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What do I need to do, legally, before I can rent a room in my house?

Oakland, CA |

I live in California and plan on buying a house in the near future. I would like to rent out some of the rooms to help make my monthly payments. What, if any, steps do I need to take to legally rent rooms in my house? Does it make a difference if I rent the room as a home office or bedroom? I plan to buy in either El Cerrito, Richmond, Berkeley or Oakland. Does the city matter?

Attorney Answers 1


  1. Not really much needed to legally rent rooms, as most Rent Control...and Oakland's Just Cause -EE do not apply to owner occupied property....very little regulation.

    Contract law applies and I have seen owners begging to get guests out of their homes. So be very careful about WHO you rent to....make sure that you check and double check references. Do not rent to anyone that has less to loose than you do...

    They can destroy your home and all you can do is get money from them after suing them and then trying to collect from them....wage garnishment? not always, if they do not have a good steady job...they can relocate and how far are you going to chase them??? put them in jail for vandalism? that is FREE room and board for some people....

    Be very careful about who you let into your home...

    Written contract don't work if they have nothing to loose....

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