A garage or other free-standing building on your property can make an excellent storage rental unit, but an unused basement in your home can be just as lucrative. Here is a Step-By-Step guide on how to rent out your basement and become a storage host, attract renters, and start making money.

Step 1- Zoning, Codes, and Permits

First, contact your local zoning office and inform them of your plans. Renting your basement out for storage purposes is different than renting it out as an apartment or living quarters so permits will be different and usually less restrictive. Still, you want to make sure that you’re not violating any codes that could leave you susceptible to fines or a lawsuit. Also, check with your homeowner’s insurance policy and HOA if applicable. As boring as this part may be, it can save yourself a lot of trouble later. Once you get past this step, you can start prepping your basement for renters.

Step 2 – Deep Clean

It should go without saying that before you list your basement you want it in the cleanest and most presentable condition as possible. Move out all boxes and clutter. Mop floors, clean walls, dust shelves, and wash windows. Address any problems or needed repairs such as mildew or mold, and ceiling, wall, or floor damage. Make sure everything is in good working order: windows, doors, light fixtures, and all locks. While you’re cleaning keep notes on all the great things your basement has to offer. How big is it? Does it have its own bathroom or a separate entrance? Is there a lot of natural light? What about plenty of closet space or cupboards for small items?

Step 3 – Take Lots of Pictures

Take as many pictures as you can. You don’t need to use all of them, but the more pictures that a potential renter can see to visualize the space the better. Highlight everything positive about your basement. Does it have lots of natural light that would appeal to an artist looking for studio space? Get a picture of the room bathed in sunlight. That big closet that you made note of earlier? Get a picture of it so someone can imagine storing their boxes of vintage comic books there. Pictures are very important and far too many people cut corners here when they should be doing the opposite.

Step 4 – Write a Great Description

Look at your pictures and notes and write a description of everything your basement has to offer. Write down the exact dimensions and locality. What else would make your basement perfect for someone looking for storage space, creative studio, or home office? Be creative to make your listing stand out. Instead of writing “Basement for Rent” say “Heated Daylight Basement with Separate Entrance in the Cleveland Area.” A good description will make a world of difference in how much interest you can generate.

Step 5 – List It!

With your notes, pictures, and killer description, you’re all set to list your basement. Take a few minutes and go to Hopperstock to register as a storage host and let them help you find a renter and show you how to get paid. It isn’t complicated, but if you need help you can call or talk to an online representative that can walk you through it. After registering, Hopperstock will add your space to its database of available spaces for renters to find through desired zip code.

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