Renting a spare room in someone else’s home may be something you are considering. Many senior people that find themselves alone later in life, find it comforting to cohabitate instead of living all by themselves. They may do it for financial reasons, to feel more secure or safe or maybe for the companionship.
Whatever the reasons you may have, you want to make sure you choose the right accommodations for you.
Decide What You Need
It is a good idea to create a must have list before you even begin your search. That will help you eliminate unsuitable candidates quickly so that you don’t waste time.
What are you must haves?
Here are a few to consider:
- Do you need it furnished?
- What size room do you need? (You may have to significantly downsize your belongings.)
- Do you prefer main floor or is basement ok?
- Do you want a window in your room?
- Is a separate entrance a necessity?
- Does your room have a lock?
- Will you have your own bathroom?
- What areas will be shared?
- How will household chores of common areas be assigned?
- How many others renters are there in the home?
- Does the landlord live on premises?
- What will be the response time when issues arrive?
- Are you allowed guests?
- Are you allowed pets?
- Do you need to be close to shopping, your church or a bus route?
- Can you store food in the kitchen/fridge or do you have to keep it in your room?
- Can you have a mini fridge, coffee maker or microwave in your room?
- Do you need a month to month contract or a year lease?
Some services that are important to you may cost extra. You need to be informed so that you are not surprised later and over extend yourself financially. Considering extra costs also helps you compare different rentals properly.
Check listings and inquire with potential landlords about the following things:
- wifi, internet and cable
- gas and hydro (if shared extra cost, how is it allocated?)
- central air conditioning or window
- laundry access
- parking spaces
The above list of questions and must haves also come in handy when drafting the rental agreement and contract. Nothing is too small a detail to be added and can save a lot of pain and anguish should the room rental not work out for you.
Now you are ready to start looking…
Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing A Letting Site
Websites to find a room or property to let are widely available. However, no matter how urgently you need to find a place, you should not simply choose the first website you lay your eyes on. You need to select with care, and below we will reveal some crucial mistakes that you should avoid.
- Firstly, you should not choose a website that charges a considerable amount of money to use their services. You will seriously inflate your costs if you need to pay a ‘middleman’ for connecting you to potential properties. Instead, look for a rent a room website with minimal fees or, even better, find a site that is free to use.
- Another mistake is choosing a website without any consideration for how many people use it. You are going to struggle to find a good place to live if the website you are using does not have a good following or a lot of listings.
- Don’t make the error of selecting a website with promoted adverts. If you do this, you are going to be presented with properties purely because the landlord has paid more, rather than them being right for you. Instead, you want a website that gives everyone a fair shot of finding a room. There are also some websites that will charge you to contact a landlord, so make sure you avoid these.
Hopefully, you find a room that works for you and that you will be happy there for a long, long time. But if that doesn’t happen, and you need to move again, one thing you will want to do is get your deposit back at the end of the tenancy so you can secure a new room elsewhere.
Your landlord will check the room at the end of your tenancy. They may deduct money from your property if they feel that there is something wrong with the room, for example, if it needs a professional clean or something has been damaged. Needless to say, you want to do everything you can to make sure you get your full deposit back.
Tricks To Ensure You Get Your Deposit Back
- Firstly, make sure you have a proper deep clean. Look to a professional service or get some friends or family members around and clean the room from top to bottom.
- You should also make sure that nothing is missing or broken. You would have been given an inventory at the beginning of your rental period, so go through this and replace or fix anything as needed.
- Go through your contract. This will say what is expected of you when you leave, for instance, whether you need to remove and fill in all picture hooks, or whether you need to deep clean the carpets.
- Finally, take photos of the property so that you have proof you left the room in good order.
Renting a room in someone else’s home can be a rewarding experience if done right. Armed with you must have list, you are sure to be successful.