≡ Menu

Since the start of this blog, I’ve had numerous newbie “live-in landlords” e-mail me about various questions on renting out a room.  Some of these people I’ve kept in touch with and some well… just fell off the map.

Just out of curiosity, I took the initiative to reach out to these people that I’ve lost touch with to see how they made out.

To my disappointment, some of these people did not go through with renting out a room despite my help and success stories.

This made me wonder.

They have a spare room.   They took the time to research it on the Internet and e-mail me, but never really followed through.  I began to ponder why these people lost motivation.

Here are my thoughts in no particular order:


Not seeing results – We live in a connected society.  We send text messages and we receive text messages rather promptly, we like to see quick turnaround times.  I think this holds true with roommate advertisements.  We like to see responses to our advertisements rather than hear crickets.  I know it sucks playing the waiting game for a response, but that’s the nature of the game.

Unsure of what to do next – Once responses from potential roommates roll in, we start exchanges with them.  Then comes the seemingly awkward part of actually meeting.  Do I meet the potential roommate or just answer their questions?   So at this point, it turns out to be a stale mate.  Understandable, you’re sharing your home with a person you met on the Internet.  However, keep in mind people meet on dating sites all the time and some of them end in marriages.  You’re going to have to take the leap of faith here.

Just don’t care anymore – This just kills me.  I can’t believe people that were already willing to rent out their spare room will just give up without any serious efforts. I think part of this is just laziness, it does take some work to find a roommate, but it doesn’t’ require too much effort to be a deterrent.  What I think it may be is the lack of understanding of what financial gains these people could gain.

Not sure if this idea is as great as I originally thought – I think it’s safe to say we’ve been in this situation a million times.  You know it’s a Friday night, that one last drink sounds great at the moment, but we’re regretting the next morning.  Perhaps we get that entrepreneurial drive to earn some extra money one day, but realize a few days later it’s not such a great idea anymore for what ever reason.

I can’t possible think of any other reasons why some homeowners changed their minds about renting out their spare room.

For any newbie “live-in landlords” out there, have you faced any of these challenges?

  • krantcents December 29, 2011, 11:56 am

    Many people quit too soon! I think shear determination gets me through those moments to reach my goals.

  • Czbasterd January 3, 2012, 11:06 pm

    Newbie here and just had my first roommate move in a little bit ago. So far so good. It did take some time to get a response to my add which was quite unnerving. Also, it was quite difficult to overcome the thoughts of living with someone and be considerate of their space parter living solo for some 6 plus years. Hopefully it all goes well.

  • Ms. t May 7, 2012, 10:22 pm

    Embarking on this sort of endeavour is hugely risky. I can think of loads of reasons why folks would change their minds about renting their rooms. The ones that pop into my head are all linked to apprehension about potential adverse outcomes. What if the tenant habitually pays their rent late or doesn’t pay it in full? What if the tenant loses their job? What if the tenant turns out to be a slob? Or a substance abuser? Or a thief? Or a party animal? Or a pack rat? Or just a bad match? What happens if you need to evict the tenant?

    Many states side with the tenant in instances when rental arrangements have gone sour. In Maryland, my mother had the misfortune of evicting a tenant who had violated several of the house rules described in the lease and was several months behind on the rent. My mom was forced (by the courts) to endure all kinds of legal proceedings at her own expense. In addition, the tenant attempted to sue my mother, and the tenant was allowed by the legal system to stay in the property for another 4 months before an official eviction would be enforced by the Sheriff’s department. Luckily, my mother emerged from the situation without suffering any vandalism at the hands of the tenant, but the entire experience was very stressful, time consuming, and expensive.

    I empathize with individuals who are ambivalent about taking the plunge. Renting space for extra income can be great when it goes well, but when it goes badly, it goes REALLY badly.


Leave a Comment