Does Renting a Room of Your House Cause You to Lose Florida Homestead Protection?

Sun 23rd Apr, 2023 Business Litigation

Florida homeowners Renting out a room in your homestead could be a great way to make some extra cash. Not only can it help with your finances, but it can also provide an opportunity to meet new people and share your space with others. However, before you dive into renting out your spare room, you should consider Florida’s valuable homestead protection laws.

Florida’s Homestead Laws and Other Important Regulations.

Florida law allows for homestead properties to be used for “non-commercial residential purposes.” This means that you can rent out a room in your homestead as long as you are not running a business out of your home. Additionally, if you live in a community with a homeowner’s association, you should check their rules and regulations to make sure you are allowed to rent out a room.

The most recent Florida case re-affirms that renting a room in your house will not cause you to lose homestead status. In Furst v. Rebholz, as Trustee of the Rob Rebholz Revocable Trust, 302 So.3d 423 (Fla. 2d DCA 2020), the Second District Court of Appeals concluded that:

“[T]he property appraisers of this state are not authorized by law to carve up a homeowner’s permanent residence in order to remove the protection provided by the constitutional homestead exemption when that person rents a bedroom or any other space within their home. Any interpretation to the contrary would circumvent public policy and could create financial hardship for countless Florida citizens who reside within their permanent residences while renting bedrooms or working from home to make ends meet.”

Becoming a Landlord.

You should next consider the financial implications of becoming a landlord. Renting out a room can be a great way to earn extra income, but it can also come with additional expenses. For example, you may need to purchase additional insurance or pay for any repairs or maintenance that the room may require. It is important to consider these costs and make sure that renting out a room is financially feasible for you.

Have a Written Lease Agreement.

When renting out a room, it is important to establish clear expectations and guidelines for your tenants. This includes rules regarding noise levels, cleanliness, and shared spaces. It is also important to have a written agreement outlining the terms of the rental agreement. This can help avoid any misunderstandings or conflicts down the line. 

Renting out a room in your homestead can be a great way to earn extra income and share your space with others. However, it is important to carefully consider the legal, financial, and practical implications before taking the plunge. With the right preparation and mindset, renting out a room can be a rewarding experience for both you and your tenants.

Be sure to consult with a legal and financial professional to ensure that you are making the best decision for your situation.  Contact the attorneys at Purcell, Flanagan, Hay & Greene, P.A. with any questions you may have.