Renting a room in your home:

Asked by Rosemarie Baker, 28531 Sun Feb 15, 2009

If you rent a room in your home do you need a rental agreement or contract?

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Sue Brown, Agent, Ventura, CA
Fri Feb 15, 2013
I've rented out rooms and have helped people write up the agreements. I agree with a month to month or no longer than six months. I also concur that you can check to see if it's legal, they are called Single Family Residences, and I know in a prior city I lived and worked in it was illegal, but the city was not spending money on enforcing it unless neighbors complain, most people are renting rooms these days. I also recommend making sure that you verify employment, get proof of income and actually call their references as this is possibly a stranger coming to live with you. There are online services you can use to do background checks and credit checks as well. Protect yourself not just with a contract but with screening them as thorough as possible.
Sue Brown
Property Manager Parkside Villas
0 votes
Heidi Golff, Agent, Ventura, CA
Mon Mar 2, 2009
Hello Rosemarie,

It is unwise to rent a room in your house without a rental agreement in place. You can pick one up at almost any Stationary/Business store such as Office Depot. There is almost nothing worse than having someone living in your very own house with you as you are going through a dispute. A rental contract can shorten the time you remain that way and can even scare off people with bad intentions. Besides, we don't want to have to see your smiling face on Judge Judy along with all the other people who had bad tenants in their homes!
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Sun Feb 15, 2009

Committing to a binding rental/lease agreement could bring you into a relationship longet than you want it to exist. There may be merits to doing a month to month agreement that will allow you to part ways at your convenience.

Additionally, you may want to consider checking the zoning regulations to see if this can be done legally.

Good luck
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