & World Report breaks down the best way to go about renting out a room. Knowing how to treat potential tenants and the situation, in general, better ensures a favorable outcome for everyone.
Get familiar with the most recent laws and regulations
Homeowners should first sit down with a legal professional who focuses on real estate law. That way, she or he knows the most current regulations for landlords and tenants. Such info can keep landlords from accidentally violating the law and their tenant’s trust.
Use caution when interviewing potential tenants
It is natural for homeowners to want to come across as friendly and open to prospective tenants, but applicants are still strangers, a fact that future landlords need to keep in mind. Homeowners should think twice about what they reveal about themselves and their home to potential tenants. Not all applicants have good intentions when moving into someone else’s home.
Have a thorough interview
The landlord-tenant relationship is a unique one, but it is a relationship, nonetheless. That means homeowners need to conduct in-depth interviews with applicants to determine if they are a good match. Specifically, homeowners should ask about overall cleanliness, lifestyle, employment and daily schedules. Answers paint a picture as to the type of tenant the person is and the type of relationship she or he will have with a landlord.
Run a background check
No matter how great an interview goes or how warm applicants are in person, homeowners will do well to pay for a thorough background check before allowing a person to move in. Background checks shed light on past evictions, criminal records and credit reports. Knowing this type of information allows homeowners to better avoid an unnecessary fiasco.