Looking for advice on renting as a rooming house

5 Replies

We have a couple of 4 bed, 2 bath houses in Jacksonville, FL we're considering renting out as individual rooms. Looking for advice and discussion from someone with experience. Need not be in Jacksonville.   Thanks

Paul Martin

Where are your properties?  There are only a few areas that will work.  Do you have a property manager that is going to run this?

I tried that with a 4/2 I had a couple years ago. It was extremely challenging because there were 4 strangers that needed to get along. It ended up being like Survivor with people dropping out one by one. I self managed, it may be better with a separate manager. My experience only lasted a few months then I rented the house to a family.

I feel like I could write a book on this but the short answer is be prepared for a lot of work. We have a property that is similar. We do shorter term rentals that can be a few days or a few months. It is rare someone stays for 6 months or more. 

The management is tough. We pay all the utilities and weekly or bi-weekly cleaning. You will end up with every headache you can imagine but plan ahead for it. One tenant has friends over late, you get a call. Another tenant decides to have a barbeque and the kitchen gets piled up with plates, nobody cleans them, and they sit for days. One tenant likes to "party" and is doing drugs, but the other one hates drugs, you get a call at 4am. Someone brings a guy/girl home with them and the other tenants have an issue with it, guess what, you get a call. I could give you a 1000 scenarios. 

The flip side is it can be lucrative as well. You just need to price it accordingly. We provide a fully furnished living area, pay all utilities, and our home is newly remodeled and very nice inside. If you could sign people into longer leases, maybe 6 months or more, and have just one guest per room, then you may have an easier time. Be really careful to pair up like interest, and like age people. Don't put a college student with a 50-year-old 9-5 worker. Really go over your expenses thoroughly. With 4 rooms they will never agree on how to split water, electric, cable etc. One seemingly stupid but important thing to address is trash. For some reason, our tenants NEVER take out the trash. They will let it stack up in the kitchen unless we take it out. If we take it out, it never makes it to the curb unless we do it for them. Put something in their lease about it.