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Renting out Rooms


TRIBE Member
I am on the landlord side of renting rooms. I own a house that is much too large for just one person. Also, I am gay, which means it's difficult to find a partner, or at least, it's difficult for me to find a partner. So I live alone in a big old brick house in the heart of downtown Kitchener.

So, I try to rent out the rooms. The basement apartment is rented to a very nice prostitute and occasional drug dealer, who takes care of the gardening and will drive me to the beer store if I ask nicely. She's also a cleaning lady and so, more often than not, I come home to a completely cleansed home. Given how I can ruin cleanliness on a few parties, this is a big plus. Also, her connections for men and women who are willing to "work a dollar" are also big plusses.

However, I still have one room left. Well two, but I only care to rent out one.

I had the failure of renting to the immediate people who could show up and have some cash.

Well the last two failed because they were too young and didn't actually have any cash. I had to evict them.

Question: "What are renters looking for? What keeps them happy and stable?"
Question: "Is too cheap of a rent a turn off? Should I charge a higher rent just to give the impression that the place is classier? The place itself is unchanged."
Question: "Should I demand first and last?"

Given that I don't need the money, and my real cause for a roomate is to find an interesting person, how can I go about to do that? I seem to be failing so far.

Alex D. from TRIBE on Utility Room


TRIBE Member
Welcome to the world of slumlording. Never break the cardinal rule #1: do not know or be interested in your Tenants. The more personal attention you give them, the more they can and will take advantage of the situation.

Although I do not live in Canada, I still keep the low-income rental properties and use them as a slush fund. Property management fees are reasonable in Hamilton due to high unemployment. But the tenants... Imagine every possible worst case scenario - destruction of property, delinquent tenants, attempted murder, assault, actual pimps, I've seen almost every possible situation over the past 6 years. Renting rooms is a walk in the park and a good first step to see if it suits your tolerance ability.

Do not get to know your tenants. Collect rent, repair only dire essentials.

Even in Japan I've had some similar situations with Tenants. Husband wife divorcing. Brutal on the property -- if u want to cause damage, trust me, sliding doors and tatami r a worst case combination. The doors were wrecked, kitchen cabinets torn away from the wall... Plus they went delinquent on their rent before finally ditching the unit on their own. At least the landlord / tenant act favours landlords. With a simple Chotei mediation a judge can grant the landlord rights to enter the unit and tag tenant possessions for auction.


TRIBE Member
Welcome to the world of slumlording. Never break the cardinal rule #1: do not know or be interested in your Tenants..

Unfortunately I usually take a strong interest in them, at least, from a socioeconomic perspective. There is no doubt that I take their rent, split it in half, and then bust it on the town with them. Ok that might only last one night but I have several tenants so for me that's pretty whopping while for them, well, they need more time that I do to recover.

Since the last lesbian bitch upsided her ass and decided not to pay and was quickly evicted, she being my experiment in female tenants, I've had at least one interesting applicant who by chance happens to be the co-op of one of my best friends. Hahaha not sure if that's a good or a bad thing.

One thing I notice is, potential tenants seem to think they have the upper hand. As if, *if* they hand over some rent then DAMN the deal is sold.

But the reality is, that I'm choosing the person that I seem to like best at the moment. That's why I'm the slum-LORD and they're just the... people who judge the place.

Having done this for a few years now, I can tell any reader frankly that there are generally more renters than they're are owners and so a successful renter should suck up a bit while they're doing the tour. Might even get cheaper rent for it.