Advice about roomates please!

  1. okay all these roomate posts are scaring me. My SO and I are looking at houses to buy and we found one that is something we are seriously consider buying. It has 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and a finished basement. Since it will just be the 2 of us, we were thinking about getting a roomate for the basement...

    What I want is for the roomate to NOT have access to the rest of the house, only to the basement (the basement will have everything they need, just like an apartment). I'm paranoid about my stuff and I'm a neat freak. I just want to know some things about roomates and such since I've never had one. It may sound silly, but what are some signs of a bad roomate? Am I allowed to "check in" to make sure it's clean? If so, how often? Do I have to write a contract or is it optional? If they don't pay rent on time, am I allowed to kick them out ASAP? I know I sound really anal right now. :rolleyes: Any and all advice will be GREAT! oh and I know I will think of more questions later. :p Thanks sooooooooooo much. :yes:
     
  2. First, if you can afford the home without a roomate go for it. At some point ya gotta give up the roomate thing. Second, yes, if you rent a room to someone you simply must have a rental contract. It must have everything from rent to rules, and the more detailed the better, cause it will save you time in the long run. There are forms on some websites that can be downloaded for a few dollars. I would also get references from former landlords.
     
  3. Oh and yes you can check in, but you have to give the tenant notice, states differ but in Calif it is 24 hours.
     
  4. Hi! I've had to deal with roommates, and although I've had some bad experiences, I know people who have had positive experiences. My experience may be different since I had roommates in college, and you know how college kids are, lol.

    I would suggest that you definitely write a contract that outlines what the roommate can and cannot do. You should make it very clear that the roommate is only allowed in the basement and not in the other parts of the house. I would suggest doing a background check to make sure that they do not have any felonies. Also, be sure to set guidelines about how many guests the roommate can have over, parties, louid noises, stuff like that. I would also suggest that you get a security deposit, in case he or she decides not to pay rent. It is absolutely OK to kick a roommate out if they do not give you a rent check. You should make it clear what day the rent is due so that there aren't any misunderstandings.

    Roommates can be positive as long as you choose the right one. If someone isn't working out for you, don't feel bad about telling them they have to leave. It is your house afterall. A good roommate is someone who is mature, has a steady job, and won't bring drugs into your house.
     
  5. Make sure to look into the insurance issue as well - how will any damages they incur be paid for? Also, you will need separate "front" doors for upstairs and downstairs. A friend of mine rents her basement - her tenants complain a lot b/c they are downstairs and can hear my friend's dogs running around upstairs...
     
  6. I agree with Irishgal - you MUST have a rental contract. Also if you are just renting the basement then you need to make this perfectly clear as they may consider your 'private' areas to be communal areas (sounds silly but trust me). This should really be in the terms of your contract.

    Again as the other advice you should definately get a deposit in the UK it is usually one or two months so that if they don't pay the rent on time it gives you some time to get the wheels in motion to get them chucked out!

    If you are worried ( and I would probably be the same because I am so paranoid!!) then I would definately consider putting locks on the doors - at least your bedroom so that any private/valuable stuff can be kept there so you don't worry.

    Good Luck and let us know how you get on:flowers:
     
  7. Is the basement going to have a stove and refrigerator also? If not, i don't think you can rent it out. Also, a contract is a must.

    Reason i'm asking is that at one point in time i was thinking about renting the downstairs of my house in san francisco.. but they couldn't have access to the upstairs... so i was going to have a tiny kitchen built downstairs... but by law, that would be considered a second unit and my property taxes would've soared. I would've had to file all the necessary paperwork with the city, etc. etc. It was too much of a headache.

    I think the whole purpose of buying a house is to have all the space and privacy you want. This is defeated once you have a roommate, even if it's in hindsight.
     
  8. My best advice is NOT to have a roommate. After several bad experiences, I'd rather live in a cheaper apt or home than have to share. just my two cents.