Author Topic: Renting to friends (or to friends-of-friends)?  (Read 3361 times)


  • Pencil Stache
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Renting to friends (or to friends-of-friends)?
« on: July 19, 2015, 11:29:36 AM »
Does anyone rent to friends or to friends-of-friends? I'm always wary about mixing my work/investing and personal life, but obviously knowing and vouching for your own tenant reduces the risk of having a problem tenant. The issue is that if anything were to go awry the personal friendship might further complicate things. Any thoughts?


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Renting to friends (or to friends-of-friends)?
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2015, 12:08:26 PM »
I also would not do this. Renting to family is even worse.

Even back when I had roommates, living with a stranger usually worked out better than living with a friend. Weird, but true.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Renting to friends (or to friends-of-friends)?
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2015, 02:37:15 PM »
For the past few months I've really enjoyed reading the Forum and especially the Landlording/Real Estate section. I have to say that I imagine most experienced landlords will agree with Zamboni. My experience has been different. I have 4 rental properties. I live in the detached garage apartment of a SFH and own a duplex down the street. In these I have people that are friends or friends of friends and it has been a great experience these past 4 years. With the couple in front, I have known them socially for years. We occasionally share meals. We share wifi and Netflix. The duplex down the street has one set of tenants who are friends with my girlfriend and it has been a nice experience. They have relatives on the other side and share a lot of expenses as well. In these units, I've been month to month with the 3 sets of tenants for years.

The other two properties I have I treat more by the book, but I've had good experiences with tenants referring people they know to other properties. I have no official referral program in place, but I might buy them a bottle of booze or BBQ. I've had fewer vacancies than I account for.


  • Stubble
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Re: Renting to friends (or to friends-of-friends)?
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2015, 04:24:10 AM »
Personal and professional lives do not always mix well. Renting to a family member or friend may work out, if you take certain steps beforehand and provide a rental agreement mentioning the amount of rent, itís due date, the deposit, etc. Also make a note of any late charges or fees youíll charge for late rent, who is responsible for the utilities, and other financial arrangements.

Being too lenient can land you in trouble.

Bearded Man

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Re: Renting to friends (or to friends-of-friends)?
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2015, 08:31:59 AM »
I would not do it unless I had no other tenant options. Family and friends usually think the rules don't apply to them and that they can relax on being on time with rent, or hey, I just got a great deal on a new Harley so I'm not going to be able to pay your rent for a few months, but it's cool, we're bros right!?!


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Renting to friends (or to friends-of-friends)?
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2015, 08:51:37 AM »
2/3 of my current suites are rented by friends. One of them has been fantastic for 3+ years, the other has been only a couple months now. I hesitated at first but I'm so glad I rented to friends. The one who has been there for 3 years lives in my basement suite. He (and his gf who lived there at the time) watched my house while I was away for the winter and we swap pet care/sitting if either of us are going to be away. I feed his cat if he's away for the weekend, he feeds and lets my dog out if I'm going to be late getting home. Also, we share internet costs.

In my limited experience tenants that I did not know previously, or met through friends, are a lot worse.


  • Bristles
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Re: Renting to friends (or to friends-of-friends)?
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2015, 04:33:38 PM »
Treat them as any other tenant.  Same credit score and income criteria.  Same eviction criteria.  Same lease.

If you do that, you will not have a problem.  Let in someone you feel sorry for, like a brother-in-law, and you will have issues.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Renting to friends (or to friends-of-friends)?
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2015, 12:37:26 PM »
I'm down with friends of friends.  Good recommendation and background check that way, and no deep personal connection to mess things up.  Still perform your due diligence and check up on them, of course.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Renting to friends (or to friends-of-friends)?
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2015, 07:10:17 PM »
   It has worked ok for me in the past and I have helped a number of friends buy houses way below market value doing this. The first words though are, "If you do not pay or trash my place I will kick you the F out and sick my bastard lawyer on you until you either pay what you owe or die."  Good to make it plain up front. That is exactly what I tell non friend tenants so it is nothing different.  I have been a landlord for a few years. :)