3 Things to Do Before Renting a Room in Your Apartment

10 July 2015
 Categories: Real Estate, Articles

If you've recently rented an apartment and are having trouble paying the rent each month, you could consider getting a roommate to help you share the expenses.

Having a roommate is a great way to reduce your monthly expenses; however, having a roommate can also be a difficult situation. Before you start advertising for a roommate, there are several things you will need to do. Here are three of the most important steps to take before you do this.

Check With Your Landlord & Lease

Before you can even think of renting out a room in your apartment, you will need to find out if this is allowed. You can often find out this information by looking at your lease; but if not, you could call or visit your landlord.

When you sign your lease, you will probably have to list the names of each person that will be living there. Your lease may state that no one is allowed to live there unless his or her name is on the lease, but there is still a chance you might be able to rent out a room.

The lease may have a section on subletting, which refers to renting out the space to someone else. If it states that this is allowed, you can go ahead and begin looking for a roommate. If it is not allowed, you could call your landlord and discuss the issue with him or her. You could let the landlord know that you are having trouble paying your rent and would like to rent out a room to make this easier for you.

If the landlord agrees, you may have to sign a new lease or add an amendment to the lease. If your landlord will not allow this, you may need to come up with a different way to afford your monthly rental payments.

Consider the Effects This Will Have

The second thing you should do is consider how this situation will affect you. Renting out a room may seem like the perfect way to afford your rent; however, this situation may affect you more than you think. Here are some of the effects to consider before you do this:

  • Less privacy – With another person in your apartment, you will no longer have the privacy you once had.
  • Increased expenses – While this person may help you pay the rent, your other expenses may go up. For example, your electricity bill may increase because there is another person there.
  • Problems with temperature – Another factor to think about is the temperature in your apartment. If there is only one thermostat, you could experience problems with this. You may like it cold, while your roommate may want it really warm.
  • Arguments and issues – You should also realize that if an issue comes up with your roommate, you will be the one who has to deal with it and solve it. If you are a non-confrontational type of person, this could be hard for you.

As long as you fully understand the effects this will have and are willing to accept them, you may want to begin looking for a roommate.

Find the Right Roommate

It may take some time and work to find the right roommate, but spending an ample amount of time on this will make this arrangement work out better. As you look for a roommate, you can be selective. You could write out a list of conditions or requirements you are looking for in a person, and you should make the person sign an agreement.

When you create the agreement, be sure to include every detail that is important to you. This includes the monthly rental amount, how food will be shared, rules about guests, and how you will divide the bathroom time.

Renting a room is a good way to earn extra money each month, but it isn't always an option. If you would like to learn more about ways to reduce your monthly rent, you could always talk to your landlord or begin looking for a different apartment for rent.