≡ Menu

Everyone wants to make some cash and there’s no doubt that renting out a room is a great way to accomplish that.  It’s not entirely easy money and does come with some work.  Most folks may already have an idea, but I wanted to share my first hand experience as what the work will entail.  These responsibilities include:

  • Research and Setting Rent Price – This is probably a one-time deal when you first start out, but it doesn’t hurt to see who your competition is.   A recent comment wrote this:

I rent my room for out of state visitors, travelers, military etc. and created a great detailed ad on craigslist. One day I just happened to pick an ad out of hundreds, and lo and behold, someone had used my entire ad for their own, changing only the size of their room and rates be their own. Is there anything I can do? My ad was soooo detailed and it was used.

  • Though, you can’t really do anything about this particular situation, but it does show you that this person is doing something right to have someone copy their advertisement.
  • Advertise property for rent – This duty only occurs when your current roommate moves out and you wish to find a replacement.  I have a template that I keep and just change the pertinent information, i.e. move-in date and details of the room I’m renting out.   A template helps keeps you from re-inventing the wheel.
  • Respond to people interested in renting the property – This goes hand-in-hand with the previous duty.  When the responses start rolling in, quick responses generally show eagerness to that potential roommate.  From the point of view from the potential roommate, a slow or a lack of a response tends to get the pass.
  • Clean the room in preparation for roommates – I’m lucky that my previous roommates have kept the room clean.  This generally doesn’t consist more of a window cleaning and running the vacuum over the carpet.
  • Show the house – I show the property around and set expectations before they move in so that there are no disagreements on what it’s like to live in your residence.
  • Supervise/help move in – I’ve sometimes been on travel, so I guess it’s really not a chore that a “live-in landlord” needs to perform.  However, I do own a pick-up truck and have offered my assistance and the use of my truck if it’s a reasonable distance.
  • Collect rent and mange security deposit – This is payday.  This is what every live-in landlord lives for.  I love it when the first of the month comes around.   There are several ways to get paid and it’s up to you to set that up.  I’ve wrote about the different ways to get paid.
  • Respond to problems – These are usually complaints about my residence.  For instance, I had a few roommates who were hardcore computer gamers and they’ve often complained how slow the internet was.  Such complaints have to be address whether they actions to appease their complaints or justifications for keeping things unchanged.
  • Pay mortgage, utilities, insurance – Paying bills would happen regardless if you were renting out your room or not, but when you’re a “live-in landlord,” you have to more responsible to avoid delinquent payments, thus preventing services such as cable/internet from being interrupted.  After all, your roommates are like your paying customers and have to keep the satisfied.
  • Handling disputes – Thanks God, I haven’t dealt with this too much.   Both roommates have been able to live under the same roof without any disagreement.
  • Evaluate and fix problems or contact contractor – When shit breaks, it needs to be fixed ASAP.  The roommates are like paying customers.  You don’t want to have disgruntled customers, thus giving them a reason for late or partial rent payments.


I would have to say that advertising and filling the rooms is the most common task I perform.  My residence is generally low maintenance because it is a townhouse.  The association does the outside landscape and so at the cost of the condo fees.

I also have to say I do a lot of housework.  Roommates tend to be like bulls in a china shop or more like dogs in a china shop.  They’re more gentler, but they have to be trained a bit.   One of my household chores I do during the winter months is lay down brown paper on the tile floors in the entryway.  It almost looks like I’m setting up to paint, but I keep the paper there all winter.  This is because my roommates tend to be indifferent about completely wiping off their feet prior to entering.  As result, I get all that salt and sand at my front door area.

For those Live-in Landlords, which common duties do you perform?

For those folks, thinking about joining the ranks for a live-in landlord, which duty scares you the most?

{ 1 comment }
  • Linda May 16, 2013, 10:51 am

    I would have to say that cleaning is something I do on a more regular basis than roommates, but this is partly due to my preferences. I like my kitchen to be very clean and the roommates never seem to notice the odd spill on the cabinet or the microwave getting a bit grungy. While cleaning a room after a roommate leaves is usually not that big of a deal (as you say, running the vacuum and perhaps dusting the blinds are usually all that’s needed), I do a really thorough cleaning of the bathroom they use.

    I’m switching my model from renting out empty bedrooms longer term to renting out a furnished bedroom for short term use. I’ll be turning my biggest bedroom into more of a suite with a sitting area/futon sleeper, TV, queen bed, mini-fridge/microwave, eating nook, etc. I have a bit more work to do in furnishing it, and then I’ll try listing it on Airbnb. I’m thinking that shorter term stays will result in more cleaning work on my part, though, as I’ll have to deep clean the guest bathroom more often and clean the room after the visitors leave.


Leave a Comment