Should I rent my Townhouse by the room?

4 Replies

Hello BP people! I own a Townhouse (4BR+2BA) in Philly and I'm having some trouble renting it out as one unit for 1,600. I get a lot of requests for individual rooms. So my question is, should I do it? And then charge 450 per room? What are the pros and cons of doing it this way? Or should I stay strong and wait for the right candidate? Thanks a bunch to all you responders.

@Tomer Shani  

I believe that this is all going to come down to your goals and risk level. The first drawback I see with renting rooms is what happens in the common area? Who is at fault if someone destroys the living room floor? How do you determine utilities? 4 separate room mates would mean 4 sets of keys and a lot more access to a residence than I am willing to take. 

I personally don't think this is a good idea but my opinions are my own. 

Hope this helps!

You can get more rent (and from what it sounds like) more applicants if you rent it by the room. However, you’ll have more management hassles—who’s in charge of cleaning the “common areas” of the kitchen and the 2 bathrooms, the hallways, the exterior, etc., what happens when the tenants don’t get along—who do you think they are going to call?

You’re basically turning the townhouse into 4 units like a quad plex. That’s both good and bad. It means you’re in charge of finding tenants for each room. If one room is vacant, that’s less rent per month while it’s vacant, but you should still be able to pay your mortgage. Whereas if you rent the townhouse as a whole, you either have full rent or no rent at all. Also, if you rent by the room, more likely than not, you’ll have to include utilities in the rent. It’d be too difficult to try to separate that out.

You should also check your HOA rules to see if you’re allowed to have 4 non-related individuals in one house. Some neighborhoods and HOAs don’t allow that.

Hope that helps your thought process.

@Tomer Shani I'm not sure of the legal issues for your area but my friends always rent their homes by the bedroom and earn more money that way.  Just set the rules and get some digital locks so everyone feels safe locking their door when they leave out. It's alot less headache than one would expect...just vet them out and as you start getting into a cycle have your tenants vet them out to make sure it'll be a right fit.