SHOULD I RENT TO FRIENDS AND FAMILY?
As a landlord or property manager, you often get friends who think the available property you have would be perfect for them, or for their family members. This sounds like an ideal situation, you get someone you know you can trust who would never do anything to mess up your relationship. Until they do. Here at Day Property Management LLC, we have seen some great situations with renting to friends. However, the scales definitely tilt in the direction of disaster. Here are some of the top reasons to avoid renting to friends or family!
When you’re someone’s friend, their problems are things that you care about. Their child is sick, or they lose their job, you want to support them. When you’re someone’s landlord, you are depending on the income from the rental property to support yourself and your own bills. If you rent to a friend or family member, you create blurred lines that can be devastating. In the above-mentioned situation, as their friend you could offer them your support, emotionally, physically and monetarily. When you become their landlord, you have the option of still offering the same support, but you do so knowing that you’re affecting your income as well. You could offer them a break on the rent or let them pay late, but that means you have to try and get the money to cover your costs in addition to helping them out.
This can also lead into our second reason to avoid renting to friends and family, Entitlement and Expectations. Another aspect of the blurred lines are that the family/friends may not want to be a bother to you. They might have maintenance issues or problems at the property that they don’t want to bother you with. Things that could negatively affect the property in the long term.
ENTITLEMENT AND EXPECTATIONS
“Expectation is the root of all heartache” -Shakespeare
It could be something as simple as not signing a lease, because you know each other. Or expecting you not to charge them late fees if they don’t pay on time. These may seem like reasonable expectations but they can lead to resentment very quickly. Especially if it happens multiple times. For example, they pay on the 3rd, so you waive the late fees for them since it’s the first time. When they pay on the 10th the following month and assume you aren’t charging them fees it can start to build up that resentment.
As we all know, when we offer something it’s completely different then when someone starts to feel entitled to it. The expectations can go both ways though. As your friend, they may expect you to automatically do small repairs that are generally tenant’s responsibilities. Or things that are usually only done between tenants, like replacing blinds or shampooing carpeting.
Social media is great for so many things but can definitely hinder tenant/landlord relationships. A lot of people don’t think twice about posting things going in their life on social media nowadays. Anything from vacation pictures, to parties, to a new puppy. All things that normally you would be “liking” but when you notice that they haven’t paid rent yet or neglected to ask if they could get the new puppy it can cause tension in the relationship. This can also become an issue if they start posting about how their ‘landlord’ didn’t fix this or that.
Overall, we here at Day Property Management LLC strongly recommend against renting to friends or family members. Over the years we’ve taken over more than a few properties where we have had to evict the owner’s friends or family members for them. In our opinion, it’s a bad situation to get into and you really just have to ask yourself one question. Is it worth the risk of losing the relationship between you and your friend/family?
“A Quote by William Shakespeare.” Goodreads, Goodreads, www.goodreads.com/quotes/276750-expectation-is-the-root-of-all-heartache.