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The steps for Renting out a room are a simple: place roommate advertisement online, choose roommate, roommate moves in, and collect rent.  The last step is the part we as homeowners have in mind when we rent out a room.  But from these highly simplified steps to renting out a room, the third step, roommate moves in, is the step where you the homeowners may feel uneasy.

Assuming you found a roommate from an online medium, in which case you probably don’t know the person well, but choose the person because they seem like the most likely fit.  Despite this, the thought of letting that person move in can make you feel somewhat uneasy.

I felt this way a few years ago when I rented out my room for the first time.

Before I rented out my spare bedroom, I’ve been living in my place by myself for almost a year.  When my first roommate online, I felt a little uneasy transitioning from living alone to living with a total stranger.   The feeling came from the fact, it was a total stranger that I was going to be sharing the bathroom, kitchen and living room with.

To overcome or lessen the uneasy feeling of having an unknown roommate move in, I follow these tips, which I have learned over the years from having new roommates move in.

  1. Help them move in – If you have a truck or larger vehicle, you can offer assistance in moving their stuff in.  In my case, I own a pick up truck and helped some of my past roommates move in.  I’ve learned by doing this, you converse about work and life, ultimately putting to rest the uneasy feeling of having a relatively unknown person move in.
  2. Show them around town – Instead of showing a potential roommate just your house and the bedroom they will be living in, go the extra step and show them around town.  Get in your car or walk the around the city block to show them the eateries, the grocery store you shop at, and other points of interest.
  3. Arrange to eat lunch – When you’re going to show your place to a potential roommate, a possibility is to meet the person in a public place such as a coffee shop or diner to engage in a conversation and scope the personality of the potential roommate.  This option would be more suitable for someone that is totally scared out of their minds to rent a room to a stranger, but have no choice to do so for financial reasons.

Although the uneasy feeling of having a roommate from online can easily be avoided by having a friend or acquaintance as a roommate, Penelope Truck at Brazen careerist has an awesome post why friends don’t make the best roommates.

To this day, I have never rented a room to a friend.  I don’t like mixing business with friends or family as money is the root of all evil and may lead to irresolvable differences.

Closing Thoughts

The suggestions I made are my ideas that most potential roommates are receptive to when they meet you for the first time.

Rather than suffering through sleepless night because you’re constantly at bay on whether you made the right choice on renting out a room to a person you found via craigslist advertisement, taking these actions will definitely help mitigate any uneasy feelings you may have when your roommate moves in.

In the next few weeks when I show my place to potential new roommate, I’ll offer to help move their personal belongings in.

Tell me some other ways you can engage in a conversation with your new roommate.

  • Financial Samurai September 1, 2010, 11:12 pm

    Hola! Have you used all your rental income to specifically pay off debt, or did you use any money to go to Vegas and stuff?

    • Mike September 2, 2010, 5:06 am

      I initially used the rental income to pay for grad school. Since graduating I use it to pay off debt. I have used some of the rental income for fun stuff. haha

  • Cruzer May 12, 2012, 10:31 pm

    I wanted to know if renting out a spare room in my town home would have adverse reactions it’s a three bedroom town home one car garage what steps can we take to protect me and my fiancé from having any repercussions

    • Mike May 15, 2012, 4:13 pm

      Can you clarify adverse reaction? It would be more helpful to determine what you’re apprehensive about.


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