The Time My Friend Wanted To Be My Tenant

Renting to friends

It’s that dreaded time of the landlord cycle. Time to find a tenant. Should I just spare myself the torment and put myself out of my impending misery?

I’m undoubtable going to market my rental on Rightmove and Zoopla, but due to what can only be described as a moment of misjudgement, I also made it public knowledge to my peers on Facebook.

I know what you’re thinking, smugly. “Recipe for disaster, mate”

Well, fuck you, too! You couldn’t be further from the truth, MATE!

I lie.

So, like an absolute dip-stick, I tossed up a Facebook post, notifying my world that I’ll shortly have a 2 bedroom house available for rent, and if anyone was interested to contact me to discuss business.

In hindsight, I must have been drunk off my tits, or I must have missed lesson one of Landlord School, when the class learned rule #1: Renting to friends and family is virtually a self-prescribed death sentence, avoid!

In any case, I did what I did.

I quickly received an interested response from Arnold (that’s not his real name, I’m protecting my ass from a potential beating his identity). Eager as a beaver, he was. He made it clear everything sounded perfect, from the location to the property itself, including the price.

I wouldn’t say Arnold is a close friend, nor just a random pick-up (as so many of my “friends” are on Facebook); he’s wedged in the middle somewhere, but closer to being friend than foe. I know enough about him to know he’s not a complete dickhead. At least, I’ve never seen him blindly share some bullshit Britain First post, like withering uncle Bob. Either way, I didn’t dismiss his interest immediately.

I provided him details of the property, which only triggered his interest further. We arranged a viewing for the next day. Fan-fucking-tastic, I thought!

It all went downhill very quickly

Yesterday afternoon I met Arnold at the property and showed him around…. while my current tenant followed us around like a lost puppy. Tad annoying when they do that, innit?

I promise I’m not going to masturbate on your bed sheets or pocket your loose change on the kitchen counter while no one is looking, you get me?

After the viewing, Arnold’s interest didn’t sway one bit. In fact, he wanted in!

Once again, I want to remind you that I wasn’t of a clear mind, which is why I was delusional enough to believe it was my lucky day. I had effortlessly found a tenant within a day of inactively searching. What more could a simple and humble landlord ask for?

As we had arrived at the end of the tour, we both stood outside the property with smiles, whiskers away from engaging into a spit handshake, and that’s the exact moment when he dropped the hammer…

I’m not employed at the moment, so I’ll be getting the money through the council. Also, are you willing to look past the deposit? That might be a struggle for me.

That’s cool, ain’t it?

Are you bloody out of your loopy mind, Arnold? That’s literally the furthest fucking thing from cool I can possibly think of. And I have a particularly fucking warped mind; I’ve dreamed about drinking your urine before!

Not cool, Arnold, not cool at all.

I should have said that, of course, but I didn’t.

Don’t get me wrong, I *should* have also referenced his sorry ass before the viewing, so I bought this shit-show on myself, and I’ll never make that mistake again. In my defence, I think I got carried away with the fact that I know him personally, so I trusted him not to waste my time with silliness. Boy was he silly, though.

It quickly dawned upon that he most likely withheld those vital and bone-crushing details because he thought our pre-existing familiarity with one another would make me numb to his wildly undesirable circumstances. Perhaps if I was 16 and/or fell off the turnip truck yesterday his master plan would have come to fruition. Fortunately, neither was the case.

He could have mentioned his circumstances before we both got erections and almost started shaking hands over forming a new tenant/landlord relationship.

But hey, I guess I can’t fault him. He saw an opportunity and tried his luck.

To get out of this super awkward situation, I had to think on my feet. So I thanked him for his time, and told him I have more viewings scheduled (which I didn’t), and I will assess each applicant on their own merits. Basically, I made it clear I wasn’t going to play favourites (implying he was my favourite), and I’m going to be completely objective in my selection process.


I won’t.

So yeah, little did he know that I basically pulled the plug on the whole arrangement there and then.

Would Arnold have made a good or bad tenant? It’s impossible to know, but I wasn’t willing to take the chance to find out.

So it’s back to my original plan of marketing the property through online property portals. I’m still undecided on whether or not I should unfriend Arnold from Facebook, just to make life less awkward for both of us. Hopefully he’ll show me mercy and do us both a favour by unfriending me first.

Lesson for life learned.

8 Join the Conversation...

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Ginsterlam 21st June, 2010 @ 15:12

Brilliant read!!
You never fail to amuse me Landlord! I think you should write at least one article a day instead of one every couple of weeks!
By the way, I tried out Upad re: web portals and found their service to be very good and infomative.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 21st June, 2010 @ 17:58

Ha, thanks a lot, Ginsterlam! Unfortunately I don't have time to write an article every day, but I am trying to post more frequently! Also, not enough incidents occur in my landlording life to warrent writing every day! But that's probably a good thing!

I try to post a new article every 3-5 days, at the moment!

Upad looks likes a good service, I've yet to try it out. I may give it a spin! Thanks for the tip :)

Guest Avatar
Ginsterlam 21st June, 2010 @ 19:17

My request is of course totally selfish so take no notice. I just thoroughly enjoy reading your articles!!
On behalf of everyone, thank you so much for keeping us all completely amused yet concisely informed at the same time.
You rock! :D

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Aunty P 21st June, 2010 @ 20:05

Not many people could get away with writing in such a crude style but you do every time! Very entertaining and as usual right on the button. By the way I like the new look site. Looking forward to the next post already!

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andy beveridge 27th July, 2010 @ 09:01

I am a dss tenant and am having trouble finding a place. I think you were absolutely f*&*$ng......correct to say 'no', as he did withhold the information so as to make you feel obliged to say yes after shaking hands. Good read.

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Daniel Fraser 25th November, 2010 @ 15:13

Funny stuff! Poor arnold though.

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Dolores 17th October, 2016 @ 08:08

Not all dss people are the same, I have had 3 landlords in 13 years and all of my landlords have given me good references, my present landlord (in my 6th year ) only comes around if I phone him, and he always asks if I live in my flat because it always looks so good, I can't afford the £450.00 increase but it will bring them inline with the other rents.

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Lee 28th March, 2017 @ 07:35

Dolores this is a 6 year+ old article; but I'll bite on your 6 month old comment. The main issue is with the councils, not the tenants. In that respect, all DSS tenants ARE actually the same because that is a common affliction. There isn't a single council in this country that isn't plagued with keeping up with payments. Oh and the premiums, fucking hell the insurance premiums on renting to DSS. You either pay out of your arse for it (when you don't even have to, I could put either on my flats on the market to let now and both would be taken within a week by working professionals who won't fuck up my premiums); or absolutely wing it and be in the shits when the council suddenly pulls the plug on all payments and you don't have a clue why because DPA; oh and to further put the plunger down the blocked shitter, they'll advise said tenant that if they leave the property, they're even more fucked than they already are because they won't help them.

















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