As I have hinted at in the past, Liz and I decided to get a roommate/tenant. At first we were hoping to get a grad student, and we had some interest from a few. Unfortunately, none of those really worked out. Grad students can be flaky (my wife excluded, of course). We also learned that the majority of students did not want a rental over the summer, and if they did, they only wanted it for the summer but not the fall.
So instead of waiting for some awesome grad student to contact us, we went on the offensive. We looked for folks that were actively seeking a roommate situation on craigslist, on facebook… wherever we could find. Liz eventually ran across an ad for Tim.
Tim is a local guy. He works at one of the few factories in the area on the 3rd shift. He’s also a fan of hot rods and belongs to an online international metalworkers club that meets once a year for a week of camping. Tim is not a grad student. We’re perfectly happy with that.
Of course, we had some trepidations about offering a room in our house to someone we don’t know. It’s not like we’re a rental company that’s going to go out and do credit checks on people. Do we even need to use a contract? What about reporting this on our taxes next year?
In the end, we decided to use a contract. I found a few examples online and played around with them until I had something that worked for us. I also checked the Illinois Attorney General’s website on info for tenants and landlords. I just wanted to make sure everything we do is legal. Sure, to protect our interests, but also to protect Tim’s interests.
So far things have been good. Tim, as noted above, works the 3rd shift from 6pm to 6am. In generally, I see him just as he gets up and leaves for work. We haven’t had to interact much, but I suspect that this will change once we all fall into a more normal rhythm.
Probably the hardest thing about having Tim as a roommate is that he sleeps during the day… so we really can’t make a ton of noise during the day. No jamming out to that Cult song. No singing at the top of your lungs in the shower. You get the idea. For the most part, though, it’s a non-issue. If I really feel like jamming out, I can put on the headphones. It’s the other stuff that we have to work around.
Here’s to looking forward to a year with Tim. May he become a friend over that time.