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Guest policy for renting out a room

Saturday around noon I received a call that scared me a bit.

The person at the other end of the line introduced himself as Investigative Service Personnel for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM).  At this point, I thought I was in trouble!

Just the sound of Investigative Services sounds terrifying.  But alas, it wasn’t about me – it was about one of my roommates.

This person wanted to know if I had time to meet in person and interview me about one of my past roommates.  I obliged to meet up at a local coffee shop.

The interview was conducted because one of my past roommates was due for a re-investigation for his Government Security Clearance, which required for his job.

The whole interview lasted for 20 minutes – nothing too complicated – but gave me some additional ideas on the questions I should I ask references of my potential roommates.

This was my first dealing with investigative services.  If you want to avoid these interviews, I would suggest not having a roommate that requires a Government security clearance for their job.  On the other hand, a job that requires a security clearance equates to a reliable paying roommate.

Guest Policy

I wanted to touch upon guests.  I realize my roommates have friends and they visit – that’s almost guaranteed.

Some “live-in landlords” have a strict no guest policy.  Meaning that no one is allowed in the residence of the “live-in landlord.”  I think that’s a little too harsh.  I can’t imagine the reception if I imposed that rule.

What constitutes “no guests”? Can guests stop by and drop something off or pick up the roommate?  Are they allowed inside for a brief moment to use the bathroom?

It’s just too hard to draw the line that I say forget the “no guest” policy.

What’s My Policy?

I allow one or two overnight guests given that they ask permission prior to their visit.  Almost all my roommates have complied with my request, which I greatly appreciate.

Now for day guest who are just stopping by to pick something up or drop something off, or even just stopping by for a few hours, I have no problems with that because I don’t see that invasive as an overnight guest.  Overnight guest almost add an element of bottleneck in a 1.5 bath residence, which is why I want to know incase there are any overlapping guest visitors.

I bring this up because I just had a new roommate move in and this new roommate had a guest visit and it occurred to me that I should write a short post as to what my guest policy is.

What’s your guest policy for your roommates?

photo credits: © John Pavelka

{ 1 comment }
  • Helen May 26, 2013, 9:00 pm

    I have rented out 2 bedrooms in my home for a total of 6 yrs. One tenant staying for 6 yrs and the other couple staying here for 5 yrs. Yes, I am lucky!

    My rules for ‘overnight guests’ are only if I am notified in advance and no more than a week. I do not allow any overnight guests. All terms are spelled out during lease signing.


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