Beginners Guide to the Legalities of Renting a Room in the USA

Renting out a property separate from your residency is not too complicated. A realtor or a property manager can help you through with it. There would be a hundred questions in mind when considering renting out a room or maybe while activating a roommate finder mode. However, renting a room in a house can be easy and hassle-free when done in the right way.

Here is a beginner’s guide to the legalities of renting a room in the USA.

  • Is it legal to put up rooms for rent?

It is an understandable and common question. Your local laws can answer such questions. Since putting up rooms for rent may be legal in some localities, it may have to face the hefty consequences if it is not permitted.  However, it is easy to find out whether it is legal or not. You can either google it or talk to your property manager or even consult the aggregator for such queries.

  • What do I need to check?

You may need to check a lot of factors before putting up rooms for rent. Do make sure you check the following:

  1. Local laws
  2. Zoning laws
  3. State laws
  4. Applicable house owner’s association laws 
  • How do I prepare my house for roommates?          

Consider redecorating your living area and the rooms you are putting up for rent in a roommate finder portal. Why? Well, you may want to vacate some space in the room and the closet for the tenant to keep their stuff. It also makes the room look welcoming to the tenant and would even justify if you increase the rent. Try making the room look more comfortable by adding a pleasant color palette to the decoration.

TIP: You may want to choose lighter colors as they make any space seem more peaceful and comforting. Don’t forget to fix any leaky showers or taps. Ensure that the room is well ventilated and put on layered curtains to make the room look appealing.

  • How do I list my room for rent?

First things first, always use a trusted platform to make a listing. Choosing a better roommate finder portal can make your renting process a lot easier and fuss-free. 

Make your listing look good. It may be done using the following tips and tricks:

  1. Mention the specifications in a crisp and clear manner
  2. Highlight the pros
  3. Put sufficient pictures
  4. Mention the type of roommate you are looking for
  5. Use readable and perceivable keywords or phrases, instead of using long sentences

You may also put up a virtual tour video of the room.

  • How to select a suitable roommate?

Now that’s a tricky question to address. Your type of roommate can range from Monica to Ross to Phoebe from the TV show Friends.

This part of renting out a room may get confusing. It is best to jot down the characteristics you are looking for in your suitable roommate and mention them in the listings. You may wish to rent out a room, in your desired roommate finder portal, to a person with the same profession or nature as yours or, you may be gender-specific about the tenant. It is okay to reject an application that does not pass the criteria.

TIP: Do not put a lot of constraints as this will make the process of finding a suitable roommate more time-consuming. Be open to open and try to find similarities. Being too rigid might not prove to be a lot helpful.