From signing a rental agreement to choosing roommates, here are the things you need to know about renting to roommates as a landlord.
Living with roommates can be challenging. However, as a landlord renting to roommates, things become a little more complicated. You will have to carefully write a lease or a rental agreement. As a landlord living with a roommate, you still have the same rights as if you were renting out the entire unit to them. But there are more things you will need to keep in mind so you and your tenant can be happy. Things such as house rules are essential in situations like these. Let’s see what the most important things to know are.
Renting to roommates: a lease vs. a rental agreement
A lease versus a rental agreement – which is the right choice for you? Although many people think they are the same, they have one key difference. What makes one different from the other is the time for which you will be renting it out to them. A lease is signed for a more extended period than a rental agreement. A rental agreement lasts much shorter than a lease. It is usually signed from one month to the next. With the rental agreement, you can change the terms before you renew it. And, with a lease, you can’t change the rent price until it is over.
A lease can give you security for a more extended time. You don’t have to look for a new tenant and have secured income for a while. But, as a landlord renting to roommates, a better choice may be signing a rental agreement. In case you don’t like living with your roommate, it makes it easier to part ways. The fact that you rent to your roommate does not give you the right to evict them if you do not like living with them. That’s why a short-term contract is the better option for you. You can change the contract terms for the upcoming month if there is anything you wish to change.
What you need to have in your rental agreement or lease
In your rental agreement or lease, you can add helpful information for you and your roommates. Most importantly, it should contain the cost of the rent. Aside from that, you can have it written down when you want the rent to be due. If you want your roommate to leave a security deposit, write this down. You must, of course, include some basic information about yourself and your roommates. You can use this opportunity to write down some basic ground rules. Write down on what date your new roommate can move in. As experts from statetostatemove.com advise, staying organized during the moving process is crucial. Your new roommate will move in stress-free and can start unpacking on schedule.
For example, you can write down whether pets are allowed and under what terms. Another essential thing to include is maintenance. Even though you are living together, you still have to give them notice. You will have to tell them whenever you want to do repairs, upgrades, and other maintenance. Write down the number of days you will let them know beforehand. In the agreement, you can talk about basic house rules. You can write down things such as whether smoking is allowed or not. When you clearly define these things beforehand, you ensure you don’t encounter any problems later.
Choosing a roommate as a landlord
Finding the perfect roommate may seem impossible at times. When renting to roommates, you want to live with someone you can trust. Plus, you want to live with someone who keeps their home as tidy as you do. All of this may seem challenging to find in one person. However, with careful selection, you can find the ideal roommate to rent to. Before you make a final decision, contact them a couple of times. You want to see what kind of person they are and whether you have a similar lifestyle. Ask questions to see how reliable and trustworthy they are. You don’t have to be friends and like the same things. However, having the same viewpoint on parties and house guests is essential.
Even if someone seems like the perfect roommate, talk with multiple people. In case your first choice of roommate backs out, you will have someone else to call. You might be pleasantly surprised and find someone better than your first choice. Either way, you will be more comfortable with your roommate choice when you know you took the time to meet multiple people. One of the things that can help is to ask them for references. You can ask their friends or former roommates for their input. You will feel good about your choice when you know some people can say positive things about your new roommate.
Be prepared for emergencies
Sometimes, things don’t go as planned. There’s always a chance of your roommate suddenly leaving. They may accidentally cause damage to your property. That’s why being prepared for emergencies is very important. A security deposit is a valuable tool for securing the safety of your property. If your roommate moves out and doesn’t fix any damage they may have caused, you will be prepared. You won’t have to break the bank to get your property in good shape for your next roommate.
As a landlord, it’s best to leave some money aside if you can. Finding a new roommate can take a long time. And, during this time, you want to be secured. That’s why creating an emergency budget for this problem is crucial. Even if you find the perfect roommate, it’s still a good idea to have a lease or rental agreement. This will give you safety as a landlord.
To sum up
Being a landlord and renting to a roommate has its challenges. It is much different from a couple of roommates living together and paying rent to their landlord. You will have to be more careful with your choice of tenants. And you will have to find the fine line between being a landlord and being a roommate. But this doesn’t mean that being a landlord and a roommate simultaneously is impossible. It can be great. When renting to roommates, all you have to do is carefully select them and sign a contract. Now, you know you are secure and have found the perfect person to live with.
Clark Real Estate
305 W. Moana Ste C
Reno, NV 89509
Reno Property Management