I’ve been the owner-landlord for this type of housing, and rented the premises to two or three roommates, though I now prefer married couples with or without children.
If you were to approach me to rent the place, by yourself, and then sub-lease, the first problem is you have to be credit worthy enough to carry the rent. So for a $2,000/month rental, I’m looking for someone making at least $6,000/month. In addition, I’m looking for someone with a steady source of income, steady job history of over 2 years, with W-2’s that I can verify. I also run a credit check. I would need to credit check any tenants you rent to.
If it was a roommate situation, you’ll have to find your 2 roommates first, come to me, and I’ll see if all three of you have a combined income of $6,000, at least 2 of you of a steady source of income, steady jobs, with W-2’s to verify. I run credit checks on all of you.
The problems I have with these 2 or 3 roommate situations is they’re not stable. They get into fights, one guy, or two guy’s leaves, another one or two takes its place. Once I wound up with one guy that delivers newspapers, whom I never credit checked because he replaced an original roommate, makes very little money, trying to pay the rent for 3 guys because his 2 roommates left. The mistake I made was not credit checking the subsequent roommates, and approving them first. He left before I evicted him.
Now it’s true I could’ve gone after the two original tenants under the jointly and singularly liable clause of the lease. Unfortunately, when this happened, one of the two left the country, the other quit his job to go back to school. I count myself lucky losing a months rent taking into consideration the security deposit.
Now, even if you got some landlord going along with you, in most jurisdictions, your plan can technically be interpreted as you’re running a rooming house, which is usually defined as having 3 or more unrelated people living together. Unless you get a zoning variance, you’ll be in violation of the law.
There’s another problem with your approach. Unless you tell your tenants that you’re the landlord of the unit, and you rent each room out for a certain price, they find out later that you’re living rent free with them paying most of the rent, you’ll get into trouble with them. This has happened at one of my rentals, one roommate left claiming she was ripped off, she was not told what the monthly rent to me was. She found out later, there’s 3 of them, and she’s paying half. The remaining 2 cannot afford the house. But if you rent it out as landlord, then find yourself tenants, you run the danger of the town declaring the place a rooming house.