Anyone looking to make money from side hustles dreams of creating passive income streams, and an amazing way to make a passive income is by renting out a spare room in your house. Whilst this is not for everyone, it’s perfect if you want a generous and reliable source of passive income, and you are willing to share your home with someone else. If you are thinking of getting a lodger, there are a few things you will have to consider first to ensure you get lots of viewings, and ultimately the right tenant for you! Here's how to prepare your spare room to rent out.
Pick a neutral décor to prepare your spare room to rent out
Ideally to prepare your spare room to rent out, the room should be painted in neutral colours with minimal decoration- you want your potential lodger to be able to envisage themselves feeling at home in this room, with space for their own possessions and personality. If you are open to both male and female tenants, this also means that the space needs to be suitable for any gender, and decorated (within reason!) to your lodgers own tastes. This means no bright pink curtains and floral wallpaper- the décor should always be very neutral so that it appeals to as many people as possible in an advert.
Ensure it has all the necessary pieces of furniture
People need to know that they will be able to comfortably live in this room, so make sure it is fitted with a wardrobe, chest of drawers and perhaps even a desk if you have the space. If you live in a student town, there is a possibility that you will be considering a student lodger, if this is the case, you will need to ensure there is a desk in the room so they have space for their studies. The room should also have some other furnishings such as a mattress, lampshade, curtains and maybe some shelving.
Take great photos of the room
You want the room to look inviting on an advertisement, so make sure you take some well-lit photos on a sunny day so that the space looks bright and airy. Take pictures from all angles and don’t try and make the room look bigger than it is, people will only feel disappointed when they come to view the room. You should also include photos of all shared facilities, such as the bathroom, kitchen and garden if applicable, and also the front of the house. Having clear and honest photos means that you won’t waste any time with unnecessary viewings- hopefully the photos will match the potential tenants expectations. Similarly, if you have a beautiful large room, you want to make sure that you show it off to its full potential to ensure that you get as many enquires as possible.
Include a comprehensive description on the advertisement
If you are advertising online, you should use the available description box to your full advantage and list any expectations that you may have. Be sure to include a brief description of the local amenities and transport links so that anyone looking for a place to rent can get an idea of whether the area will be suitable for them. Including information about whether the home is smoking or non-smoking, whether you have pets, and information about yourself and the other people that may be living in the house is also really useful for anyone searching for a room for rent. It is also a good idea to specify an age range if you have one in mind, whether the room is for single occupancy and whether you accept couples. Tenants will also want to have an idea of how much the bills will come to each month, and whether any utilities are included in the rent.
If you live in a city and you are on the fence about putting your spare room up for rent, consider advertising a Monday-Friday let to begin with. Cities like London in particular have commuters that will stay in the capital for the working week, and then head home to a different part of the country for the weekend. Again, if this will be the first time that you take in a lodger, make sure you take into account the length of tenancy that you would like to offer- there’s no going back once you’ve signed a yearlong tenancy agreement!
Choose where to advertise the room
The most common website to advertise a spare room is of course, spareroom.com. It is a reliable and safe website, and is where most people will start their search when looking for a room to rent. Another similar website is gumtree.com where people advertise absolutely everything- this also includes rooms up for rent! You could also use more traditional forms of media such as your local paper, or Facebook groups in your area.
Research similar rooms up for rent in the same area
Go online and look up similar rooms up for rental in the same area and use this to benchmark how much money you charge for the room per calendar month. This way, you can make sure that you are being competitive and not over-pricing or under-pricing your room- this will ensure that your room remains attractive to renters on the market and you make the maximum amount of profit from your spare room.
Consider Airbnb or Monday to Friday
If you are apprehensive about sharing your home with someone else full time, an alternative option is to advertise a room for rent on Airbnb or Monday to Friday. If you haven’t heard of Airbnb before, it is a website and an app where people can search for rooms to stay whilst on holiday instead of using traditional hotels or self-catering apartments. When listing your spare room on Airbnb, you have the option to block out weeks or even months of the year when you are not open to visitors, which means you can tailor the availability of the room to your own preferences. Another plus to Airbnb is that you can charge more per night than you usually would do for a lodger, especially if you live in a city. However you will need to undertake additional responsibilities, such as being available to give your guest the keys, give advice on the area, and ensure your home is fully cleaned before the arrival of each new guest.