It’s highly unadvisable to get business and pleasure intertwined. Renting a home to a tenant is a commercial transaction like any other, which should be the basis of your relationship. As a landlord, you can find yourself in a situation where a casual conversation may lead to getting coffee together, then an occasional dinner party, and finally, regular socializing. Is it viable to have a more personal relationship with your tenants, or is it even beneficial? Most landlords rarely have the time to manage the rental side of things, and they shy away from fraternizing with their tenants and turn to professional property management. However, we would still like to discuss the pros and cons of befriending your tenants. Learning more about this subject will help you avoid possible future problems that might arise from getting too personal with your tenants.
The pros of befriending your tenants:
They will probably be a lot more understanding and tolerant.
Depending on the situation and circumstances, you might need to do much less if you’re friends with your tenants. They might be a lot more hesitant to bother you regarding some minor problems than they would a regular landlord. For example, if you still have some unwanted furniture or belongings from your old tenants that you don’t know what to do with, your friendly tenants might be ok to let it stay on the property until you figure it out. A regular landlord wouldn’t have that much understanding and would need to move all the unwanted things promptly.
Regardless of your tenants’ understanding, it would be best if you looked into finding an adequate storage solution for your old furniture. The type of storage you are looking for depends on your needs, but thankfully, there are different storage options available. This will give you plenty of options regarding what and how you want it to be moved and stored. You can get away with some things you otherwise wouldn’t, but you shouldn’t make a habit of that circumstance.
You can pop by a lot more often.
Usually, once your tenants have moved in and settled, you should be out of their way. Exemptions to that practice would be when it’s time to collect the rent or when they need you to fix or manage something. On the other hand, having your tenants as friends would give you ample opportunities to check up on your place. The best part would be that your “inspections” wouldn’t be impositions, because you would be invited there. Though, if you find something that bothers you, it’s up to your judgment to decide how you will react to it.
Potentially problematic events can be alleviated if you're dealing with friends.
Certain situations are usually highly stressful and conflict-inducing regarding landlord-tenant dealings. Some of them are:
· Moving in
· Bigger repairs and damages
· Negotiating new rent price
· Moving out
These and many other situations can become a breaking point in a relationship between tenants and landlords. Usually, the situation that most often leaves a bitter taste in everyone’s mouth is moving out. Everything previously bottled up and suppressed tends to get released when moving out and parting ways. But when you are parting ways with friends, there will seldomly be a conflict and, instead, you can expect sadness and best wishes for each other. However, the experts from Verified Movers suggest that you should always perform a move-out inspection regardless of how friendly you are. It is better to deal with any issues before you return the deposit to your tenants, and a move-out inspection can save you a lot of stress.
The cons of befriending your tenants:
Tenants will not see you as a figure of authority.
When someone sees you as a friend, it’s natural to assume that you will be forgiving and much more understanding than you should be in your regular dealings. This could lead to several issues, including late payments and lease violations. You may consent to your renter’s desires since you are friends and to preserve your friendship status. Furthermore, how can you be sure that a rule violation won’t occur again if you permit your tenant to do so once? Once you’ve allowed them to breach the rules, it isn’t easy to draw the line. This can only cause you to have more issues and more future worries. In addition, the relationship will deteriorate if the circumstance persists, making this a lose-lose situation that shouldn’t have happened in the first place. If things turn for the worse and your tenants damage your property, you might need to get the help of a property management company to help you with eviction.
Befriended tenants may be more laid back when it comes to maintaining the rental space.
Because you are friends, your tenants may take much more care of the property and treat it like their own. Though on the other hand, they may also choose to ignore maintenance, cleaning, and doing everything else expected from conscientious renters due to your laid-back relationship. You should be prepared for difficulties if any unforeseen money issue is involved because money and friendships are always a bad combination. Even if they are responsible and accommodating regarding maintenance and other obligations on their part, unplanned expenses may complicate things.
Having a property manager as your go-between.
Property managers are professionals who represent you in communications with tenants and take care of most rent-related issues. A piece of advice is that you don’t interfere with the work you hired them for. Additionally, the tenant will probably regard you as having a higher authority this way. In this case, you must decide what relationship you want with your tenants. If you make a wrong choice, you might make things a lot more complicated than they should be. For example, why would they call the person who “works for you” if they have already established contact with you? You hired the manager because you couldn’t or didn’t want to handle the responsibilities and problems related to the property. Also, the property manager can determine whether something needs to be repaired. They should choose how to manage any issues, and you should respect their advice. After all, that’s the reason you hired them.
We’ve seen a thin line between the good and the bad once you change a simple business transaction into something more by befriending your tenants. Though it is human nature to be apprehensive with new people, you should give everyone a chance to show you their good side. You never know how it might turn out. But also, never forget to look out for your best interests in this deal, and anything else beneficial that comes with it is more than welcome to join in.