What should you do if you would like to rent a room in your own property?
Whether you’re thinking of renting a room out in your property in Malta long term or for short holiday lets, this could be a great way to earn some extra money or help pay your home loans – if it is done right. Before you start promoting your spare bedroom, the insightful real estate agents at QuickLets can guide you on how to do this successfully.
Renting your spare room for short lets or holiday lets
Of the over one million people who visit our Maltese Islands, many are looking for a place to stay. Now your spare room could become a home away from home for people travelling in Malta and Gozo. Many people would rather stay in a Maltese home to have a more local experience.
Renting your room for longer lets
Other people may be visiting Malta or Gozo for a longer period and would rather live in a share home for multiple reasons – again not wanting to be alone in a new country, wanting to integrate with locals or simply for financial reasons. Again this is a great and possibly interesting way of meeting people from around the world, while also making some extra income. This is a bigger commitment so think and plan this through properly for a positive and fruitful long term arrangement.
But how do you find someone trustworthy? What laws do you have to follow? How do you make your property stand out and rent quickly?
Use these top 10 steps to help you rent out your room in your property in Malta or Gozo successfully:
Check the local rental laws of Malta
Before you get started, its important to ensure the local laws of Malta allow you to rent out a room in your property, similar to having laws around renting your property. This is especially so if you rent your current property, you may have specific conditions in your lease agreement around sub-letting.
If you are the owner of your property in Malta or Gozo, the laws should be much less or non-existent.
Again rental laws may be different for short term lets so check into this too as an option, so make sure you are legally allowed to rent a room in your home.
Set up your Spare room to Rent
In a perfect world, your extra space will be separate to the part of the house that you use. So it has its own entrance, kitchen and bathroom facilities. This could mean transforming your semi-basement or garage into a rental space or perhaps you have a guesthouse that is detached from your house. In this way your renters are not sharing your living space with you. This will also bring in higher rental income.
However, this is a luxury few can afford. So you can opt to simply rent out a room that is part of your home. Consider renting the room that has an ensuite to at least separate out the bedroom and bathroom from your own living space and secure your privacy.
Will your room for rent be furnished or unfurnished?
Will you rent the space with furniture like a bed, mattress, cupboards and other items or will you leave it up to the renter to bring their own? This is important to figure out because it will impact the price you can ask the renter. Usually with short lets the renter will look for properties with furniture as they will not be around long enough to buy their own furniture. However with long lets its more open. Just also keep in mind that the furniture will be subject to wear and tear of the tenant.
How to price your room for rent?
You’ll need to do your home work here and figure out the right price for your unit for rent. You can’t simply decide what to charge on your own. Look up other similar rooms and the going rate on property sites like Quicklets. For shortlets, you could look at hotels in your area and price yourself at a more competitive rate. You could ask the experts at QuickLets for some guidance on this based on the market value and their own experience of what renters are usually willing to pay.
What can you do to make your property listing for your room to rent stand out?
Your listing could be the difference between getting your room for rent rented immediately or allowing it to stay on the market. Again, do your research. Know your competition, but on local sites. But also get ideas from foreign listings to get an idea of how best to describe your property.
Take good photos. If possible use a professional camera and offer as many angles and insights as you can. Make sure there is a lot of light, possibly take the photos during the day. You can also take photos of the rest of the property to give an idea of the wider accommodation space.
Be sure to describe clearly which parts of the property they will have access to and which they will not.
What to do to find the right housemate
Firstly you should make sure you use a fair and equal process to find the right tenant for you. Make sure you do not discriminate against person simply based on their: race, sex, mental or physical disability, religion, familial status or national original or ethnic background. The final decision is essentially up to you, but be fair.
You can ask for a clean criminal record, do background checks and also verify their income and employment status. If they are already renting out a property, you could ask for reference checks from their current landlord.
You can ask personal questions
Besides all the legalities and formalities, it is still a good idea to make sure you are compatible on a personal level too. Don’t shy away from asking the personality and lifestyle questions. Will they be out late? Do they work on weekends? What are their sleeping schedules like? How open are they to cleaning or contributing toward paying for a cleaner?
These are personal questions that some people may not want to answer. What you do with this information is up to you. Remember you’d be living with a stranger so its important to feel comfortable and safe.
How do you get clear on boundaries before signing the lease?
It is vital to have open and honest conversations about how you plan to live together, what you expect from eachother and what are no-gos in your books. This is ultimately a living arrangement and its best to set the ground rules out at the beginning as it only gets more complicated as time goes by and certain habits are formed.
Once you’ve agreed on these boundaries, it’s important to put them into a legally binding lease agreement. In this way, you will have them clearly mapped out and have legal recourse should something be crossed.
For example can they have pets? Do the contribute to the cleaning fees and utility bills? Do they have access to areas outside of their room for rent? Which living spaces will you be sharing?
Sign the lease and collect your deposit.
Finally, be sure to respect their privacy and be a good housemate yourself. Respect is a two way street. To live in harmony and make this work, you need to also ensure the person feels comfortable, safe and happy in the environment. Respect their privacy. Ultimately they are paying money to be there too.
Weigh out the pros and cons carefully before committing to this. If you still have questions, contact an estate agent at QuickLets who will surely be able to shed some more light on the situation.