Tips for renting out a room
Regardless of whether you are renting out for the first time or if you have had ten lodgers before, there are some rules that you might want to consider for you and your lodger to make your time togheter as smooth as possible. These rules should be clarified before a contract is signed and we recommend that you keep these in writing. While oral agreements are just as binding as a written one, they are notoriously hard to prove.
It is important to remember that when rules/conditions are set and both you and your lodger have signed a contract, neither you or the lodger can change these without the consent of the other. You can always ask to negotiate these off course, but neither of you can demand a change. This is to protect the both of you from unexpected changes and if you take time to consider which rules you want the whole experience will be much more agreeable for you both.
Cleaning & garbage- Conflicts over cleaning is unfortunately fairly common so rules on this is important! This should include both cleaning of the lodgers room as well as the common areas such as living room, kitchen and bathroom. Garbage handling can be another source of conflict so decide on how to handle that also.
Also be consistent, if you are comfortable with a bit of a mess then don't expect your lodger to be top notch when it comes to order and cleanliness. Also let a potential lodger know if cleaning is not a big priority of yours to avoid a personality mismatch.
Kitchen space and equipment - How much space in the fridge, freezer, cupboards etc should be reserved for the lodgers use? Can he or she use your equipment or should they bring their own?
Guests - Will your lodger be allowed to invite guests and if so, how many should be allowed at a time? Can a guest stay overnight? Can the lodger hang out with friends in the common areas or should they keep to the lodgers room?
Smoker? - Are smokers welcome and if not, could you accept a smoker if he or she agrees to only smoke outside or switch to chewing gum?
Home insurance? - A Generally, it is recmmended that a lodger gets their own home insurance. Some insurance companies will allow a lodger to be included in yours but this is not always the case since the room you are renting out is considered an individual apartment. You should check with your insurance company and then decide how you want to do.
Payment of rent - Decide when the rent due and how the payment should be made. Student loans and most wages are paid the 25th each month and rent is usually due on the last day of the month.
Other tips/Good to know
The rent should be reasonable - The rent, as well as costs for electricity, WIFI etc must be proportional to the costs that you yourself has for these things. See out guide on how to set your rent.
No permission from the housing company is needed - Unlike subletting, you have to right to have lodgers without permission from the housing company.
Inventory of furniture - If the room is furnished it might be a good idea to make a inventory list of these, including which shape they are in (photos are helpful!). It does not hurt to include the furniture in the common areas either if the lodger has acces to them. With an inventory you are protected against having your stuff destroyed or abnormaly worn without being able to claim compensation and your lodger is protected against false accusations of the same. Both you and your lodger should have a copy.
Do you wish for you and your lodger to consort or should you mostly keep to yourself?
Some people has lodgers mostly for financial reasons and for others the social part if more important. The same goes for people looking to rent a room. So, to prevent any mismatch in terms of this aspect do clarify how you wish the level of social interaction to be early on.
"Click" with your lodger.
Regardless of how much or little you wich to socialize with your lodger it does not hurt to have a little chemistry between the two of you. Even if you want to keep your interaction pretty sparse you are still going to live togheter and if there is absolutely no chemistry your time sharing a home might be stiff and uncomfortable despite you are both being nice and respecfull towards each other.