Renovating Part of Your Home to Be Rented

By: Horizon Bank Last Updated: May 14, 2012

for-rentHaving someone help pay off your mortgage sounds like a dream. However, many people are opting to renovate and rent out part of their homes to make this dream a possibility. Home renovations can be daunting and confusing projects to undertake. If you’re renovating part of your home to be rented out, such as a basement apartment, there are steps you should follow to ensure your remodeling process goes smoothly.

Hire a Contractor that Specializes in Rental Renovations
When it comes to renovations, many people may not know where to start. A good first step is to hire a contractor that specializes in rental renovations. They have the knowledge and experience to ensure the project is done correctly and within all legal standards.

Apply for Permits
It can be difficult to determine if a project may or may not need a building permit. There are many instances where you need one, though you may not need a permit to lay a new roof or upgrade your counter tops. The best way to ensure you have the proper permits and avoid any code violations is to call your local permitting office.

Read up on Safety and Fire Regulations
Some important things to consider when remodeling your home for rental are fire and safety regulations. Usually, your contractor will be well versed in these concepts, but it is important that you understand the rules as a potential landlord. You can find guidelines for renovating your rental at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website, as well as state regulations for both Indiana and Michigan at and, respectively.

Learn the Legalities of Becoming a Land Lord
Becoming a landlord isn’t something that can happen overnight. You need to learn the legal ins and outs of having a rental tenant in your home. The best way to ensure you are legally ready for a renter is to seek the advice of a lawyer. They can help you draw up rental agreements and protect yourself should a tenant become a concern.

This post is part of a series on home equity. Take a look at our post Tips for Restoring Your Historic Home.