Boarding House Rules
The following suggestions for boarding house rules are good
to consider even if you are just renting a bedroom or two in
your home. You should always have some basic rules, and be sure
that each tenant knows what they are.
Here's a rule you'll want: No drugs in the house!
I really didn't care if my renters smoked pot at a party somewhere
a couple times a year. That's their business. In fact, I think
that any cop who sits in the bar drinking his liquid drugs and
thinking about arresting people for smoking a plant is the real
criminal. That, however, is just my political thinking.
My landlord's mind says that drug use is usually a nasty habit,
and it is illegal, so therefore it is nothing but trouble. Want
the local pusher shooting up your home because your tenant didn't
pay him? Or suppose your renter gets busted. Now what do you
do with his things while he is in jail and unable to pay rent?
Beyond those kinds of problems, allowing drugs in your home can
get you put in jail, and you could even lose your home. Just
say no, and make it clear!
You have to decide what you want for other house rules too,
and be very clear about what they are. I personally won't allow
pets, smoking in the house, or late-night noise. Everyone does
their own dishes, and I have a plastic dish tub labeled for each
of them on the counter. Renters have to keep any mess in their
Some potential rules to have for your renters:
1. If rent is will be late, talk to me beforehand or make
plans to move.
2. If rent is more than a three days late, there is a $5 late
3. No parties without prior approval.
4. No drugs allowed on the property.
5. One car per renter in the driveway.
6. Wash your own dishes, at least once per day.
7. No loud music in the house or yard after nine at night.
8. Keep the volume low on the TV after nine.
9. Keep messes in your room.
10. No smoking in the house.
11. No drinking in the house.
12. No getting drunk in the house.
13. No overnight visitors.
14. No overnight visitors more than once per week without
15. If you have problems with other renters, talk to me.
16. Don't leave things laying in the yard.
17. You must thoroughly clean the kitchen or bathroom (your
choice) once per week.
18. Washer and dryer are there to use, but there will be no
rent reduction if they are out of service.
19. Don't turn the thermostat past 72 degrees.
20. Don't throw cigarette butts in the yard.
21. Turn off lights when you are not using them.
Making Your Own Rules
This is just to give you an idea of what kind of rules you
may want. It is your house and you have the right to have any
rules you want. However, I would focus on deciding which are
most important to you. Just have ten or fewer rules, so you don't
overwhelm them with rules. You can add another rule or two as
you need to in any case.
Whatever "boarding house rules" you decide on, put
them in writing. Then post them somewhere where they will be
seen occasionally. The refrigerator is a good place, for example.
Explain them all to prospective tenants before they move in,