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Renting Out a Room? 5 Ways to Prepare Your Home

Renting out part of your home is a great way to create an income stream that could help you financially for years to come. But, before you run out and start listing your home for short-term rentals, here are a few things to do to prepare the house.

1. Separate the Rental

If you'll be living in the home while renting out a portion - or even if you plan to rent the entire space while you're away - you should delegate the rented portion and your personal section.
If you plan to rent only a room or two, the best way to separate things is to put up a physical barrier. Adding a wall and a door between will create a small rental suite and will make things easier both on you and your renters.
While you're making modifications to the rental space, look for ways to install an exterior entrance. This will prevent people from using your space and make your renters more comfortable. If you have trouble finding a way to make a dedicated rental entrance, the remodeling experts at Williams Home Center Inc are happy to help you brainstorm and budget. 

2. Fix Problems

Schedule a walk-through of your house to find all those small things that you've never gotten around to finishing or repairing. A walk-through means ensuring that all the power outlets work, the windows and doors are in good condition, the stairs are solid and safe and that the batteries in fire alarms are replaced.
Pay particular attention to potential hazards, which could be dangerous to renters, and a financial liability. 
Check your appliances to make sure they all work reliably. You may be used to the little deficiencies in your old washer and dryer or the extra buzz in your microwave, but these will be turnoffs to a renter. 

3. Make it Sparkle

Give your home the best chance to appeal to renters by cleaning and updating its d├ęcor. Complete a thorough cleaning from top to bottom in the section for rent. The exterior of the home should be spruced up as well, sometimes with a fresh coat of paint. 
The yard will give an important first impression on visitors, so take some time to clean and brighten up the yard. Add some flowers, trim bushes and trees and add fertilizer to keep your lawn a luscious green. 

4. Stock It

Vacation renters want an experience that feels cozy and homey, so offer them the comforts of home. There should be plenty of towels, sheets and basic toiletry supplies. The kitchen should be able to cook three meals per day. If you're not sure whether your rental has everything needed, test it out by using it as your main kitchen for a few days. 
Add a few fun surprises or gifts for the renters. If your home is near a river or the coast, provide some waders or beach chairs for guests to use. Leave a local hiking guidebook, restaurant recommendations or a historical article about your town. Add some fun bath salts or a few wine glasses so people can relax in your space. They'll remember these little extras.

5. Determine the Rules  

Finally, before you begin signing up renters, decide what your house rules will be. Will smoking be allowed? If so, where and where not? Are pets okay? Is your neighborhood slow and sleepy, or will they be okay with late night partiers? How will you provide a key, and what will you request for cleaning or a security deposit?
It may be a good idea to work with a lawyer who has experience in short-term rental contracts. 
Becoming a landlord is a big decision, and it calls for some planning and preparation beforehand. But if you prepare your home well and make it an appealing place to stay, you can look forward to a healthy side business for many years.