I bought a townhouse about 8 months ago and have been renting out the extra rooms for added income (actually to be completely truthful, I'm living here for free. For example, the place is renting out to 4 other housemates for $1,650 gross, but it only costs about $950/month after the mortgage, bills, condo fees, etc. are paid for). The rent setup is that there's no damage deposit required and the rent is month-to-month (with the option of paying bi-weekly after the first month).
So far things have been going fantastic and we've had very little problems at all. People seem very happy to room up here. There are a few things that I'd like some information on.
First, it's a three bedroom condo with a basement. So there's a young couple in the master bedroom and two other guys in the remaining 2 rooms. I sleep in the basement (which, by the way, is currently undeveloped and there is NO window down there) and I share the living-room, kitchen, and only bathroom in the house with everyone else. There's no landlord for me to report to.
I eventually will develop the basement in the near future with another full bathroom and a legitimate bedroom (including cutting out a window in the foundation) mainly for easier living and better resale value.
A couple of questions are:
1). could my roommates report me for risking myself sleeping down there being that it's not legal sleeping quarters? Keep in mind I would *never* rent out the space to someone else.
2). what about rent? I'm going to claim the money as income, but what about setting the prices? Can I increase rent of the vacant room if a roommate moves out and an existing roommate wants to move into the other room? How much notice do I need to let them know of a rent increase if there's no room move changes?
3). I have a rental agreement that each of my roommates have signed stating that I have 'rights to entry' of their bedrooms for general inspection (if I suspect illegal substances, etc) or for general maintenance such as vacuuming. Is that legal in this roommate situation? I've had at least one roommate freak out when he learned that I was in his room without him there when I vacuumed the carpet.
4). If I *did* have a major situation where someone didn't pay rent, harassed someone, or caused damage and I wanted them gone, could I change the electronic dead-bolt code and remove their personal items from inside the house to outside without ramification? How much notice do I have to give?
5). Fire insurance is covered by the HOA, but I also have $50K of insurance for *my* contents. I've stressed and made my housemates sign acknowledging I'm not insurer and that my roommates are fully responsible for their own insurance. Could my roommates still sue me if a fire happened and their belongings were burned up?
There's really not much information on the web for my situation. Thanks for your help in advance!