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Should You Be Friends with Your Landlord?

Elderly Couple Chatting with Landlord in their Essex Rental HomeLike most Essex 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. It is always good to proceed with caution and follow these basic guidelines to ensure that your rental relationship won’t ruin your personal one.

Document Everything

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. Should there be items that are not on the lease, document everything. 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 your friendship begins, it is wise to set good boundaries with your landlord regarding your landlord-tenant interactions and your social time together. Issues about the rental home should not be discussed in social settings, and keep in mind that your friendship with your landlord does not mean he must grant your every request. Special treatment like this will only cause trouble between you, your landlord, and your roommates. You are friends, but being a landlord is still your friend’s business, so you should keep it professional.

Set Boundaries

Together with keeping your business and personal relationships separate, it is also wise to set good boundaries with your landlord. Your landlord might think it is okay to invite themselves into your home or to your possessions as a close friend would. But, doing this crosses the line between being a landlord and taking advantage of a friend. When a landlord starts to cross one boundary, the likelihood is high that he will also overstep in other ways. If this happens, it is best to nip these unwelcome behaviors in the bud. With good boundaries, your can keep your relationship with your landlord pleasant.

Anticipate Awkwardness

With your friendship with your landlord, you may begin feeling comfortable talking to him regularly. But, sometimes, these conversations can become awkward especially if you start discussing other tenants or facets of your landlord’s business that are not related to your rental situation. If your landlord likes hanging around the property, you could also feel pressured to engage in regular conversations with him and invite him 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. In the same manner, don’t assume to be included in 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.

Are you looking for an Essex rental house managed by true professionals? Then think about getting to know our Essex property management team! Contact us online or call us at 802-861-6468.

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