Random Thoughts on Renting out a Room
Thinking of renting out a room in your home? Needing some clarity and wondering if it is the right thing for you to do? Bringing someone into your personal space is a very BIG deal. After my divorce, I needed extra money and this seemed like a solution. I rented to friends or friends of friends and never to someone I did not know at all. A friend recently asked for my random thoughts on this matter and I realized there could be others considering the same thing. This is my tried and true Roommate ~ Renter Agreement for a Happy Environment. Good Luck in seeking the perfect roommate, I hope this helps in some way.
Roommate ~ Renter Agreement
…. For a Happy Environment
Kitchen Sharing & Clean up
· Determine if Renter will be sharing meals…
Daily or on selected days/nights of the week
· Who is to cook on selected day/night ~ Set up Schedule
· Determine who does clean up (or) owner does not clean up after roommate’s mealtime. ~ Set up agreement on this before move in
· Determine who buys food ~ give one shelf in fridge to roommate and they are to label their food with their name (or) purchase them a small dorm fridge for their space (or) ask that they bring one with them.
· Determine who buys cleaning items.
· Determine a Laundry Day schedule (perhaps even time)
· They are responsible for purchasing their own detergent (label)
· If there is a need to hang garments for drying ~ designate area
· They are required to keep the area tidy during / after use.
Provide a designated area for dirty laundry ~ Being clear that you do not go around picking up after them.
· Have a clear discussion on what is personal space ie: your bedroom, office area, storage area….be clear on what is “your” space.
· Keep private documents locked and out of sight.
· Keep journals out of sight unless you have 100% trust
· Be clear about public space like a living room / family room / kitchen
Do you want to share this space? If so, agreements must be understood about who selects what to watch on TV or if it is to even be on, same goes for music.
· How public do you want your public space to be? Have a discussion about boundaries when you have a guest. Will they be allowed guest? In my case, I would not allow guy’s staying overnight.
· Determine if you mind naked or near naked bodies running through your space. Never hurts to mention that you like them to be dressed appropriately when in shared public space.
· Roommate is expected to keep it clean and tidy and that you expect it to look the same when they leave as when they arrived.
· Discuss if they are allowed to paint the walls, hang art, etc.
· Discuss load noise limits for your private needs and for their enjoyment needs as well.
· Determine if they or you require a lock for their room
· Determine if they have bed linens or if you need to provide them.
· A set schedule is vital for showering / bathing
· Label personal items or optionally each keep your items in a carry tote that you take with you each time.
· Determine if they are bringing towels, etc or do you need to provide them
· Determine a designated area for each person to put their towels after use.
· Toothbrush area is to be designated as well.
· Who cleans the mirror, tub and toilet (or ) rotate cleaning
· They provide their shampoo, soap, etc. (or not)
· Keep “your” personal prescription drugs out of sight
· You expect it to be kept clean …especially if it is a bath that is used for your guest
· They provide their shampoo, soap, etc.
· If it is a bath used for guest…discuss soap for hand washing, whether you provide or not.
Driveway ~ Garage ~ Parking
· Discuss as needed based on your situation for car use
· Maintenance of walkways (snow shoveling) are usually responsibility of home owner unless agreement is made with roommate
· If you love, love planting flowers ….let them know this is your world and part of your private space
· Home owner is usually responsible for cutting the grass, unless agreement is made for them to share in this (negotiate at time of renting)
· Deck ~ Patio could be public shared space or there may be an area off your bedroom that is yours only. Be clear about what outside space can be used by roommate or not.
Smoking & Drugs
· Be “very” clear on what you allow in this area.
Do you allow, but outside only? Do you have limits beyond the use of cigarettes? I suggest there be no recreational Drugs permitted. You could be put in a very unpleasant situation if you allow them.
Pray they never happen ~ Be Prepared for when they do
· Be sure you have their emergency contact information
· Be sure you inquire if they have any medical needs or allergies.
· You might also want to know the name of their doctor in case you would need to contact the doctor for them
· Have a 30, 60, or 90 day check in with each other… or even a monthly check in with one another to maintain a content environment
Be clear about the money exchange and, if there are other agreements involved such as cutting the grass as part of your exchange. Discuss what steps will be taken if the payment is late or not paid.
First, be clear about your intention and going forward pay attention to your intention.
It would be a good idea to have all agreements in writing and signed.
Also, check with your insurance company to see if you need changes to your homeowners coverage. Don’t hesitate to do a background check.
This may sound silly but, talk to your home and let it know what is happening. That someone else is moving in, who and the reason why. Thank your home for the security and shelter that it provides you and ask that it continues to support you in this way.
Clear and clean your space with your favorite method prior to the new roommate moving in. I recommend using a sage smudge and perhaps some sea salt. Repeat as needed and again when they move out.
Blessings to you in finding the perfect roommate.