Renting out space in your home is an excellent way to make money if you are on a tight budget. Besides sharing costs, a roommate or tenant also provides company. Choose people with care to ensure that they will be friendly and reliable.
Finding A Roommate Or Tenant: Roommates are equal partners in the home, a pre-agreed proportion of the bills to you, or sharing expenses equally. Whichever arrangement you choose, put it on a divided basis, while tenants pay rent and writing and give a copy to all parties.
Choosing A Roommate Or Tenant
Interview anyone who appears suitable. Discuss practical matters before the person moves in.
• Advertising effectively: Before placing an advertisement in a magazine or newspaper, read a few issues to form an idea of the intended readership. This will enable you to judge if you are likely to attract a suitable person through that publication.
• Interviewing candidates: Ask whether the person smokes. Find out if they have a steady partner or a busy social life. Ask for character references.
• Giving notice: State the period of notice required if anyone wishes to end the arrangement.
• Getting legal advice: Employ a lawyer to look at any agreement you draw up to make sure that nobody is at a disadvantage.
• Accommodating visitors: Find out in advance whether a roommate or tenant intends to have a guest staying for a long time. Arrange for visitors to contribute to the rent if they stay longer than a few days.
• Drawing up a bath list: If you share a bathroom, draw up a list for showering to avoid disagreements at busy times. Give priority to those who go out first in the morning.
Establishing a Household System
Life in shared homes will run smoothly if If you are new to a shared home, work out everyone in the household agrees on how practical matters as soon as you have moved in to allocate space and divide household chores so that you develop good habits from the start.
• Organizing meals: Decide whether everyone will cook separately or for each other. If you all cook for yourselves, draw up a rotation list for using the stove. If you eat together, take turns cooking.
• Cleaning common areas: Plan a schedule for cleaning shared areas, such as the kitchen.
• Tidying quickly: Ask people to wipe the bath and sink after every use, and to wipe kitchen surfaces when they have finished cooking.
• Washing dishes: Ask everyone in the household to do their own dishes. If you have shared a meal, nominate someone to wash up.
• Keeping a kitty: Have a kitty for buying household items. Agree on an amount for each person to pay in every week.
• Keeping an expenses file: Keep copies of bills in a file for reference. Put receipts for household goods with the bills so that you can monitor the costs for budgeting purposes.
• Paying bills: Divide energy bills equally between all members of the household.
• Logging telephone use: Log telephone calls in a book. Note the name, date, time, and duration. List the area code to help in working out the cost. Check telephone bills against the entries in the book.
If shelves and cabinet space are shared, group each person’s belongings in lids from large, sturdy cardboard boxes. Write each person’s name clearly on the front edge of each lid.