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Would you rent to friends?

(17 Posts)
Loopylala7 Fri 03-Jan-14 05:22:03

DH and I made a decision to rent out our home and have had letting agents round and had viewings etc. A couple we are friends with have now approached us asking if they can rent our home directly from us. My initial reaction was 'do not mx business with pleasure' however DH seems to think its a good idea.

Every forum I have looked at says doing this is bad news and can only lead to a breakdown in friendship. Are there any positive stories out there?! If so please share! Or should I follow my gut instinct and say no?

Roshbegosh Fri 03-Jan-14 05:36:36

Don't even think about it. It will be the end of your friendship.
What about if you have to charge them for damage and they dispute it? What about if they are a little late paying?
What about if they don't want to move out when you want the place back?
what about when you visit and see them treating your home in a way you don't like?
It will save on fees and there is a risk with any tenant I admit! but the friendship is unlikely to survive unless it is shoe term, properly talked through and sewn up legally. I would not do it. If I could afford for a friend to stay for free as a guest fine, but not as a tenant.

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 03-Jan-14 05:41:15

Never, never, never. I employed a relative once and it was a complete disaster. Everyone told me not to. We thought we had worked out every kink but it still messed up. Never mix friends/relatives with money.

beginnings Fri 03-Jan-14 05:43:34

Absolutely not for all the reasons stated above. I considered it for about 3.5 seconds last year and then realised that it wasn't worth the risk to a 25 year friendship and stopped her before the suggestion was out of her mouth. Bad bad bad idea.

Dirtymistress Fri 03-Jan-14 05:47:17

I rented from my best friend after leaving my husband, whilst all the financial stuff got sorted out and I bought my own house.
It was absolutely fine! She knows I am obsessively clean and tidy and would never miss my rent. I think it can work.

BitOutOfPractice Fri 03-Jan-14 05:48:19

Short answer: no

Lazybones80 Fri 03-Jan-14 05:57:08

I rented my flat to a friend for 2 years and it was great! He really looked after it and got any problems fixed himself. I didn't have to pay estate agents, so I passed the savings to him meaning we were both better off financially. I've also rented my flat to a relative and that worked out great too! Maybe I'm lucky, but it depends what your friends are like. For me it was a better experience than the other tenants I've had grin

sykadelic15 Fri 03-Jan-14 17:45:28

If you did it directly I would still want a contract which means someone to draw that up. I would never do it without a contract in place.

Plus being friends if they're short one month would you be strong enough to tell them to pay up? What if they asked you if they could pay late?

What about if you went over to visit and saw something wrong? Would you tell them there and then? Would you send them an official notice? Do you have to give notice before "inspections" so would you have to give notice before visiting just in case?

What if something breaks and you know from experience that their kids/pets are rough on things? Would you tell them to fix it?

There are so many "what if's" it's always better to have a middle man. I'd be okay renting to them, but I'd go through the agency (even if they were family). It would work out better for both of you to have that level of protection.

mousmous Fri 03-Jan-14 17:49:41

only with a proper contract. and for the normal market rate.
and with a mainainance contract for the little things that do go wrong (heating, plumbing, leaking roofs).

WhoNickedMyName Fri 03-Jan-14 17:51:49

No, just no.

Buzzardbird Fri 03-Jan-14 17:53:30

We rented to a friend of a friend. Total disaster, trashed the place and didn't pay us a penny in compensation.

nessus Fri 03-Jan-14 18:30:20

Don't do it. Just don't. Seriously, don't even think about it.

GandalfsPointyHat Fri 03-Jan-14 18:35:09

My parents rented to adult children of friends who they've known sonce childhood(they were mid- thirties). Absolute disaster, my mum and her friend no longer speaks.

curiousgeorgie Fri 03-Jan-14 18:36:34

Don't do it. We did it before we sold our old house and it was a nightmare.

We don't speak anymore and we lost money too.

Never again!

ISeeYouShiverWithAntici Fri 03-Jan-14 18:37:06

If you do it, dont do it informally!
id suggest telling the agents this is who you want to let to and have them manage it.

Loopylala7 Sun 05-Jan-14 00:18:28

Well the friends came over today to discuss it, I suspect they aren't keen as we emphasised that we whilst we were happy to forgo agency management fee, we would still expect market rate. Think they weren't so sure after that, plus you could tell it was one half of the couple driving it whilst the other made it clear they didn't want to move.

Still on with the agency, but a little concerned as they said they found us tenants, HOWEVER, only one of the two worked, and was quite literally on the threshold of being able to afford the rent. They have a child, and told me their total household income. I tallied up our regular bills, and I mean nothing extravagant, literally water, gas, electric and council tax, and worked out that the family of 3 would have around £300 left a month for food, clothing, transport, phone etc. Is it just me, or does that sound impossible? We aren't renting a mansion or anything, but I know there are cheaper places locally.

Agency have already taken our details down off website, before we'd agreed these tenants. I mentioned our basic monthly bills to letting woman, and she seemed to think it was ok? Am I over thinking it? I have asked them to keep marketing it until we can be confident they can afford it as we simply can't afford for them to miss a payment, would really muck us up financially. Think they thought I was overreacting?

EBearhug Sun 05-Jan-14 00:24:49

I'm a positive story - I have been renting from my landlord friend for about 7 years. However, we had previously had financial involvement - I had borrowed a few thousand from him when unemployed in the past, and paid it back, so he knows I can be trusted. He also knows I keep the house in a better state than he did when he was still living here. Also, I probably am not as demanding as "normal" tenants would be (they'd have probably insisted the front door was sorted out ages ago, so it wouldn't have swollen up so much in all the recent rain that I ended up being trapped in the house.)

We do have a proper tenancy agreement (bank insisted on it for the mortgage, anyway.)

But as a general rule, I'd say it's not advisable.

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