How to rent a room in my house?

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Topic: How to rent a room in my house?

Real Estate May 24, 2012 at 5:30 pm

How to rent a room in my house?

I’m a single female who owns a 3-bedroom house. I’d like to rent out a room (and share use of the rest of the house) but I have no idea where to start– Google isn’t helping me much. Does anyone know if I need a license from the city to do this? Also, is there a DC-specific lease agreement/template that I could use? Or should there be only what I see called a “roommate agreement”?
Thanks in advance, I really appreciate the help!

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I’m really not sure legally if you’re supposed to have a license as it stands right now, but I know that with the proposed updates, you will.  They’re not as stringent if you’re living there versus if you’re renting an entire property out and not living there.
Proposed: (DCRA–under Related Documents)
Either way, yes, you should absolutely have a lease.  You need it in writing that the people who are living with you have agreed to pay you rent, and how much, and for how long.  Here is a sample DC realtor lease:

I called DCRA about a year ago to ask if a basic business license was required to rent out rooms in my own home.  The woman seemed like she had never heard of such a thing. Her: “Like a rooming house?”   Me: “No, like a group house.”  Her “A group house?  What’s that?  Like for retarded people?”
Ultimately she said I didn’t need one.  But you can never really know. . .

where is your house located and how much are you asking for? i’m going to need a new place to live beginning in september.

I’m in the exact same scenario, and spent lots of time trying to figure out the right, legal way to do this. The long and short of it is that you do need to have a license from the city for this (although in my experience many people do this without the required license). It’s not super easy to figure out but basically you need to apply for a business tax ID, then get a business license here:
From your description, sounds like you need a One Family Rental License. Hope that helps!

no, you dont need a license…come on people. It’s a room! This is what I did:
1) Advertise room on craigslist
2) Hold interviews
3) Draw up a lease. Have it be a standard lease but spell out specifics with sharing the common spaces. Also spell out quiet hours, all of that. 
4) Have them move in, collect 1st months’ deposit and rent. 
5) Keep collecting rent. 
I’ve been doing this for two years now. It’s really not that complicated. 

You also need to be careful if the monthly rent is more than $1,000 (for a room probably not ). You are required to file a DC unincorporated business tax… return

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