Renting out a spare room in your home is one way to make a bit of extra cash. But before you get started, here are some things to pay attention to.
Renovating the Space
With temporary boarders, you might be expected to provide a bed and furnishings along with the room. Even if you are claiming the room as unfurnished, there might be some work to do to get an extra bedroom up to snuff. Things to consider are the quality of the paint job, flooring, curtains, and the presence of electrical outlets. Heating and cooling will certainly be something to look into; you may not have paid much attention to the circulation in spare rooms, but your tenants certainly will.
Getting a Background Check
The person you have as a tenant will have access to your personal space and may be a part of your home, another roommate. So, it makes sense that you'd want to know as much as possible about this person's background. Doing a background check and credit check is the minimum you should request. But some people like to verify that the new tenant has stable income to cover the rent; getting copies of recent paystubs or a letter of employment is reasonable if you are in a competitive rental market.
Hire a Locksmith
You may want to still retain privacy and security in some areas of your house. You could have a residential locksmith put locks or a pin code on your closet so that you can use it as a safekeeping space. If your house layout permits it, you might just want to create separate entrances with their own separate locks.
Think about what rules you have for your space. Even though a tenant is buying in on a portion of the home, you're still the master tenant and will be there the longest; your own comfort is important to maintain. One thing to think about is your comfort level with guests that you don't know in the house. Another thing to lay out is your cooking and kitchen cleaning rules. Noise levels, especially late and night and early in the morning, are important to discuss. With a little bit of effort, you can hopefully find someone who matches most of your opinions on these topics. Even if they don't, as long as you discuss your expectations from the beginning, a tenant should be able to comply with your requests; but set up some rules for how you will proceed if the roommate/tenant situation isn't working for either of you.