As with many good ideas, there are downsides or compromises to be made. The decision making process of any good idea requires balancing of both the pros and cons of course of action. Let’s take a moment to review the disadvantages of renting a room in your house.
· There’s a stranger in my house. This may be more awkward for some than others. You may find that your renter does not treat your home with the same respect that you do. You may find that they have habits that require you to make adjustments to your own life. As time goes on, and with flexibility on your part, you will both adjust. Nevertheless, they are still strangers in the beginning.
· Rule Enforcement. Before your renter moves in, you’ll want to agree upon the House Rules. Though he has agreed verbally or even by signature, humans often have a tendency to become lazy in their behaviors. The renter may forget a rule as small as leaving dishes in the sink or as big as having overnight guests. This will require you to have frank conversations with the them. This is your house and these are your rules. But unfortunately, we humans all need someone to remind us of the rules. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t have supervisors at our job or police officers on the streets keeping us all in check. You are the local law enforcement in your home and it is your responsibility to be clear on expectations.
· Loss of Privacy. Though you will have your own room in the house and it remains your home, there is a loss of privacy. You will need to be prepared to having this renter arrive home while you are entertaining friends. You won’t be able to walk to the kitchen with your bathrobe askew any longer. Your phone conversations will be available to be heard by anyone in the house. Your space of intimacy has just been reduced from the four walls of your home to the four walls of your bedroom.
· Exposure to theft, vandalism or neglect. No doubt you have thoroughly screened your renter before having them move in but nothing is 100% guaranteed. You are giving a key to your home to a complete stranger. This will grant them access to your grandmother’s china, your father’s tools in the garage and that beautiful lamp you bought at an antique store. Nobody will treat your possessions with the same respect as you. Never leave money, credit cards, bills, etc in the common areas. Keeping these valuables locked up does not assume that your renter is a thief, it keeps honest people honest.
Your personality may be one that finds the above disadvantages to be small. But there are many who may find it difficult to bear one or all of the disadvantages mentioned above. If this is the case, don’t rent a room in your house. Or, at the least, only rent to someone you know.