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Ways to Increase Your Income

Liezl Hesketh in Landlords & owners 


income from rooms

Increase your income -it’s a good way to fight inflation. There are a number of ways you can legally acquire extra cash. Renting out a spare room or cottage you may have is one. As we’re in the business of putting landlords and tenants together we want to help you make sure you’re doing it correctly.

South Africa doesn’t have an organisation which checks and approves a room or cottage as habitable before the landlord is allowed to rent it out. The prevailing rule of thumb is: don’t take a place you don’t like or can’t afford. The Estate Agent Affairs Board is the property market version of the Ombudsman but you won’t have a leg to stand on if you take a place knowing it has problems or you won’t be able to pay the rent.

4 Things that are ‘musts’ if you’re looking for ways to increase your income.

  1. You must have everything in writing. For example, you’re showing a prospective tenant around and they ask if they can have a pet and you agree. This must be put into the rental agreement, and who’s responsible for the animal if the tenant is away on business.
  2. A really good idea when inspecting a room or cottage is to take photographs of everything and then email these to the landlord or tenant along with the rental agreement.
  3. A tenant has 2 weeks for ‘tweaking’ after they move in. This means they have 2 weeks in which to let the landlord know that something needs fixing. After that, unless it’s stated differently in the rental agreement, it becomes the tenant’s problem.
  4. Damp is usually the landlord’s problem unless the tenant has a six-foot fish tank that leaks. Be clear in the rental agreement about water damage caused by the tenant’s belongings.

3 Things to consider if you have a room to rent.

  1. You need to provide, if not an en-suite bathroom then access to a bathroom within easy reach of the room. Normally, an agreed upon amount that covers water and electricity is added to the rent.
  2. Access to the kitchen at normal hours is also a given and what, if any, food is being provided.
  3. If you aren’t providing a house share scenario then you must have clear rules about what other rooms in the house the tenant has access to and when, and if guests are allowed to sleep over.

3 Things to consider if you have a cottage for rent.

  1. If you’re supplying furniture, make sure you take photos of the furniture with the tenant and be clear in writing who is responsible for the maintenance of the furniture.
  2. Discuss with the prospective tenant the rules about loud music, parking, parties, etc. And again, put it in writing.
  3. You have to provide a fitted means of cooking but it doesn’t have to be a full oven. Many cottages with space restrictions supply a two plate stove and a microwave. Remember, if you’re the tenant, you can’t move in and then demand a full stove. If you want one, then a cottage without one isn’t for you.

Here is a good a good link for more of the legal aspects of renting out accommodation.

Finding the right accommodation can be tricky, finding the right landlords or tenants is even more important. That’s why we’re here. The Room Link is the answer. We help you find the best landlords and the best tenants in an easy, simple, friendly way. Contact us at TheRoomLink today to register your accommodation or to sign up for accommodation.

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