When renting, can I define the rented unit as the bedroom and all other areas as “common areas”?

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When renting, can I define the rented unit as the bedroom and all other areas as “common areas”?

Is it legal when renting my house to tenants to only rent the bedrooms out while considering the kitchen bedrooms and other non-bedroom spaces “common areas”? If I move out and that was the agreement does that change automatically or does the original arrangement still stand?

Asked on March 27, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Washington

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Are you only renting rooms to the people and not the whole house?  You can "defnine" the areas that you wish to call "common areas" in the lease agreeemnt for purposes of the agreeemnt.  If you are asking if the agreement is legal and will hold up in court in a dispute well one would have to read it to determine that.  Spelling things out is always the best thing.  I wuld, though, double check on what your intention here is with the home and with your local zoning laws.  Sounds like you are turning things in to a boarding house type home and some times there ar local zoning laws that prohibit it and prohibit unrelated people from sharing homes.  Good luck. 


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