Tips to renting out your room in your house

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If you have an empty room to spare and would like to earn some supplement income, what would you do? Are you thinking about room rental? Though it may sound like a good way to earn some passive income but it could be demanding and complex due to regulations and laws especially when it comes to HDB flat in Singapore. As a landlord, you’re responsible to be familiarised with the room rental laws and regulations to ensure the compliance of housing, restrictions and fees.  

Here are tips you need to know before you start marketing your room:

1. House preparation for tenants

No matter how clean your rental room are, you will need to do some inspections and preparations before you start to for a tenant. More specifically, you’ll need to clean, upgrade, and even do repair work before you start showing to your potential tenants.

· Empty the room. Remove all personal items, decorations, wall hangings, and furnishings from the room.

· Clean all light fixtures and switches. Remove the light bulbs and glass fixtures from ceiling or wall lights.

· Wash the doors. Wash the doors with soap and water and disinfect both sides of the doorknob and all handles or pulls.

· Make any necessary repairs to the walls, closet doors, ceilings, fixtures, or windows.

· Choose furnishings for the room. Make sure that the furniture you choose is clean, in good condition, matches the other pieces in the room, and fits in the room well.


2. Deciding room rental amount

Deciding the room to rent is important order as it will determine the rental amount. For example, the location of the bathrooms in relation to the rental room is another consideration. You can collect more rent for a room with a private bath, but you may have to give up having one yourself to do so.

Besides, the property type will affect the pricing as well. Singapore’s HDB flat rental amount differs from condominium due to the property type and exclusivity. The amenities and proximities of the room rental location should impact the rental amount. There may be steady demand from students looking for rooms if your unit is in the proximity of universities or colleges , allowing you to charge more. Rentals near shopping districts or good transit generally bring in higher rent, as do those near local sites like a beach, state park, or lake. Do lookup at rental listing sites like PropertyGuru tto give yourself a ballpark figure to set yourself an expectation based on room rental location and type of room you’re offering.


Be specific with your tenant requirements

3. Be specific with your tenant requirements

Let’s be honest with yourself. If you can’t tolerate a smoker or a pet lover, say so in your requirements. If you want someone who can stay for at least one year, indicate that too. You’ll save yourself a lot of time that way. Otherwise, you’ll be tempted to accept a smoker, pet, or a party goer because you didn’t set clear boundaries. You wouldn’t want to receive complaints and fines from the HDB because of your tenants’ nuisance. To set yourself a limit may ease when you start conducting a check on your potential renter.

4. Use your Intuition, but Don’t Discriminate

Be present when you’re meeting up with your potential tenant for your room rental screening, from their background to their current situation. It is essential for this step to do screening. Not telling you to discriminate but understand them better after you have set your limits based on #3. Before the meetup, prepare for questions to ask, refer here for all the questions you need. Find out what’s their current situation and look for loopholes during the conversation. Get them to provide documentations to proof whether they are working or studying. However, avoid discrimination even on their appearance. Let’s just stay professional.

5. Use a Written Rental Agreement

Even a HDB room rental requires a written agreement in Singapore. What more on whole unit rental? After the screening is done with the potential renter, be prepare for the written agreement after the oral arrangement. Verbal agreement is tough to prove in court when everything turns sour. Make sure during the verbal arrangement, the agent is there to record down the pact and write down in the leasing agreement. There are few important tenancy arrangement:

· Amount of the rental

· Rental payment due date and duration of rental

· Utilities payment arrangement (whether tenant or landlord pay, percentage of utilities)

· House rules: curfew, fridge arrangement, laundry day


Once all these steps are taken, you will be able to manage your tenant and room rental easily. Of course, do get up to date with the rules and regulations of HDB rental frequently.

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