Breezyb, Home Buyer in Alexandria, VA

Is it ok to rent out individual rooms in a single family home if you are occupying it as a primary residence under FHA guidelines?

Asked by Breezyb, Alexandria, VA Tue May 11, 2010

I am buying a home using FHA financing and want to lease one or two rooms out to help with the monthly mortgage costs. I have already been approved for the loan and will be closing on the house the end of the month. I will be living there for at least three years (to take advantage of the $8k tax credit). I can make the payments myself, but it would be nice to have a little disposable income by renting out a room or two.

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Shirley Kappa, Agent, Williamsburg, VA
Wed Oct 20, 2010
It's my understanding that up to 4 unrelated people can share a home in Fairfax County. The zoning in most instances does not allow for a separate apartment in a single family, residential neighborhood. However, if you are sharing a kitchen, laundry and common living areas you should be OK. Take care not to create parking or noise issues, and the neighbors should not complain.
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Will Nesbitt, Agent, Alexandria, VA
Tue May 11, 2010
Both of the previous answers are right on the money. The only thing I'll add is that in Alexandria, Fairfax County and many jurisdictions in Northern Virginia, there are rules about how many non-relatives you may have residing with you. If you exceed that number you might be running a rooming house or boarding house and that requires a license from the County or City.
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Susan & Mindy…, Agent, Alexandria, VA
Tue May 11, 2010
I completely agree with the previous poster about seeking expert advice. If you are occupying as your primary residence and as long as you abide by any applicable community/municipality or HOA guidelines regarding occupancy, overcrowding, parking, etc., I don't know that it is any different than having roommates who are paying rent. There may be local ordinances about "weekly" boarders and that sort of thing, but if you are simply talking about having a person or two living with you in a 3 bedroom house, you are more than likely not violating any laws.
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April Dunn, Agent, Edwardsville, IL
Tue May 11, 2010
You would need to conact a lawyer to get a definitive answer.

I would think you are still ok since you are abiding by the stipulations of using it as a primary residence, but it's a little bit of a gray area and spending 20 minutes with a lawyer will save you a lot of headache down the road, and give you peace of mind knowing that you aren't doing anything wrong (or keep you from doing something wrong should it turn out not to be allowed under FHA guidelines).
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