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I work 9 - 5 and during the daytime on weekdays, my expensive condo is rather empty. What are some good ideas that I can rent the space out to some artist/yoga teacher during the day and make a passive income?

What do you think are the pros/cons of this?

Thank you!

  • 3
    You want to rent your condo out by the hour? – DJClayworth Aug 22 '11 at 3:17
  • No...more like per day during the week – Victor123 Aug 23 '11 at 2:00
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Letting idle space is always worth a look, Kaushik. The trick is to find the right mix of the tenant's needs and your needs. Having been through something similar, here's a few key points I took away from the experience:

  • It has to feel like an office space/work space for the tenant. This means you will have to consider furniture placement and removal of personal items from the "space" that the tenant will be using.
  • Define the space. Saying something vague like "condo available" will never fly. What space in the condo is available? What services are available - water, electricity, use of the bathroom (which one(s)), etc? What equipment will they be bringing in with them?
  • How can the tenant advertise? What can they say about the setting that wont upset you (and your neighbours)?
  • Who will they be bringing into the premises? How many at a time? Will they have assistants with them? How many parking spaces will they be using (always more than people think)?
  • What are your use expectations? Trash removed at the end of the day? Their equipment gone from the premises entirely, or stowed in a closet somewhere? etc etc
  • Be formal. Have a written agreement that clearly spells out all the details, including an opt-out clause for both parties.

In terms of who to look for - that's an individual decision (on one hand) and a business decision (on the other), both in terms of what works for you and what will work for them. Artists, yoga teachers, tutors (educators), music teachers (probably not drums), etc are all good choices. Depending on where the condo is, professional services such as speech/language pathologists, and ed psychs might also work (you would be looking at subsets for some of these professions - you probably wont want a behavioral specialist working in your condo).

It does require some planning and thought, but it can be a very good situation for all involved.

  • Specific pros - some minor income for you, the place being looked after while you're out.
  • Specific cons - tenants can be unpredictable, setting and meeting expectations can be two different things.

Treat it formally and you will minimise the surprises.

  • 7
    This is a good answer, but the idea of renting out my home gives me the willies. – MrChrister Aug 21 '11 at 18:36
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    @MrChrister. Yes, certainly not for everyone -- although the shape and setup of the home can make a difference. Some places just have an easily sequestered area. – gef05 Aug 21 '11 at 22:39
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    A thing not considered is the community bylaws. You must make sure that it is at all allowed, and if allowed that the tenant will abide by the rules. – littleadv Aug 23 '11 at 5:12
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I would recommend against this. Your condo is not really empty; it is securing your personal property against theft, tampering, and accidents. It's also there for you for sick days, stay-at-home vacations, snow days, and company holidays. What happens when you're sick and contagious with flu? Who's responsible if there's a break-in potentially due to tenant negligence? If the tenant breaks your stuff, do you have any practical recourse beyond court? What if the tenant is an identity thief who's only there to bug your computer?

I'd think something like this would have all the disadvantages of a roommate with only a fraction of the monetary gain. It's really easy for the tenant to walk away, while you're taking 90%+ of the risk.

If none of this fazes you, use Gef's answer.

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    Agreed, in a sense it should be no different from the normal roommate type arrangement, but no matter how great that yoga instructor is, her clients are a different matter. If you had some kind of loft and lived a Spartan life, you'd have less at risk. I agree with jprete here. – JoeTaxpayer Aug 21 '11 at 18:44
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    Risks of renting your home to strangers.... See signalnews.com/airbnb-home-vandalism-nightmare-deepens-636 – Paul Aug 23 '11 at 5:39
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Based on some of your other questions, I'm guessing you are in Canada.

One definite con, or at least issue to remember are your zoning laws and your condo agreement.

There may be clause(s) in your condo owners agreement against sub-letting or running a business from your home.

Similarly, while you can usually use your house for a home-based business, something like a yoga studio with multiple people coming and going is more likely suited to a commercial area than a residential one.

It may well not be worth the aggravation.

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