Like most La Connor renters, you know that when you have a good relationship with your landlord, life gets a lot easier. But would you want to be friends with your landlord? If you are thinking of renting from a friend or developing a friendship with your landlord, you have to keep some things in mind. Landlord-tenant friendships can work, but it does take effort. Here are some things to keep in mind to ensure that your rental relationship will not ruin your personal one.
The days of doing business with a handshake are long gone. Once you decide to rent a house from a friend, be sure you receive a detailed lease that clearly outlines your rights and responsibilities. Document all of your agreements in the lease– that includes everything you have verbally agreed upon. Not only will this documentation of your landlord’s expectations protect you, but it will also help hold you and your landlord accountable.
Separate Business and Pleasure
As friendships come in different forms, depending on how close your relationship becomes, make sure you set good boundaries with your landlord for your social time and all other landlord-tenant interactions. Keep rental home-related issues away from social settings, and bear in mind that being friends with the landlord does not mean all your requests will be granted. Don’t expect any special treatment because it will only lead to problems between you and your landlord and between your roommates. Friends are friends, but being a landlord is your friend’s business, so keep it professional.
As you keep business and personal relationships separate, you also have to set good boundaries with your landlord in different scenarios as well. Your landlord might feel like a close enough friend that he invites himself into your home or to your possessions. There is a line between being a landlord and taking advantage of a friend and it can often be easily crossed. When a landlord starts crossing a boundary, it becomes easy to overstep in other ways, too. It is on you to stop this behavior as soon as it starts to happen. Healthy boundaries will prevent your relationship with your landlord from going sour.
A friendship with your landlord can make you feel comfortable interacting with them regularly. However, there could be times where these conversations can get awkward, especially if you find yourself discussing other tenants or your landlord’s businesses that have nothing to do with your rental situation. If your landlord resides nearby or is often on the property, you might feel pressured to engage in regular conversation or even invite them to your social events. You should watch out if your landlord starts voicing hurt feelings for being excluded in the social activity in your rental home. It could be awkward, but you have to make it clear that your friendship does not mean you are under any obligation to always include them. Similarly, do not expect to be invited to all of your landlord’s social gatherings. Neither of you will benefit from blurring the lines of your relationship.
Becoming friends with your landlord or renting from a friend can be full of challenges and possible pitfalls. If you want to avoid ruining a good friendship, it would be best to keep everything polite but professional with your landlord.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.