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I have received e-mails from readers about various topics.  I thought I share a few interesting ones.


A few weeks ago, I wrote about setting the rent price, which is often determined by the market and the amenities offered.  With that said, I received e-mails asking if certain amenities are worth including.  One particular reader asked:

…I was thinking about including a maid service in the rent price to clean the communal areas. What are you thoughts on selling this as an amenity.”

I’m totally against the idea because you’re saying it’s okay not to clean up the common areas because “someone” else will do it.  As your roommate gets comfortable in your house (they will), the common areas will tend to get messier and messier.  It’s only going to be a matter of time when the housecleaner will say it’s beyond the work scope in which they were originally tasked.  In turn, the house cleaner or maid will charge more and you can see how that can end.

I have a cleaning schedule that seems to be working for the most part.  The schedule includes of list of items that need to be cleaned in the common areas.  I have three common areas, the kitchen, the bathroom, and the hallways.

My roommates and I tackle a different common area every month.  This ensures an item is not overlooked and each area is more or less cleaned to the same consistency.

If anyone has other processes or systems in place to maintain a clean house, I’d love to hear about it.



“…Also I would like to know why you are doing this free?”

While, I certainly would like to get paid for my time writing these posts and the cost to host a blog.  There’s a rewarding feeling when someone writes a comment like this:

“Because of this website, I stop short of being SCAMED. The room that I was renting out was $425.00 they sent me a check for $3,350.90. I called the company from who the check was written out, everything on the check was correct. However it was not sent from them. Just think if I had not found this website first, I would have been taken for the sum of 2,925.90. I have kept the check and all the emails, and I will be sending them to the FBI. Thanks so much
A Very Great full Gordon”

Although, not everyone writes a comment or sends an e-mail thanking me for posting my experiences renting out rooms, you can clearly see how someone has directly benefitted from my experiences and how grateful they were to for the scam they were about to fall victim to.  It feel good to help some from being scammed.  If I put myself in that persons shoes, I would be grateful that someone is sharing their experiences as a data point so that a homeowner starting out on this venture doesn’t get discouraged.

I have been thinking about putting a “donation” button for people to donate what they feel my posts are worth.

Thanks for reading and sending me feedback, it’s definitely encouraging to share my experiences.

Creative Commons License photo credit: [F]oxymoron


  • anthony wong October 31, 2011, 2:57 am

    hi mike, i enjoy reading about your thoughts on being a renting landlord in usa. u did not mention which city you are in. is it new york? i live in london uk.
    one question to you. is sexual preference in your renters important? and what about your policy on overnight visitors?

    • Mike November 2, 2011, 5:08 pm

      I’m indifferent about sexual preference. In fact, I have one current roommate who is gay. As long as the person is easy to get along with, that’s all I care about. I did have a few roommates who asked about overnight visitors, but the key thing was, they asked me prior to having their friends stay over. I’ve had other live-in landlords tell me, they have a strict no overnight visitor policy.

  • Bill November 23, 2011, 4:40 pm

    Hey Mike,

    I definitely agree with no cleaning service. We experimented with bringing in cleaners and it failed miserably. As you stated, the tenants felt no need to clean as they felt the cleaners would take care of it. Once we transitioned back to having the tenants clean up after themselves it was simply a matter of staying on top of them and ensuring any individuals who couldn’t comply with the group standards had to either step up or move on.



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