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Should You Be Friends with Your Landlord?

Elderly Couple Chatting with Landlord in their Columbia Rental Home

Establishing a good rapport with your Columbia landlord can make your life easier. But is it good to be friends with your landlord? May it be renting from a friend or cultivating a friendship with your landlord, there are some considerations to keep in mind. Landlord-tenant friendships can work, but it does take effort. It is a good idea to proceed cautiously and to follow these simple guidelines to ensure that your rental relationship does not ruin your personal one.

Document Everything

The days of doing business with a handshake are long gone. If you are going to rent your friend’s property, make sure you are given a lease detailing all your rights and responsibilities. Have all elements –everything– documented in the lease. Good documentation of your landlord’s expectations will help 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. Rental home-related topics should stay out of social settings and do not expect your landlord to accommodate all your requests just because you are friends. Expecting special treatment will only cause problems between you and your landlord as well as between your other roommates. You should always remember that despite being your friend, being a landlord is your friend’s business, so keep it professional.

Set Boundaries

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. But, doing this crosses the line between being a landlord and taking advantage of a friend. Once your landlord crosses one boundary, he is likely to overstep in other ways. You can prevent this from happening by stopping these behaviors once they start to surface. Good boundaries will maintain your positive relationship with your landlord.

Anticipate Awkwardness

This friendship with your landlord may help you become more comfortable in your regular interactions. 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. It can be a big problem if your landlord feels left out if he is not involved in every social activity in your rental home. While it could be awkward, you have to make it clear to your landlord that your friendship does not obligate you to include them in all your activities. 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.

By now, you see the challenges and possible pitfalls that can arise from becoming close 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.

Are you looking for a Columbia rental house managed by true professionals? Then think about getting to know our Columbia property management team! Contact us online or call us at 410-415-1736.

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