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Privacy lost when you're renting out a room

Most folks equate that having a roommate is a sure shot invasion on your privacy.  This fallacy stems from that sharing a living space means that you won’t have any privacy.  This may have been true in college where you’re sharing a single dorm room with a roommate.  You’re essentially co-habiting a room together.  There’s no personal privacy in this situation.  If you want to go to bed and your roommate doesn’t want to, you two will have to make compromises.

However when you’re renting out a room, it’s a little bit different.  You’re renting out a single room, which means each of you will have your own bedroom.  You can go to bed any time your desire and wake up when you want to.

The only shared spaces are the common areas.  For me, this is limited to the:

  • Kitchen
  • Living Room
  • Deck

Sharing the spaces above really doesn’t invade on my privacy.  I know some folks may feel different because they consider their home their entire living areas.

I feel that if my roommates want to hang out in the living while they wait for their food to cook in the oven or grill, that’s fine.  The only concern I have is that they’re responsible and clean up after themselves or make an attempt to.

I once had a roommate who would discard his amazon boxes in kitchen trash versus breaking it down and taking it to the recycling bins.  It’s annoyance that a single box occupies the kitchen trash, but it shows that he’s mindful enough to discard his trash, but not mindful enough to think about how stupid or lazy it is to discard an entire empty box in the kitchen trash.  Enough of the rant.


Often times, I find myself having my own house to myself despite renting out two spare rooms.  This is because my roommates go home often to visit their parents and friends since they live close enough.

One of the questions I ask during my in-person interview is:


This will reveal how much time they’ll end up spending at your house during the weekends.  I find myself occupied with work and activities that I’m really not home until early evening.  With such a full schedule, I’m really just home to prepare dinner and sleep.  On the weekends, I find myself having more free time and lounging around the house.

Sometimes my roommates are home and sometimes times they’re away on the weekends.  The they are away, I feel like there isn’t any sacrifice on my privacy despite that fact I’m renting out my spare rooms.  It really depends on the roommate and their lifestyle.  You may luck out with a roommate that’s not home much and “live-in landlords” that really like their privacy yet still want to earn extra cash may value a true weekend suitcase roommate.

 The aforementioned question is just one of many from my questionnaire I ask during my in-person interview.  To find out more about my complete list, look for my up coming guide book: “Filtering the Hotdogs from the Real Dogs: Screening for Reliable Roommates.”

Photo Credit: g4ll4is



Apologies for the lack of updates. I’ve been really busy with work.  My job has kept me on the road with irregular sleep schedules.  I’ve created the blog as an outlet/educational experience for “live-in landlords.”  With the lack of post, indicates there’s really nothing news worthy to report with the renting out rooms endeavor.  This is even when I’m traveling for work, leaving my roommates in my house.

  • Nikki December 27, 2013, 11:32 am

    When I tell people I rent out rooms, a lot of times the first thing they say is something like “oh i could never share my house with someone. i don’t want to lose my privacy.”

    My current two roommates are hardly home! And when they are, they tend to be mostly in their rooms. I’ve had past roommates who were more social and we became great friends. But this is how it worked out with the current roommates, and that’s fine too. They are quite friendly, just much less social. 🙂

    I have a rant too about one guy who was so dirty I couldn’t take it anymore and asked him to move at the end of his lease. After him, I made future leases month-to-month right off the bat. I no longer want to commit to anyone for a year or even 6 months if I find out I can’t deal with their lack of cleanliness!

  • Matt February 6, 2017, 4:24 am

    My wife and I had a roommate who just graduated college and wasn’t quite ready to move in with her nearby boyfriend yet. So she rented our room to have her own place in principle, but spent nearly all her time at her boyfriend’s place. We’d see her maybe once a week, if that. It was glorious. She rented the room from us for nine months until she finally decided get an apartment with the dude. It was a sad day when she left, because it was the easiest nine months of income I’ve ever made.


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