Basement apartments for rent are popular because they offer renters the opportunity to find affordable places to live in hip and expensive cities. New York City and Boston, for instance, are places where people often look for basement apartments to rent. As the owner of a basement, therefore, you have an opportunity to make a nice extra income with some very simple refurbishments. However, you do have to make sure that you follow all the relevant laws pertaining to basement apartments for rent.
Offering Basement Apartments For Rent:
It is fantastic to own an apartment in urban areas. However, if this apartment followed old construction laws and is therefore not up to code, it could be an unsafe place. Whether you rent it out or live there, you need to make sure that this is resolved. Hence, before you rent your space out, you need to make sure it has been properly inspected.
One of the things that an inspector will look at, is whether there is sufficient head height. The legal obligation for this varies by state, but ranges from 7′ to 9′ minimum. This head height has to the actual usable space. So if you have 9′ and that is the law, you cannot then put in a false ceiling to accommodate the pipes and so on. Make sure you check the ordinances in your town to make sure you understand what the rules are, and do this before you start on a refurbishment project.
Next, you are likely to have to install an egress window if you want someone to be allowed to live in the basement apartment. For many homeowners, this is the first project. One of the reasons why this is obliged by law, is because the window is an emergency exit in the event of a fire or flood. Hence, it has to be large enough to allow a fully grown adult to get through.
Next, you are likely to need to install a proper moisture control system. Even if this is not obliged by law in your state for basement apartments for rent, you should still consider it. This is because this system will help you to prevent mold and leaks, while at the same time ensuring that moisture levels stay down. You will find it difficult to rent out your space if it smells or looks moldy, and it would in fact be uninhabitable for people with certain medical conditions. Should you have installed the system only recently, make sure that you have also removed any lingering smells and molds before you offer the space up for rent. You should be able to fit this system behind your walls, which also protects the insulation.
These are the key things to be aware of if you own a basement apartment and want to offer it as a rental space. Make sure you understand that, as a landlord, you have a number of legal obligations in terms of making spaces habitable. Hence, don’t see this as an easy money-making scheme, but rather as a solid, long term investment.