Drafting an agreement when renting out a room in California

Homeowners renting out a room in their property should know the right way to draft a legal rental agreement.

Renting out a room in your California home is a great way to boost your income while providing another person with a place to live. That being said, you have to ensure you go about renting out the room carefully and legally to avoid running afoul of real estate litigation. Learn how to create a solid rental agreement before interviewing potential tenants.

Familiarize yourself with the law

One of the first things to do is a quick online search of the latest state laws regarding property management and landlord and tenant rights. It is even better to take this one step further and meet with a real estate attorney for personalized information for your individual situation.

Include specific payment information

In addition to deciding on a fair rent amount, your rental agreement should also include when rent is due and the forms of payment you will accept. For instance, do you prefer a check, or can tenants pay through a mobile app? The agreement should also spell out when rent is considered late and the amount of fees that are applied. Also, is there a security deposit? Will the tenant be responsible for a portion of the utilities?

Make note of the pet policy

If you already have a cat or dog in your home, you might not mind having a tenant bring another four-legged companion. Or maybe you would prefer tenants not have any pets at all. Note your preference, the type of pets you will allow, if there are any restrictions and if there is an extra deposit for a pet.

Note the condition of the property

You will likely take plenty of pictures of the room to entice potential tenants, but be sure to note the overall condition of the room in your agreement. Mention what you consider to be regular wear and tear while the room is rented, and specify the areas of the home the tenant is allowed access to and which are restricted. Tenants should know what, if any, modifications they are allowed to make to the room.

Head a lease-breaking disaster off at the pass

While all landlords hope for the best when it comes to their tenants, there is a chance a lease might be broken. Indicate what will happen if a tenant violates the lease by failing to pay rent, breaking the law while on your property or anything else that could be considered a breach of the agreement.

Should you ever have any problems with your tenant that fall into legal territory while renting a room in your California home, know whom to turn to. Get in touch with a legal professional to explore your options.