The Landlord Ship Has Sailed!

Tips For Renting Space To Friends And Family

You are looking at formerly my craft and exercise room.  Didn’t the Salvation Army (the previous home owners) have excellent taste in decor?!  I was heart broken to see the periwinkle walls and butterflies go.  But I think Addi did a pretty good job making over her new bedroom, so my broken heart is on the mend.

Red and Black Bedroom - landlord tips

It’s totally a reflection of her personality!  I guess what I’m trying to say, is we now have 1/3 of our tenants moved in.  Yep, Aaron and I are now landlords.  (Scary!)

Remember our Adoption Checklist?  In order for us to accomplish our kitchen reno faster and save more dough for adoption, Addi, Matt, and Karl have decided to move in and aid our cause.  It is an incredible blessing for the cause of Little Crowder Baby.

I thought this would be a good time to share some tips for anyone considering being a landlord to friends or family.  Renting to friends or family can be great, or horrible.  If done the wrong way, it can really damage relationships.  Here are some things to consider:

  •  Write a lease agreement.

Even though they are your friends, have a lease.  Set a specific date when the lease expires.  When the end is reached, either party has the option to end the contract or renew.  (That way you don’t have your crazy relatives living in your basement for years.)  Also, make sure to state the day rent is due.

  • Set clear expectations and ground rules from the beginning.

Make sure your tenants understand that they are responsible for their dishes and their own dinner (I’m not your mom).  Establish how you can “dibs” the use of the family room for hang outs.  Whatever your expectations might be, communicate them clearly from day one.  This will help avoid miscommunication down the road.

  • Define boundaries.

To my friends/tenants:  As much as I love you, I can’t hang out with you every night.  Our house isn’t the set of an MTV reality show.  If I don’t feel like hanging out or going out, don’t take it personal.

  • Be professional.

No one likes to think this is going to happen, but IF things go sour, be professional in dealing with it.  Treat it like a business relationship.  In the end, the most important thing is the determining the best interest of all parties, even if that means ending the contract.  Don’t give the silent treatment because you hate your room mates.

  • Pick your battles.

Some things aren’t worth fighting over.  Sure, it might bug the crap out of me that your hobby of candle making leaves bits o’ wax everywhere.. but is it really worth a blow out?  (get it?  you blow out a candle, “candle-making”… I’m not funny?  oh…)  Some things are worth discussing, and others aren’t.  I mean, heck, who am I to talk?  I enjoy using power tools at 10:30 PM.

Do you have any tips about being a landlord to friends or family?

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