Renting Out a Room in Your Home???

How do you take appropriate precautions?

My Mom needs a tenant; her wacky brother, with whom she’d been living for 10 years, just moved out.

Now it just so happens that she’s been letting a 34-yr-old man stay there, on her couch. He’s recuperating from a hospital stay (that’s how they met) and doesn’t have any money, which is why he needed help. But he IS hard-working - he recently started working (in home construction), and also did an excellent job of cutting and trimming her lawn. I’ve spoken to him on the phone and he sounds very nice.

On the one hand, it would be great if she could rent a room to some kind of upstanding citizen who could help out around the house. OTOH, most titans of industry own property & wouldn’t be looking to rent a room on an unfashionable street.

It could also be argued that a female roomate is a safer choice - except that a younger woman is likely to be dating & may or may not have good taste in men.

My sister and I have searched this guy’s name on various databases & don’t find anything. I checked the sex offender registry, and just plain googled him; my sister tried the subscription service she’s been using to screen online dates.

He seems to be someone who’s not particularly smart and hasn’t done especially well in life so far; frankly, I think he could really benefit from living with a mother-type figure. And she could really use a man around the house.

So I’m wondering – how does one protect oneself in this day and age?
Any suggestions?

One consideration is how to get the guy to leave if things don’t work out. Depending on the laws of your jurisdiction, it may not be as simple as saying “Get Out”, then calling the cops if he refuses to leave. I’d suggest your mom talk to a local attorney knowledgeable in such things.

Why not just go talk to the guy. Tell him you’re, understanably, concerned about your mother’s safety and ask him for his history and some references that can vouch for his character. If he’s reluctant or vague, that will be a red flag. Follow up on the info. he provides and if he hasn’t been truthful, another flag. Then you can approach your mother w/ facts.
You might also visit the local police department, they may, or may not, be of help.

Thanks, those are all excellent suggestions - a quick Google search turned up some legal refs. And I agree, I think she should just talk to him about her concerns. He seems very upfront to me, and quite grateful to her for having taken him in.