Renting out space in a larger home may seem like a wonderful idea for seniors to gain extra income while aging in place. But the venture may end up being more hassle than it’s worth and there are a number of factors to consider before advertising for renters.
Firstly, does your local municipality allow for renting? This is the first step before making any accommodations or renovations to an existing home. Each community has its own renting standards and you may need to make a significant investment to bring a space up to code before you will see any profit.
Make sure you have an emergency fund in case of the need for repairs; as a landlord, you cannot put off work that needs to be done. Be prepared for tenants who can get behind on rent or present other problems. Carefully screen applicants by calling references and put in writing any conditions such as monthly inspections, credit checks or criminal background checks that may protect your investment. Also rent, deposits and house rules should be put in writing. Consider talking with a property lawyer to discuss contracts.
Renting a room inside your home can be mutually beneficial and seniors often take in a student who may pay a smaller rent in exchange for help around the house or pet sitting. Carefully interview potential renters, ask for references and put any conditions in writing.
If renting and renovating is too daunting a prospect and you have a prime location, some homeowners may consider renting a parking spot or garage space. You will need to make sure clear access, especially in winter, is made available at all times for renters.
Visit the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation website for more information about becoming a landlord at: http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/reho/ .