How to rent a room part 2
OK, so, in the first part of out guide on renting out a room in your home we looked at basic preparation – who you should inform before you take anybody in. This time we’ll look at the room itself and the property. The 3 main issues we’ll look at are:
- preparing the room
- preparing the property
- setting your rent
*Furnished or not
One thing we need to make clear at the outset is if you’re renting out a room under the Rent a Room Scheme, it must be furnished. That doesn’t really need any explanation does it? Unfurnished rooms don’t qualify under the scheme – simple as that. You’ll also need to de-clutter the room as nobody will want to rent your room if you’ll be wandering in every time you need something you’ve stored on top of their wardrobe or under the bed. It’s a good idea to de-clutter before you show people round rather than saying ‘oh yeah, all this will be gone before you move in’ as it’ll help make the room look bigger if it’s empty apart from furniture.
Single or double?
If at all possible it’s a good idea to put a double bed in the room as most people prefer a double to a single. If the room is small thought it might be best to stick with a single as you’ll need to leave enough room around it for someone to get in and out. You may find if you rent to a student that they’d prefer a single and a desk as they’ll most likely have work to do in the room. Whether you advertise as a single or a double can be open to debate (especially if the room is somewhere in between) but we’ll come on to that in a later post.
Kitchens and bathrooms
In a recent interview we did with Sarah Beeny she gave the following advice to anyone looking to take in a lodger:
I think the most important thing is to make sure your kitchen and bathroom are really clean because there’s nothing more grim than someone else’s dirt in the kitchen or bathroom!
*Gas checks and safety
You need to make sure that your gas appliances are maintained and in good order. You must have them checked annually by someone who is registered with the Gas Safe Register. Fire regulations only apply if the property isn’t your main residence. You should fit smoke alarms as a matter of common sense and make sure you test them regularly.
Setting your rent
It’s always a good idea to check the market in your area to see what a room is worth before setting your rent. There’s no point in either pricing yourself too far above or too far below other rooms.
The two main ways of doing this are:
- Check your local area on SpareRoom.co.uk to see what other people are charging. Just type your postcode into the search box and see what else there is nearby. This will also help when it comes to writing your ad later on as you can get a sense of which ads you’d be most likely to respond to if you were looking for a room
- Download the latest Room Rental Index and see what the averages are in your area. Obviously there will be rooms well above and below the averages but the index, especially the postcode level one, should give you an idea of where to start and also an indication of how strong demand is likely to be. Don’t forget, the averages in the index are for double rooms including bills
In the next posts we’ll look at sorting out a contract, taking a deposit, agreeing terms before your lodger moves in and how to advertise your room.