How to Live Rent-Free

Updated November 21, 2016

Everyone wants to live rent-free, if possible. Some ways of doing so include joining the ranks of the homeless or having indulgent, enabling parents who let you live at home far into what should be your adulthood. But, for those who prefer warmer accommodations than underneath bridges and a more sophisticated ambience than their folks’ basement, there are other ways to live rent-free.

Find a position as a caretaker of a home or estate. Search job listings in newspapers, and online sources. Put together a resume and/or flyer and distribute it to real estate offices and property management companies. Describe yourself and the services you can offer. (Hint: you want to be “quiet,” “non-smoker,” “clean,” “responsible” and “pet-free.”)

Apply for a position as a rent supervisor for an apartment complex or as a maintenance worker for a condominium association, if you can do basic home repairs and maintenance. Many apartment complexes offer free rent as a job benefit for its employees. Your salary may be lower, but you won't have a rental payment each month.

Look for a job as a housekeeper, cook, nanny or companion for an elderly person. Extra skills or education in these areas increase your ability to land a position.

Provide guidance to the next generation as a dorm parent or residential assistant at boarding schools or colleges. You might have to live in a college dorm, but at least it will be rent-free.

Enjoy rent-free summers and the great outdoors at a youth camp. In addition to counsellors, there are many other live-in workers needed including: teachers, coaches, lifeguards, nurses, cooks, office staff and janitorial and maintenance workers. For year-round accommodations, live in a state, national or private park as a campground host. Duties often include only cleaning the rest rooms, and hosting occasional evening activities.

Get a job in a resort. Ski lodges, beaches, mountain resorts all need desk help, waitresses, maids, and dozens of other kinds of workers and will often provide free housing, because rent is so high due to the demand from tourists. You could also go on a cruise. These are floating towns, and just about any job needed on land has to be filled on-board. Rent-free housing is included, of course.

Look for a farm job with free room and board. Many horse farms, ranches and chicken farms look for on-site farm managers or tenant farmers.

Join a religious order or become a diocesan priest. Many nuns, priests, monks and brothers live rent-free. Many convents and monasteries operate farms and cottage industries in stunningly beautiful locations. This is a way to do good work, grow holy and live rent-free.


Work in a remote location where housing is provided by the corporation, such as in oil towns, mines, and pipelines.


Expect background checks and drug tests for all live-in positions.

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