Lease for House Hacker vs Traditional Landlord

4 Replies

Hi BP!

TLDR: Looking for tips/suggestions/thoughts on tenant leases for a house hack (live-in) landlord vs a traditional (non-live-in) landlord.

Full Post: I am a soon-to-be house-hacker (closing on a 4 bed this November, will live in 1 room and rent out 3). I am working on the draft lease template that I will use for my 3 tenant-roommates. Are there any differences in the language, clauses, etc. that I should consider? (To save time, I am already aware of my state laws, standard clauses, etc.) I am more so looking for anything one might not have to think of with a standard lease, considering that I am 1) living there myself and 2) the house is being rented per room to each individual, rather than the whole house to a group of individuals. 

Just as one example: the "Right of Entry"/"Notice of Entry" clause. How do I word this considering that I live in the house 24/7 - do I specify that "entry" will refer to their individual room within the house? Just one example of some of the discrepancies I am hoping to resolve between standard vs house-hack lease. Any thoughts/tips/suggestions would be appreciated!

Thank you!

With these leases you should have it that their room is all that they're renting. The rest of the property is "common area". This means you can utilize the entire house without issue other than their rooms. This is useful while you live there and after you leave. It makes it so that you can just go to the property when you need to do anything as long as you don't enter their rooms.

@Dan Mackin Thanks for your input! How do you address the liability/damages clause for the common spaces? Is each tenant equally liable for damages to common spaces, or do you waive the liability and take the hit as the landlord for any common space damages?

Consider looking for sample "roommate agreements" to get some ideas of how to protect yourself and your tenants. Who's responsible for cleaning the common areas? What can they keep in the common areas? What happens when someone refuses to carry their weight or steals your leftover pizza from the fridge?

There are many things unique to this situation compared to a lease agreement.