Whether you plan to rent a home from a friend, or find yourself developing a friendship with your landlord, please always do it with caution. If you are already a friend with your apartment manager or your landlord, or you are thinking that it is a smart idea to be a friend with your landlord, we have the following observations for you;
Never expect special treatment
Let’s say your friend has a vacancy in his rental property and you guys discuss the details, and moving in seems like a good idea. But is it really?
Chances are, you’ll call your friend in to handle minor maintenance issues far more often than you’d call a property manager you don’t know so well. This could lead to resentment on both sides.
You may get upset when your friend doesn’t jump at your every request, and your friend will probably get angry if your requests are more numerous or trivial than those made by other tenants. If your friend does give you special treatment, other tenants may get annoyed.
Solution: Treat your friend as you would treat any other property manager regarding your rental situation—be professional and businesslike regarding the rental property. And keep in mind that your friend is running a business. Cutting you special deals is not in their best interest.
Always separate business from pleasure
When you want to get together with your friend, it’s easy for your hangout time to involve talk about the property. Don’t do this. No matter who initiates the discussion, it may be unwelcome talk if it happens too often or deals with issues the other party doesn’t want to discuss.
Solution: Treat your friend as a friend during social occasions, and deal with business later.
Get everything in plain writing
If you do wind up in a situation where you rent from a friend, make sure you get everything in writing. This way, if the rent changes or some fees occur that you weren’t expecting, you have a legal document to back you up. A verbal or handshake agreement will most likely end up with a ruined friendship when things turn out differently than expected.
Solution: Document everything and don’t forget to get a copy of your lease agreement. Evernote can help you in keeping property related records.
Don’t become too familiar
If your property manager spends a lot of time around the property, or even lives on site, you’ll probably engage in conversations once in a while. This can be great for building relationships. You can also find out how “open” they are about dealing with maintenance-related issues such as malfunctioning electrical outlets or carpet that needs to be replaced..
Don’t cross a line. Getting over familiar is not the best idea. Blurred Lines is a great concept for a song, but not so much for manager/tenant relationships.
Solution: Don’t become intimate friends with your property manager.