12 Best Ways to Live Rent Free

Are you tired of paying rent every month? If so, you're not alone. Renting can be expensive, and it's often a waste of money. Fortunately, there are many ways to live rent-free. In this blog post, we'll share ten of the best ways to do just that. Read on to learn more!

woman looking at rent free living on laptop
12 Best Ways to Live Rent Free 3

Is it possible to live rent-free?

When most people think of rent, they think of monthly payments made to a landlord for the use of a home or apartment. But what if you could enjoy rent-free living? For some people, this is a reality.

There are a few different ways that someone might be able to live rent-free. One way is by live-in work arrangements. This could be working as a live-in nanny, caretaker, or housekeeper. Another way is through bartering arrangements with landlords. For example, someone might trade their services as a painter or handyman in exchange for free rent.

And finally, some people are able to live rent-free because they own their own homes outright. If you're wondering how to live rent-free, there are a few options to explore. But it's important to remember that while living rent-free can be a great perk, it also comes with its own set of challenges and responsibilities.

What does lives rent-free mean?

Living rent-free means that you do not have to pay any rent to live in a certain place. This can be an arrangement that you make with a friend or family member, or it can be a situation where you live in a space that is not traditionally rented out, such as a shed or garage.

There are many benefits to living rent-free, including saving money on housing costs and having more freedom to live where you want. However, there are also some challenges to consider, such as having to live with other people and being responsible for maintaining the property. If you are considering living rent-free, be sure to weigh the pros and cons carefully to see if it is the right decision for you.

How To Live Rent-Free And Save Money

Many people believe that the only way to live rent-free is to live with family or friends. However, there are a number of other ways to live rent-free and save money. Let’s take a look at different options:

1. List Your Place with Airbnb

Do you know that the average host makes more than $9,000 per year listing their rooms, apartments, and houses for rent? To list your unit on Airbnb, you don’t have to be its owner.  You can do it even if you rent your living space, as long as your rental agreement allows you to do so. Check it carefully for any restrictions on home-sharing.

Compared to expensive hotels, Airbnbs can be really affordable. Guests enjoy a homely environment and extra options like the ability to use a kitchen. 

Hotels are often located in the loud center of busy towns while Airbnb rentals can be found in more friendly surroundings. Many Airbnb guests appreciate the quiet suburbs of cities. It gives them the possibility to experience the real soul of the city instead of seeing only its tourist facade.

With not much effort and financial expenses, you can adjust your place to be able to charge a higher rate. Thanks to extras like a dedicated parking lot, a private fenced yard, faster WiFi, or basic breakfast you will be able to earn more on the same spot. 

You should be aware that as a host, you will be screened thoroughly by Airbnb. They want to make sure the guests will be safe in your living space. Do your best to get reviews over 4,5 stars, as it will also allow you to increase the rate. 

You should remember to save money for taxes, as Airbnb income is taxable. Another thing you'll definitely want to have is renter's insurance.

2. Live Rent Free by House Hacking

One way to live rent-free is by house hacking. House hacking involves renting out a portion of your home in order to offset the cost of your own rent or mortgage payment.

For example, you could rent out a spare bedroom, basement, or even just a couch in your living room. Not only will this help you save money on your own housing costs, but it can also be a great way to meet new people and make some extra income. Of course, there are a few things to keep in mind before you start house hacking.

First, make sure that you are comfortable with the idea of having roommates or tenants in your home. Second, be sure to screen any potential renters carefully in order to protect yourself and your property. And finally, be prepared to put in some extra work to keep your rental space clean and organized. But if you're willing to put in a little effort, house hacking can be a great way to live rent-free.

3. Rent to Sublet

It's an easy way to make money for your rent. You don't have to own the apartment, take credit, or make heavy financial investments. Your job is only to find a nice apartment and sublet it for more than you pay.

It works especially well in areas where there are many students or big companies hiring a lot of workers. The process will be easier if it’s an apartment that you are familiar with, maybe in the same building that you live in or somewhere in the neighborhood.

Be aware that not every landlord will allow this practice, but many are perfectly happy as long as they receive their rent check regularly. 

Read your contract thoroughly to see if it has any restrictions on subletting the unit. Contracts usually contain conditions under which you can sublet, but in the vast majority of them, there are no restrictions on the rental rate for subletting.

4.  Rent a House and Have Roommates Pay the Rent

Living with roommates can have its pros and its cons. If this type of lifestyle is for you, it can have one great benefit: the roommates can pay the rent for you. The idea is simple: you find an apartment or house at an attractive price, choose one room for yourself, and rent out other rooms at an increased rate.

This way, each room in a 4-5 bedroom house can make you extra money monthly.  You'll be able to cover your own expense and live essentially rent-free. Do your best to set a fair price that will allow you to pay your rent on the one hand, and be reasonable for your roommates on the other.

To make the lives of all of you easier, sign a contract with your tenants where the renting price and the general rules of living in the house will be stated. You should also think about taking a damage deposit.

If you don't know much about the people who are going to live with you, check their background and make sure they can prove they do have a source of income to be able to pay the rent.

5. Enjoy Rent-Free Living in an RV or Van

Living like this might make you miss some luxuries from time to time. You won’t be able to stick a bathtub or a dishwasher in your RV.  But you can lead an inexpensive lifestyle, full of adventures and debt-free.

You can choose to stay at campgrounds, as mostly they have reasonable monthly rates. If you have solar power and don't have to pay for electricity, your rate will be even lower. To decrease your expenses, even more, you can post advertisements on Craigslist and find people who will be willing to let you park on their property for a monthly fee that will be cost-efficient for you.

Many landowners are usually eager to rent their spaces as for them it is an almost effortless way to have an extra monthly income. Living this way you can save a lot of money every month.

Another benefit of residing in an RV is that tiny living is a perfect cure for overspending. There's a limited amount of space in an RV, which makes you always think twice before you buy something. 

6. Take a Job that Provides Housing

In many jobs, living space comes as a free benefit. Some require specific experience, others can be done by anyone who is ready to work. Whether you want to travel abroad or stay in the country, you will find an option for yourself. Here are some examples of such jobs:

After-hours security guard

After-hours security guards have to be physically present on the spot for a given number of hours. They usually don't have many other duties than to have their ears and eyes open, making sure that there are no intruders. 

Park Ranger

Rangers patrol their parks, guide tours, and work to prevent wildfires. It's a full-time job, therefore it often comes with provided housing. You can expect quite rustic living conditions in a remote location, but that's the charm of the job. Basically, when you are a park ranger you can feel like being paid for hiking and exploring the park. 

Civil Engineer

Any background in civil engineering? You can travel the world and get a decent paycheck without having to pay rent. Many places in the world lack skilled civil engineers but they have the money to recruit them from countries like the UK, Canada, and the US. The demand is especially high in places like Dubai, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi. 

Sounds like a good offer for you? Try services like GoAbroad to find a job as an international civil engineer.

International Educator

Do you have more than two years of experience in education? If you are willing to teach people and travel around the world, your life can be pretty marvelous. International schools from Asia, the Middle East, Africa, South America, and Europe are hiring Western educators under very good conditions. 

You may get an apartment with amenities like a pool, a gym, and even a steam room. Plus, a dedicated parking lot. Additional benefits may include things like complex health coverage and free flights home for the summer not only for you but your family members as well. 

Where to look for such a position? Register with services like International School Services or Search Associates.

Hospitality Worker

As a hospitality worker, you won't get a fat paycheck. But such jobs aren't usually very demanding so you can study and finish your degree while having a secured roof above your head for free plus a salary. 

You can find a hotel in your country or somewhere abroad. Maybe you'd like to spend up to six months in a ski resort or on a lovely beach? People open to adventure but also responsible and hardworking will easily find hospitality jobs. If you have some special skills to share, like giving skiing or scuba diving lessons, you can count on a higher salary.

7. Live Rent-Free in Exchange for Work

Programs like World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) make it possible to live anywhere in the world rent-free. 

In exchange for a roof above your head and board, you work a few hours a day. It can be around 20 hours per week, which still leaves you plenty of time to work elsewhere and earn income. Or just hike around, if you prefer.

Your daily chores on the farm may include things like unloading hay, cleaning up animal stalls, milking cows, etc. You can learn a lot about sustainable farming, and gain experience and knowledge that may be useful in the future if you decide to live in such a way.

8. Become a House or Pet Sitter

If you are eager to travel around the country, house sitting might be something for you. Some people who go on vacation or on work travel don't want to leave their house unattended and they entrust it to house sitters. 

As a house sitter, you may bounce from one house to another, so having a plan B like a friend’s couch, in case something doesn't work out, is a good idea. However, sometimes you will be able to stay at a given place longer. For instance, you may find an assignment where the host goes on long-term work travel (for a year or so).

Often these listings will also include looking after a pet. Many pet owners who travel frequently for work or vacation want to have a live-in pet sitter who will take care of their furry family member while they are away. Pet owners are not always eager to leave their pets at borders. The familiar home environment lets the pet feel more secure and happy. 

As a pet sitter, you will be required to feed the pets and provide fresh water for them, make sure they have enough play or exercise time, clean pet messes, and administer medications if necessary. You may be also requested to perform other tasks.

 Look for opportunities like these on pages like TrustedHousesitters or MindMyHouse

9. Become an Apartment Manager

Apartment managers usually get one unit in the building to live in without paying rent. In exchange, they have to be available for the tenants. As an apartment manager, you will be expected to do some facilitating repairs, keep common areas clean and functional, or sometimes mediate in a conflict between neighbors. 

In most cases, apartment managers are able to have a full-time job under the condition that they will be reachable by cell phone even when they are at work. If there's a requirement from apartment management companies that you have to stay at home, usually they will offer you a paycheck on top of the free apartment.

If you don't mind receiving phone calls at odd hours and being somewhat restricted to one place (when you want to travel you'll probably need someone to cover), being an apartment manager is a great way to live rent-free.

10.  Get a Free Room by Becoming a Nanny

Wealthier families all over the world hire live-in nannies to take care of their children and they offer a free room or even a nearby apartment. In addition to having free accommodation, you will be paid for your services. The salary of a live-in nanny can be slightly lower than a live-out nanny’s, as their presence in the home absorbs some board costs.

If you have at least two years of college education, your pay rate may be higher. Having prior experience as a nanny under your belt will also influence your salary. Four to five years of experience will allow you to get over $3 per hour more. In any case, your salary can not be lower than the minimum wage.

How to find such an opportunity? The easiest way is to look for an agency, as it gives you quicker exposure, and having a contract with an agency protects both you and the family. 

You can also create a profile on sites like AuPair.com or Care.com which connect reputable nannies with families who need them.

11. Live Completely Rent Free by Volunteering

The Peace Corps and AmeriCorps are two great ways to live rent-free while doing good for others. As a volunteer with either organization, you'll receive a small stipend that can be used to cover your living expenses.

In addition, you'll be provided with free housing or you’ll receive a stipend for housing. This can be a great way to save money, especially if you're planning on traveling or taking a gap year.

And best of all, you'll be making a difference in the lives of others. So if you're looking for a way to live rent-free and do something meaningful with your time, consider volunteering with the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps.

12. Free Housing from the Federal Government

Millions of Americans struggle to make ends meet each month, with rent often taking up the majority of their income. As a result, many people are forced to choose between paying for housing and other essentials like food and medical care.

However, there are a number of government programs that can help low-income Americans cover the cost of their rent. For example, the Department of Housing and Urban Development offers a variety of rental assistance programs, including voucher programs that can help cover the cost of the rent.

Additionally, many states and localities offer their own rental assistance programs. As a result, there are a number of options available for those who need help affording rent. By taking advantage of these programs, low-income Americans can free up much-needed funds to cover other essential expenses.

Things to consider when living rent free

Don’t forget about taxes. If your rental income is more than $600 a year, it is taxable. Put away 25% of what you earn each month for taxes. Keep in mind that maintenance and repair costs can be deducted from your taxable income, so always keep the receipts.

Some of the options above like a job or a lease will come with a contract. Make sure you read everything carefully and don't hesitate to consult an attorney when in doubt. Your own safety is at stake.

Always have renter's insurance. It's not a great expense, and when something unpredictable happens, like burglary or damage from a storm, you won't lose what you've earned living rent-free.

The Bottom Line

In many cases, when you live rent-free, you will be able to travel the world and gain priceless experiences and memories.

Not to mention the fact that when you save the money you’d spend on rent, you will be more financially secure, and your future net worth will increase. Maybe you'll even be able to retire early? 

So go ahead, choose the best option, and make your own plan to live rent-free.