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August 01, 2021

Wealthy homeowners are renting out rooms to save cash

Wow, I guess times really are tough south of the border.

Man With the housing slump increasingly infecting the homes of the well-heeled, owners of sprawling U.S. properties are quietly taking in boarders, using the rent cheques to offset expenses that, in the past, would have come from other income.

Homeowners like the arrangement because they can keep up outward appearances while keeping any financial woes to themselves. And tenants get to use some pretty fancy digs for as little as $600 a month in some instances, SmartMoney reports. 

Would you sign up for a few months? Well, somebody certainly is.

Worried about being overrun, some property owners' associations have passed rules requiring all tenants to go through a background check (paid for by the landlord) before being allowed to move in and restricting the number of times a year that a landlord can rent out the same room.

Association manager Faith Kulla told the magazine that the new amendment was a necessary step. "We didn't want people coming and going, like a boarding-house situation," Kulla says, adding, "it's rampant."

Would you rent out rooms in your home? Toronto's Lisa Marion has. She's been using Airbnb, a new site that streamlines the process of renting out extra bedrooms.

At the best of times, the landlord-tenant relationship can be tricky. But when you're both sharing the same space, it becomes even more complex.

Be sure to do a credit check and ask for solid references, including work and family. That way, you have a starting point to work from.

Find out what your province's landlord and tenant act says about such things as a landlord's right to evict or what kinds of questions you can ask without violating privacy laws or being discriminatory.

Have or would you consider taking in boarders to stretch the family budget? Have you been that tenant? How have things worked out so far?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money

* Follow Gordon on Twitter here.



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...