Most people live in different cities for work or education, and of course, are always on a budget. In such situations they are always looking for cheap rental options so that their monthly budget has room for other expenses like transport, food and even entertainment.
A lot of people rent rooms in a house owned by landlords and enter into a tenant-landlord agreement that outlines the basic rights, rules and regulations that both parties have to comply with. If you’re a tenant renting a room in a house, or a landlord renting out a room, here is what you need to know about your rights.
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Renting out a room in your house Agreement
When you’re renting out a room in your house, having a written agreement is important for several reasons. Room tenant contracts ought to be utilized when you need to explain expectations, commitments, and obligations of the two parties, and need to encourage an agreeable living environment.
Room tenant agreements are a good way to check possible issues before they heighten, and encourage a good communication channel between the tenant and the landlord.
Room Rental Rules and Regulations
- If the tenant has a boyfriend/girlfriend and whether they are allowed in the house. And if so, what would be a reasonable time for them to leave. Normally, agreements don’t allow significant others or guests to stay over with the tenant.
- Whether large gatherings like noisy parties or game nights are allowed or not. If you’re renting out a house, you need quiet space and privacy that the other person should not invade. So you could explicitly mention loud gatherings in the agreement.
- An agreement can also mention if smoking and drinking is allowed, and whether the tenant is allowed to keep pets.
- When you’re quoting the rent, you need to mention if extra services charge more, and what is not covered in the rent. What expenses are to be paid by the tenant other than rent like maintenance charges, and what is typically included in that too.
- You could also mention some privacy boundaries too, like the tenant shouldn’t be having guests over at odd hours and that your sleep, privacy and routine should not be disturbed.
Renting a Room in my House Laws
There are some legal obligations that you must know before you rent out a room in your house. One such example is your income is taxable, meaning whatever income you’re getting from the rented room must be reported to the IRS.
The good news is that as a landlord you qualify for particular tax benefits that allow you to offset partially or even completely your taxable income against expenses.
Items you can deduct that will reduce your tax liability include:
- Cleaning and maintenance fees, This includes any laundry or cleaning materials that you supply
- Property insurance. You may need to get a different insurance policy than a homeowners policy. Speak with your insurance provider
- Service fees charged by sites like Airbnb
- Utilities (water, gas, electricity, TV, internet, etc.)
- Repairs and maintenance costs. this includes repairs that might need to be made to furniture and appliances
- Mortgage loan interest
- Advertising and listing fees for finding tenants
Other than this, you must also set a reasonable price as rent for the room, making sure that it is not too expensive. Of course, each room’s rent differs according to their size, utilities present, how well the room is furnished and whether the rental contract is short-term or long-term.
As a landlord you must outline all this information while dealing with a potential candidate and make sure both of you are aware of the laws.
If you’re renting a room in someone’s house, there are certain rights you need to be fairly aware of, such as:
- The right to live in a property that’s safe and in a good state of repair
- The right to have your deposit returned at the end of the tenancy (provided that you meet the terms of your tenancy agreement)
- As part of this, you’ll have the ability to challenge any charges that you believe are ‘excessively high’
- The right to know the identity of your landlord
- The right to not be rejected tenancy on the basis of sexual, racial or ethnic discrimination
- The right to live in the property undisturbed
- The right to see the property’s energy performance certificate (EPC), and except in very specific circumstances, should be rated a minimum of E
- The right to be protected from unfair rent and unfair eviction
- The right to have a written agreement if you have a fixed-term tenancy of more than three years
House Rules for Tenants Renting a Room
In the written agreement, all the rules and regulations are outlined by the landlord, and the tenant must agree to all of those when he is signing the contract.
As a responsible tenant, you must make sure that you oblige with all of the rules.
In addition to this, your responsibilities as a tenant mean that you must:
- Take care of the property in the absence of the landlord. This includes not causing any damage to the property while you inhabit it and performing tasks such as switching off the water at the mains while you’re away and the weather is cold, or reporting any issues with the property promptly so the landlord can fix before they cause any serious damage
- Pay the agreed amount of rent on time even if you’re in dispute with your landlord or waiting for repairs
- Pay all other charges and bills outlined in your tenancy agreement. This is likely to include, but not necessarily be exclusive to: council tax, utility bills and TV licence fees.
There are certain legal rights that a landlord has and some rights that a tenant has. Even if the contract doesn’t mention these rights, it is better to do a little research and know exactly where the two parties stand. It is always better to have a written agreement signed by both parties that outlines rules and regulations, pricing and the facilities that will be given to the tenant in the price quoted.
The tenant also likewise has certain responsibilities in the place they’re living on rent, like taking care of the property, paying the rent and dues on time and respecting the landlord’s privacy. Having good communication is key to maintaining a healthy tenant-landlord relationship so make sure you’re responsible, organized and not fussy.