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This is a guest post from Tamara aka Mid America Mom, who rents out two of her spare rooms to rooommates.  The unique perspective she brings to the table is that she and her husband decided to rent out their two spare bedrooms while they have two younger children.  She briefly goes into some insight about their guest policy with their roommates out of interest of their children.

Our home would house 6 people (2 renters and my family of 4) and an indoor cat if our two rooms for rent were occupied at the same time.  Our one floor house is small, around 1500 sq feet, but that includes  a full finished basement.  The basement has  ample storage space, full bath, laundry, and a utility area.  Since it  has no living space, guests are confined to the main floor.  Our living and dining room is spacious as it is one large room.  The kitchen is a kind fo tight space.  In addition to doubling as a hall to the back of the home, it is dark and narrow and has three entrances.  It feels crowded when 3 people are there!  I do not understand it but people like to linger in it(maybe feels more cozy?).

Our current roommate initiates conversations there and when our realtor occasionally stops by, (we have become great friends and he is a good resource) he likes to lean against the counter.

With all the people we have stopping by we wondering what our current renters would think of it, and what would happen if our renters had guest.  Some of the concerns in our house are as follows:

  • Do you all hang out or give them space?
  • What if you do not like or trust the guest?
  • How about one of those parties with folks falling down drunk?
  • In the case of some- do they have overnight guests?
  • What happens if something illegal is going on?
  • What about broken or stolen things?

But we have implemented a guest policy since we have young kids living in the house.  As a parent, I worry about who is in our home a lot more than before kids.  Things like bad language, wild parties, and fights are things we try to avoid.  The wholebirds and the bees thing has not come up.  As it is a family home I hope thatroommates are mindful of these things.  The skeptic in me knows it is a wild card and especially with guests.  People may simply not agree, are unaware, or might not care.  So instead of trying to work through the issue of guests with our roommates we wrote into our rental agreement that there are to be no guests- at all.  I do disclose this fact to all potential roommates.  The majority are fine with it, but one person that I am trying to line up for August, took issue against this policy.  She seems to be a great fit for our home and I told her that I would be willing to work through the guest situation.  Part of it would be us getting to know their guests and building trust.  I want to see if their guests are respectful to our renter, to us, and our things.

In addition, I would like to find out if they act or speak inappropriately in a family home, and observe if they are doing any illegal activity such as drugs.  I told her I am not sure I want guests over when we are not home.  I do not have priceless works of art but our place is starting to look less like a rental stuffed with IKEA and castoffs.  We just purchased an antique dining table that I love.  I have concerns whether they would  place a sweating bottle of beer on it?  That would be an expensive mistake – more than any reasonable deposit would cover.  She did not indicate her final thoughts and has not contacted us since the showingbut I think we will hear from her.

The room is still available but I do not plan or want to make a concession on guests with anyone else.  It is just easier to fall back to the  no guest policy.


Mid America Mom

Creative Commons License photo credit: New Media Days

  • Krantcents July 1, 2011, 12:10 pm

    Although I could never rent out rooms in my house, I like the idea of rules. If it works for you, that is great.

  • Mid America Mom July 4, 2011, 6:24 pm

    Some folks do not have a need for them.

    We thought best to share and put into writing certain expectations. There even is quiet time!

    Mid America Mom

  • Sandy - yesiamcheap July 20, 2011, 7:29 pm

    I have a house rules thing built into my lease and they’re renting the entire house! I don’t want the neighbors complaining about wild parties or getting a summons from the police as a homeowner so you have to decide what works for you and if it doesn’t then done compromise.

  • Ricks January 4, 2013, 4:49 am

    So far, guests in my house have never been a problem but I don’t have furniture that could be marred by a bottle of beer…

    Correction… they’ve been a problem, once.

    The rental areas are very different for each person in my house. The Master Bedroom unit is just that… a bedroom… if she has a guest, she has to entertain them in the shared areas of the house. Over all, I stay out of her way unless she invites me in for dinner (which has actually happened before) but I otherwise go out of my way to stay out of her way.

    The only issue was one of her friends who had the nerve to come onto me in my own home. I took the issue up with him, privately and basically told him to leave. He has not come back and she did not seem to take personal offense to it.

    The other unit is a huge space with a bed and a couch area, so she has room to entertain guests if she so desires, but she’s older and the only guests she has are her parents and her daughter. They’re relatively quiet and they take no issue with me being around. If she wants to stop involving me in the conversation, she’ll move her company into her space and/or close the door. Yet again, there has never been an issue.

    There is basically a house rule that states no parties. I discuss that before I even commit to allowing someone to move in.


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