Pros and cons of renting a private room in your own house

The first question you may ask to analyse the Pro and Cons is: Why do you need to rent a private room in your apartment?

For the money of course. Wether it is to help with the bills, or to acumulate some cash to finance your next project, the reason is money in 99% of the time.

So, is it the best option for you ? You can arbitrate your personnal view with the following statments:

Pros of renting a private room in your own house

It is good money for small efforts.

Basically you have to work between the stays of your guests (cleaning, laundry of the linen, small repairs), and the management of your bookings is quite easy with the different platforms like Airbnb of VRBO.

You manage the calendar and can decide exactly when you want to have people in your home.

It allows you to free the space just for you when you need it. You can monitor your income according to your needs. If you are renting just to cover some costs, you can rent only a few days a month. Or you can choose to rent it fulltime if you want more money. Airbnb application helps you to balance your desire of renting as much as possible or occasionnaly. It allows you to block automatically days before/after each reservation to let you prepare the place for your guests. Once you are used to your logistics and are ready to change, the platform lets you modify these parameters.

You don’t get stuck with persons you wouldn’t get allong with.

The guests are there for a short period. If you don’t like them you know that they will be gone forever soon. If you have already shared an apartment with a dirty roomate you will know what I mean…

Guests are more respectfull in places where the space is shared with the owner. Generally they are more concerned of respecting you. Thus they will be quietter than if they had rented a flat and they won’t bother the neighbors.

It helps you improve or sustain the quality of your home.

This is a side effect of renting. Since you have to provide the best service as possible to have good reviews, you must keep your place tidy and clean. The most important is at the moment the guests enter the place. The first impression is crucial. It is very important to repair everything that is broken or wobbly. This will sustain your future rental incomes. In case of big problem, the fact that you are sharing the same equipment will motivate you to fix it quickly.

Renting a private room of your house is more accepted than renting an entire place short term.

It means that it could be easier for you to set it up than buying a different place to rent for your guests. Depending on your country/region/city, local laws might restrict short term rentals. Usually the restrictions are a lot softer for the rental of private rooms of your home. You have to check locally what will apply to your situation.

Cons of renting a private room in your own house

Renting a spare room pays less than renting short term a full house. This is easy to understand because the guests aknowledge that other persons are in the same living space, and there is a price for it. Usually guests who rent a private room are looking for better prices. They prefer save on costs than have privacy.

Strangers are invading your personal space.

It is similar to have roomates but the good thing is that they won’t stay long. This is the first Cons because it is the most personal one. It probably is on your feeling on that criteria that you have decided to rent a spare room of your apartment.

You have to be proactive and provide a minimum of service and be present for acceptable requests.

When there is a problem it needs to be fixed NOW. A guest will find quite unpleasant if there is no hot water for several days. The positive side is that you live in the same place. You are suffering with the same problem and you will want to fix it as soon as possible.

You have to take care of the logistics.

“There is no such things as a free lunch” ! The cleaning, the check-in/check-out of your guests and the monitoring of the reservations will be in your hands. Of course you can use a cleaner, but you can’t externalize the work as for rentals totally dedicated to the guests. Though there are systems to automatize the check-in and 

Invest in solid but comfortable and nice equipment.

Be in the state of mind that you are selecting furniture for you and you are making you a treat. Also consider that the equipment needs to be “guestproof”. To do so I personnaly select my furniture as if it was to be used by active kids. There is a risk that guests damage things. In 99% of the case it will be unvoluntary damages. But, since they are not used to your furniture or equipment, they might pull too strongly on this handle or press too strongly that button. It may happen and you have to anticipate these situation by “guestproofing” the private room and shared areas. You can explains how it works during the check-in, or put signs with explanations. Put a carpet on the floor if you are scared that a falling object damages the wooden floor. Anything is good.

Protect your valuable objects against damages.

Do not be scared of robbery, though it may happen in 0,0001% of the cases. But it is for the risk of breaking. The best thing is to put them away. You do NOT need to furnish the bedroom with very expensive lamps or furniture. The guests want a good atmosphere, they need a comfortable bed and efficient equipments. If you have expensive equipment and show the price that will be taken from their security deposit in case of problem, that might en up in your reviews.

You MUST to respect the reservations you have accepted.

It is very important to respect this rule if you want to stay on top of the list or have a good rank. The higher in the list, the more chances you have to get bookings. Airbnb will automatically advertize on your profile if you have cancelled a reservation and it will say how many days you did it before the beginning of the reservation. It will give a bad image of you to future guests, and Airbnb will downgrade you, and consider that you don’t manage properly your calendar.

You must get good reviews.

Airbnb will ask a series of questions to your guests about what they liked in your place. The criteria will be as different as the cleanness, the list of equipments, the way you communicate, etc. You will be marked so you have to be the perfect host with the perfect place. A way to get away with problems is to communicate about what is happening and how you are solving the situation.

Short term rental - Private room