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They say doing business with friends and family can be either a great thing or the absolute worst!!

Even though people know not to mix business with their personal life, many people rent their house to their close ones. It might seem like a good idea since they’re familiar and you already trust them, you feel like they wouldn’t harm your property on purpose, and you care about each other, so you wouldn’t make each other’s lives hard by being uncooperative.

Incredible as this may seem, is it really such an easy thing to implement? More often than not, you’ll have to rely more on your personal relationship than the boundaries of the contract, which will lead to unpleasant repercussions.

Professionalism becomes impossible

Family and friends will expect more out of you as a landlord than a typical tenant would. As the homeowner, you’ll want specific rules to be followed when someone rents your house, and the tenant has to follow them. These rules normally keep both parties aware of their responsibilities and help establish a healthy BUSINESS relationship.

Whenever there’s a conflict, it’s best that you rely on the terms you’ve set in the contract. This way, everything is clear, and everybody knows the consequences of breaking that contract.

When a relative or friend is involved, the contract often gets overlooked or ignored.  You’ll let  things slide in the name of friendship, and before you know it, somebody feels like they’ve sacrificed more than the other or worse hard done to! Professionalism goes out of the window when PERSONAL boundaries and relationships are blurred.


After professional boundaries are muddled, parties may ask more than others would normally. Your friend or relative might ask for an extension on paying their rent, for a rent discount, cutting out specific fees, more requests for maintenance or repairs, and so on. You may even feel like you don’t have to do a tenant background check or financial check because it would feel uncomfortable for both of you.

They may feel like they can get away with more things because of your personal relationship with them. And, as their landlord and friend, you’ll accept for their sake. However, in time, you’ll start to feel resentful; and you’ll know you’d have fewer headaches with a stranger because they will respect your terms of renting without question.

Consequences may not be respected

For every damage done to the property, for every late rent or extra services, you’d typically ask for additional payment. It will be difficult and awkward to ask a friend to pay extra because they were a little late.

Rules and consequences are easy and normal at a professional landlord / tenant level; everybody understands their role, and no one complains when they’ve previously agreed to the contract.

It’s hard to remove someone close

Everybody may face financial challenges, and if they miss the rent enough times, it’s appropriate and necessary to send an eviction notice in order to protect your investment. However, sending such a powerful legal thing to someone close to you is very challenging, and it may even be contradictory to your care for them.

Whether the tenant is a stranger, or family, eviction is hard but sometimes part of the job. In these situations, landlords should be firm and demand that they hold their end of the bargain. It’s hard enough to do this to someone you don’t know, but doing this to somebody that you know personally, it’s very conflicting.

It often ends your personal relationship

No matter how you negotiate terms, you’re not going to be on an even playing field. As the landlord, you’ll have authority over your tenant, no matter who they are. You are going to be the one that sets the condition of your lease, and they’re the ones that will have to respect them. Especially if they’re someone really close and that’s known you for a long time, they may have a hard time seeing you in this light. It may even appear as a shock when you’re forced to take the necessary measures to make your professional relationship work.

And, if they’ve gotten away with certain things, you may feel like you were taken advantage of. These feelings are not beneficial to your relationship and inevitably spread into your general interaction with them.

It will also affect their perspective of your relationship. They will feel like you don’t care enough about them to offer them more. They may also tell others how some of the things in your house weren’t up to their standards, further complicating the situation.

Bottom line

In order to keep your investment running as it should and your personal life drama-free, without arguing or losing anyone you care about, renting to someone you don’t know it’s the safest bet. You’ll be able to protect both yourself and the personal you care about.

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