Should I Rent Out My Property To My Girlfriend? Absolutely Not!

Renting girlfriend

So, check it.

I was recently dating this girl (whom I shall refer to as “Bambi” for the sake of keeping this blog post as seedy as possible).

One day, while we were chilling, out of freaking nowhere, she asked if she could essentially go into business together. She needed a place to stay, and she knows I’m a landlord, so in her whimsical little mind, she thought the maths made sense.

Gosh, whoever came up with the term “bitches me crazay” may have been onto something very real.

So while we’re not together anymore, Bambi and I did manage to reach that healthy point in our relationship where we were comfortable with one another. What did that look like? Well, applying eye-liner and fake eyelashes became less frequent, that’s for sure. She even felt comfortable enough to unclip her hair-extensions from her scalp and toss them onto the floor like cigarette butts before nodding off to sleep. That was rather sexy.

That said, we weren’t “exclusively dating”, but I think we had an unspoken rule where we weren’t meant to ‘mess around’. I think we were successful. But who can ever be sure about these things?

While I’m dating, or “courting” (if you’re 90yrs old), I try to avoid discussing my involvement with property. Reason being is dead simple: outside of the confinement of this blog, I find the topic mundane and pointless, because we could be undressing one another with our teeth and boning instead. Only joking. I meant “making-love”

For whatever reason, I briefly mentioned to Bambi that I had a few BTL properties at the beginning of our short-lived relationship. I can’t remember why the issue cropped up in conversation, but for some reason it did.

A few months down the line from the conversation, we were still enjoying one another’s company; I liked her, and she liked me a little more. It was a good deal.

As Bambi’s life started to develop and fall victim to the reality that is change, she suddenly found herself in a position where she would shortly require a property to rent. She was currently residing with her parents, but they were due to sell-up and ship out of the country.

We both know where this is going, right?

Yup, she did it alright. She actually hit me with the inevitable questions 1) do you currently have any vacant properties? 2) If so, could I rent a room?

Awkward. Very awkward. Suddenly my erection had the stability of a freshly baked cinnamon pretzel. Boning Making-love was officially off the table.

I don’t even permit the sharing of my toothbrush, so allowing Bambi to rent a room from me was out of the question. I’m surprised I didn’t have a nose bleed when she asked the question. I definitely felt dizzy and light-headed at the time.

It’s nothing personal, but as a landlord, I choose not to rent out to friends, family or lovers! Especially lovers.

I personally think it’s a no-brainer, and you’d be mad as a box of frogs to do it. However, I know many landlords that do. It’s just something I can’t afford to do; not financially, but emotionally. Well, maybe also financially.

Who’s to say that she wouldn’t just turn around one day and hold the love-making ransom if I didn’t give her a discount? What happens if our relationship turns into a shower of shit (which it eventually did)?

The fact of the matter is, I didn’t want to give her any leverage, because at the end of the day, I know what I am. A warm blooded male.

My response to Bambi was, of course:

I don’t mix business with pleasure, sorry babez

It was a light hearted conversation, but she was dead serious about renting from me. I could see it in her eyes.

She persistently kept nudging me, saying, “Goooo on”, while rubbing her chapped nipples with ice-cubes (I may have fabricated the latter). Perhaps the story would have ended a little differently if she did do that. I wonder.

Ahh the joys of a healthy relationship.

I know what you’re all wondering, did she still put out?

She did.

So that’s my little story.

There’s no real point or moral, just the mutters of a sexually active landlord that refuses to mix business with pleasure.

Just wondering, as a landlord, would you let your property to a friend, family member or lover? Anyone have any positive/negative experience in this particular area?

I’m going to part with some words of wisdom: Wrap it up, before you smack it up.

17 Join the Conversation...

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pab 26th January, 2012 @ 17:57

Having been pressured to let to "friends" in the past I can attest to your not mixing business with....uhh personal life. I found the urge to take advantage of the relationship is often too much for them ("oh hey it's just X, he won't mind if my rent's late/i get a dog/put a dart board up/etc etc") and they inevitably end putting you in a awkward position that wouldn't be difficult if you A) weren't previously friends or B) hadn't agreed to let to them in the first place.

TL;DR it's better to just suffer their whining after saying no.

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Benji 28th January, 2012 @ 21:37

Never let to family or friends.

Always say "sorry nothing available", "promised already" etc

p.s If Bambi is your sister, its not really called 'courting'.

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fredo 29th January, 2012 @ 10:08

Good words of wisdom. I think Benji is right to suggest a white lie, but if they're persistent I think you just have to say no.

I think it's different if you're renting a room out in your own house to a friend. I'd be happy doing that (but only for a proper friend, not someone I didn't know well). Also you have more rights to ask them to change/leave if it's not working, but I guess you can still kill the friendship if you do.

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Armin 30th January, 2012 @ 14:12

I once rented to friends. They are no longer my friends due to rental-related disagreements. Never rent to friends. Family is a slightly different matter. You don't want to rent to them if you can help it, but you can't say no either. With family it's best to keep tabs on their rental situation and be pro-active with those. Give them advise how to get the most out of their landlords, find a place for them at the first sign of them having to move etc. So you're not their last hope.

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Jeff 30th January, 2012 @ 19:05

I'd never rent out for sex. Money is the same every time. What happens if the sex is bad? Do they have to do it again to cover the remainder? I've rented to friends before. It can be good to know the person because you have a pretty good idea of their responsibility.Usually friends don't rent from me because I tell them the truth: "my places are nicer, but you can definitely find cheaper places." That weeds out the people who are just looking for you to subsidize their housing because they know you.

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Yesadam 30th January, 2012 @ 19:42

No, it would be a awkward situation in county Court listing all payments and arrears asking for a monetary judgement.... What would you put in that months box?

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jackthelad 31st January, 2012 @ 00:39

I once 'rented' a room to my girlfriend (at the time) as she was desperate (for a room, not a boyfriend) and was hot!
The thing was it was a quid pro needed a spy in the camp so none of the other tenants were told that she was my girlfriend - reason being the other tenants were always bickering with each other, i had become like a mother hen, and was so fed up with all the complaining, i had therefore decided that i actually wanted to give them all notice to leave so i could do the house up and rent it properly as one unit without the aggravation (and utility bills).
It was an eye opener for me as my spy in the camp kept me informed as to which tenants were the real troublemakers, what they were saying about me (despite the subterfuge i am a good landlord) and whether they were going to refuse to leave etc.
I lost rent on her room but then i wouldn't have been able to rent it anyway for such a short period, and within a few months they were all out.
The house was then completely renovated and it's now rented to 4 lovely professionals that are in their second year there, and do not give me a moments trouble :)

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Smithy 31st January, 2012 @ 12:59

Ages ago, there was a post on the 'Property Investing - Practical' discussion board on Motley Fool UK, from a landlord who was renting house to the friend of her daughter and was charging 'mates rates'. IIRC the landlord felt awkward seeking to raise the rent because the tenant was a friend and was not very well off.

The response was broadly, is this someone whose rent you would subsidise if she were renting elsewhere?

I think that a friend asking to rent from you is likely to expect 'mates rates' and it can be pretty awkward - as has been previously mentioned - to increase the rent or chase arrears, when they are someone you know.

You hear the same from anyone providing a service - plumbers, builders, taxi drivers etc - friends and family ask for a discount because they know them. Er no - this is what I do for a living - why should I (in effect) give you some money towards the bills?

As for accepting sex in lieu of rent - what if she gets pregnant? Or gives you an STI? What might her boyfriend/husband/social worker say about it? What exactly do you write in the rent book?

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Mr X 31st January, 2012 @ 16:17

I would simply say "no.. because your my friend/lover, etc".

If they valued the relationship they would also understand and not pursue it.

By doing them a favour you are actually giving them money. For example, you rent a property for £900. For them you do it for £700 and only making £100 profit instead of £300. They are effectively costing you £200 every month which you would normally receive elsewhere.

As Smithy states, they need to understand you are offering a professional service and by doing them a favour, they are costing you a great deal in lost profits.

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shazia 31st January, 2012 @ 19:38

LOL... absolute madness! Loved reading every bit of it and completely agree/support your decision not to assist with something like this. Things initially might be amazing and quite 'convenient', however when, and i insist on when because it's bound to happen, when things go wrong it could get so super messy. Just a situation best avoided. So well done to you!!! x :D

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dave 31st January, 2012 @ 22:57

To avoid all above potential scenarios I have found the easiest option is...don't have friends !!.. works a treat !!

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 31st January, 2012 @ 23:46

I must say, I've enjoyed reading the responses to this issue!! Good job everyone :)

I'm glad we all seem to have a general consensus on the issue. I think Pab (response #1) hit the nail on the head when he/she said that taking advantage of the relationship is often too much for the friend/lover e.g. "oh hey it's just X, he won't mind if my rent's late/I get a dog/put a dart board up etc." That seems like a more than likely scenario.

It's interesting to see that some of you actually have rented to lovers and friends. Unfortunately, they all seemed to have ended badly!

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shikira 9th May, 2012 @ 15:27

Wanted to put my oar in the waters here too!

Yes, liked my landlord more than as a friend, yet his wife kind of sussed it and she demanded rent money that was eight weeks late: I couldn't get housing benefit as was sorting my inheritance and not eligible for a good few months. The council gave me a bit though, yet only one week's worth.

I paid this damn woman £400 as she was stomping about the building and banged on my door. She stood afar outside my window and gazed into the window like a possessed demon, so a few weeks later I got my sister to collect me and lived in one of her places. I could easily have been his mistress, he was hot stuff! - His wife was sharepening blades my direction, so she must have known something about the fact I liked him.

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shikira 28th May, 2012 @ 17:58

I would have 'sexed' him if his other half hadn't been in the frame!

He told his male consorts that he wanted to play with my T**Ts and that he was seriously into me in 2006/7 yet too cowardly to tell me himself what he wanted from me. The major issue for me was that I actually liked him in a really big way, yet kept spoiling it by his over-friendly pleasantries with other females and the constant talk of his 'wife' whom he wasn't even married to her. Later discovered that he was bisexual, looser than a cannon ball with women and many children in the mix.

Would never have truly exchanged rent for sex, yet would have made him suffer for the emotional torment he put me through, pretending that he wanted me for me - I wanted him so badly because he was the first and only man to ever have made my heart flutter. I also liked the fact that he appreciated me for being a person - not just an object of desire.

A long and complicated history between me and someone I never even knew was married for a good three or four years of my knowing him.

His friends were also very interested in me and would call me late evening asking to come and see me. I felt on the spot, not sure at all what the hell to do: two of them actively pursued me until I had no option but to call the police. I was frightened, alone and my brothers/sisters knew nothing of my situation until I told them about these predators. They knew I liked my landlord and so very accepting of it, yet not the part about his friends who tried to prevent anything happening between me and this landlord.

I am smart, highly intellectual and gifted as an artist; wealthy and very very attractive (hid) behind a little weight so that Andy could never know who I really was. I loved him, still love him even now, yet he chose to allow the circumstances to dictate how things were - not me.

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Robert Ross 20th August, 2014 @ 11:23

What's the big deal here? I have been renting rooms to college girls for years... and
I have sometimes allowed them to convince me how much the burden of student loans are... They offer me their bodies if I lower their rental costs... I find myself poorer these days... but with a huge smile on my face... so who is being hurt??

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Robert Ross 20th August, 2014 @ 11:25

is there any law which prohibits exploring a substantial breast and erect nipple?

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Grumpy 2nd April, 2020 @ 08:37

Hi Landlord,

Just wading through some of your early articles. Haha comedy gold. Between this one and the breakup blog I guess this was a watershed moment where the blog could have taken a swerve towards Jeremy Kyle style relationship advice.

Another idea for you.
Publish a book. Short chapters (each blog post) throughout the years with selected comments.

You have enough material and there will be sufficient jaded landlords out there to have the book bought for them for Xmas.

Even the epic DSS post with hundreds of comment would be epic. The comments alone would make a great book. Similar to the telegraph letter book that sells loads 👍

















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