Renting A Room For Extra Income

Posted by Nick Niesen on November 8th, 2010

Renting a room? I wish I had thought of it sooner, but one day many years ago I finally gave it a try. I had a thee-bedroom mobile home on small piece of property, and I soon found that it was easy to rent out not one, but both other bedrooms. I suddenly had thousands of dollars extra each year.

Many towns with high rent have a high demand for rooms. Single people share apartments with others, and inevitably have problems with splitting bills, what to do if one is late with their share of the rent, who made which phone calls, etc. When they see a room for in a nice home, with everything from local cals to cable TV included in the rent, they love the idea.

Renting A Room - The How To

Always include everything in the rent. You'll avoid arguments about who owes what for utilities, or who watches the cable TV more. Cancel long distance, get a phone card, and just have local service. When utilities get too high, raise the rent. Just don't be tempted into "share" arrangements for anything.

While others were fighting with landlords and roommate-friends, my renters stayed for years. They had no household bills to pay, and no money issues for us to argue about. They payed weekly or bi-weekly, according to their paydays, so they wouldn't even have to budget for monthly rent.

Regulations in some places that prevent renting a rooms are rarely enforced, and are being legaly challenged more and more. It's tough to justify a system that allows parents with ten kids to live in a house, while discriminating against a household of three or four - just because they are unrelated.

Look at the ads in the paper to determine what you can get for a room in your area. If there are several ads, renting rooms is probably common, and you'll be able to get numerous calls off of a two-day ad. Weekends seem to be the best time to run your ads.

How do you choose a renter? Use your intuition, and have a list of questions to ask. Take notes. Where does he/she work? What is there phone number? What family can you call in an emergency?

You have to decide what you want for house rules, and be clear about what they are to avoid any issues. I personally won't allow pets, smoking in the house, or late-night noise. Everyone does their own dishes, and keeps any mess in their rooms.

Potential Profits

When I lived in Traverse City, Michigan, you could get $100/week for a room in a decent house there. With two rooms rented, that would be $10,400 per year. This is mostly profit, since household bills don't go up much with two more people in the house. If you don't mind the company, that's a lot of cash for renting a room or two.

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Nick Niesen

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Nick Niesen
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