As a renter in Cornelia, establishing a good relationship with your landlord is a great thing. But is it good to be friends with your landlord? There are important considerations to remember if you are contemplating renting from a friend or building a friendship with your present landlord. Landlord-tenant friendships can work, but it does take effort. Here are some guidelines so you can ensure that your rental relationship does not ruin your personal one.
The days of doing business with a handshake are long gone. If you will be renting a house from a friend, make sure to have all your rights and responsibilities outlined in a detailed lease. This lease should document everything you have agreed upon. The purpose of this documentation of your landlord’s expectations is to protect you in case circumstances change and to hold both you and your landlord accountable.
Separate Business and Pleasure
Friendships have different levels of closeness, and depending on how close you become to your landlord, you will want to set boundaries between your landlord-tenant interactions and your social time together. When you are in a social setting, avoid discussions about the rental home, and make sure you understand that being friends does not mean your landlord has to cater to all your requests. Don’t expect any special treatment because it will only lead to problems between you and your landlord and between your roommates. You should always remember that despite being your friend, being a landlord is your friend’s business, so keep it professional.
It is good to keep your business and personal relationships separate, and it is also right to set good boundaries with your landlord. Your landlord might become comfortable inviting themselves into your home or possessions as a close friend would. Doing this often crosses the line between being a landlord and taking advantage of a friend. When a landlord starts crossing one boundary, it will be easier for him to cross others as well. To ensure that it does not happen, always nip unwelcome behaviors like this in the bud. Healthy boundaries will prevent your relationship with your landlord from going sour.
Because of your friendship with your landlord, you become comfortable talking to and around them on a regular basis. 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. You might have a landlord who spends a lot of time on the property and you feel pressured to invite them to all your social events. This can become a problem if your landlord expresses hurt feelings for being left out of the social activity in your rental home. Although it can be awkward, you have to make it clear that your friendship does not mean you have to include your landlord in all the things you do. In the same way, do not expect your landlord to invite you to all their social gatherings as well. Neither of you will benefit from blurring the lines of your relationship.
As you can see, it can be very challenging to maintain being friends with your landlord or renting from a friend. If you want to keep your friendship free from possible conflicts that could arise, it would be better to just keep things 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.