We’re all a bit tight on the purse strings at the moment. With so many topsy-turvy things happening in the world, it’s hard to know how we’re going to manage our long-term finances. Your spare room could hold the answer…
Renting out your space is something we’re fond of at MoneyMagpie. It’s a great way to use something you’ve already got to raise extra cash. But now you can make money AND make a new friend – which, let’s be honest, is always a good thing in this lonely world.
- Why Renting a Room Could Save Your Finances
- How to Rent Out Your Room
- How to Budget for a New Housemate
- Arranging a Tenancy
- Looking for a Room? Try This
- More Property Money Saving Tips
We all like our privacy – but if you’ve got an extra bedroom that’s just sitting there gathering dust, that’s costing you money every month. It takes up heat, air conditioning, utility bills and even property taxes just by being there!
Instead of spending cash every month on a room you barely use, make it work for you. Getting in a new roommate helps you reduce your overall bill costs – so you’re saving on your own usage, too! You’ll also benefit from their rent helping to cover property maintenance fees, mortgage payments, or your own rent. Slashing the costs like this helps everyone.
Plus, there’s always more to share, too. Think about it: if you’re on your own or in a couple, buying bulk doesn’t always benefit you. However, with three or more in a household you can start taking advantage of wholesale discounts. You can even share things like your Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Spotify subscriptions with other people in your household now, too – so you all benefit from cheaper services!
You could put an advert on local Facebook groups, or even Craigslist or Gumtree… but how do you know you’re getting a good roommate? These groups are open to fraud – and, as you’re posting publicly as yourself, can put you in a vulnerable position, too.
There are, however, dedicated roommate finding websites. We like RoomMatch, which lets you take a quiz to find the perfect roommate! You don’t have to pay for the matching service either, unlike some other similar sites, so you can rest assured you’re not wasting precious pennies to get the right person into your home.
You can post an advert on the site really easily, so people can find your room. Even better, though, is that you can search potential roommates, too! Click on Find a Roommate and you’ll see hundreds of profiles. You can filter by location, date posted, budget range, gender, pet-friendly, and all manner of things! This means you’ll easily whittle down suitable tenants. You can reach out to the most suitable ones to find out if they’d be interested in renting your spare room.
When you’re looking to rent out your spare room, it’s often tough to work out what you should charge. Use local property sites – including RoomMatch – to look at similar properties in the area. This gives you a guide price of what you should charge.
Remember to take into account all bills in your spare room rent, too. Or, you could offer a lower rent and split bills on a monthly usage basis. This can cause arguments, though, if one person thinks others have used more of a service or utility than others.
As with any kind of agreement, it’s important to make sure your new roommate has a contract. This should include details like the start date of their tenancy, how much rent is due and on which date of the month, and what happens with the deposit. Include the minimum length of the tenancy, too – and stipulate who is responsible for paying bills. Outline, too, the rules around you entering their room for maintenance or checks (including minimum notice periods for such visits), and the expectations of cleanliness required.
Make sure, too, that you have an inventory of all the furniture included with the room – plus list any noted damage that’s there before they move in (such as scuff marks on the walls). Use this to check against on the day they move out – it helps you to establish if there’s reasonable wear and tear on the room or if there is damage that must be repaid.
It might feel odd asking someone to sign something, but you need the legal protection if, for example, they don’t pay their rent. It also helps everyone know where they stand if a dispute comes up.
If you’re on the other side of things, and your spare room is non-existent, consider renting a room from someone. It can save you TONS of cash each month – especially if you’re currently renting an apartment by yourself or with your partner. Cutting costs by moving into shared accommodation can help you save for the bigger things in life too, like weddings or property deposits.
Sharing a house is no longer the sole remit of students, either! Professionals often share and experience the same benefits – lower bill costs, plus you’ll make new friends. Moving to a new city or area is particularly hard, so renting a room in a house can be a great way to get to know locals and settle in more easily than starting out on your own.
Create a profile on RoomMatch that tells potential roommates more about you. There’s no need to give away lots of personal details – but you can let them know the basics so they can decide if you fit what they’re looking for! Plus, you can take the roommate quiz to discover places that are looking for renters just like you.
We’re all about making money – which includes saving wherever you can to give you a bumper cash reserve! Try these property articles next to free up your cash for wealth-boosting investments.