I have a lot of different side hustles going on in my life. One of my side hustles (and the easiest) is renting out a room in our house. We currently rent to my sister, and she has been wonderful. However, we have had two horrible roommates. One lasted around 6 months (maybe even less) and the other literally lasted 2 days.
We never thought that we would be renting out a room in our house, but all three people needed somewhere to live, and we just fell into it. Luckily, with my sister, everything has been awesome and I have no complaints.
We currently charge my sister $325 per month, which is definitely a deal for her. She gets a room, a bathroom, and everything else in the house. AND it’s super easy money for us. We have a lot of extra space in the house, so why not rent a room to her?
Below are some questions to ask yourself when thinking about adding a roommate:
Who are you renting to?
How well do you know the person that you are renting to? I have always heard that renting to family and friends is most likely not a good idea. My sister has worked out well, but the other two roommates were friends and it did not work out the best. They both thought that they were “helping us out,” when in reality it was US helping them out. This then led to them stepping over us and it was hard to yell at them since they were friends.
Do you want to rent to a stranger, someone from your campus, someone of the opposite sex, someone with kids, a family member, or a friend? There are a lot of choices, you need to decide what will work out best for you.
What are the rules?
Lay out the rules from the very beginning. This is something that we have done with all three roommates. Lay them out now so that there are less/no confusions later with what the rules are. We don’t want a ton of strangers over at our house, so that was one of the rules. Also, no touching certain things in the house (such as our cars), and clean up in the kitchen has to be done immediately. There were a lot of other basic rules as well.
Will their schedule bother you?
Does the person work at night whereas you work in the morning? If you are a light sleeper, this might not be good. See what their schedule is and determine if it’ll work for you.
Is the money even worth it?
If the person who you are renting to using a lot of resources, such as taking 4 hour showers every single day (yes, one of our roommates did this), are you still making money in the end? Make sure that there is value in having someone live with you. It doesn’t need to be a monetary value, maybe the person will keep you company, help you clean, and keep up with maintenance on the house. There are many different options for payment!
Have you ever rented out a room in your home? How did it go?
Michelle Schroeder is the founder of Making Sense of Cents and Diversified Finances, a personal finance and lifestyle blog about budgeting, traveling, life, and student loans. Read further on her story and life.