For college and university students, affordable housing is always a challenge. Rooms in dormitories are hard to come by, and fraternity or sorority housing requires memberships. If you own a house or apartment near a school campus, it might make sense to convert the place, or part of it, into a boarding house.
Converting your home into a boarding house can be a tough decision, though, especially if you have a family with kids. It does bring in extra money, and might help pay the bills. You would also be helping those college students or young professionals struggling to save up for a place of their own.
Check with the local government. Before turning your home into a boarding house, you should check with your city government if you need any business licenses or permits. In case you will be doing any remodeling or improvements to your home, you might need a building permit. At the very least, you can also ask the nearby colleges and universities if you will be needing any accreditation of sorts.
Clean the rooms. When renting out your home to boarders, you need to make sure their accommodations are comfortable. Clean the rooms, and clear these of any personal belongings. Make sure the linens are clean, and the closets are ready for the new occupant's clothes.
Provide furnishings and facilities. At the very least, provide adequate beds. You can rent out rooms for twin accommodation or single accommodation—it will depend on the budget of your boarders. If you are taking in students, they will also need desk space for studying. You can also provide extra facilities that will help with study, such as free WiFi access (if you already have a wireless network running), and the like.
Ensure adequate bathroom facilities. Since you will be sharing your home with people who are not friends nor relatives, you need to make sure the house has adequate bathrooms and plumbing. Allocate at least one bathroom for boarders. If you can afford it, have another bathroom made. For instance, if you will be turning the entire basement into boarding facilities, you can have an extra bathroom made here, for easy access.
Provide meals. Apart from board and lodging, meals are usually part of the services that a boarding house offers. This will depend on your capacity, though, and your boarders’ availability for meals. Most students will be out all day, so you will only need to provide breakfast and dinner. You might have to purchase an additional refrigerator or freezer, to accommodate extra stocks of food. You will be feeding a bigger set of people than just your family, after all.
Market your boarding house. When you’re getting started, you will usually need to market your boarding house to your potential clientele. Post advertisements at bulletin boards in nearby campuses. Word of mouth also works well. Be sure to have an open house, where potential boarders can check out the premises.
Converting your home into a boarding house can be an ideal set-up if you want to earn extra money, or if you’re experiencing the empty nest syndrome. Just be sure to have a proper background check of the people you will be taking in, to make sure you’re not taking in any potential troublemakers.