Rent to a coworker?

15 Replies

Has anyone or would you rent to a coworker?  I have a coworker who asked today how my project  was going. She didn't come out and ask me to rent to her, but did ask for the pics of my reno and asked how long is the lease term.  I thought it was general conversation until she mentioned she'd been looking, not having any luck and how far from the office it is. Again she hasn't asked me anything directly.  But it led me to thinking would this be a good move. I at least don't have to do an employment check (hehehe). But seriously, would you rent to? Word is she's currently looking as she is going thru a divorce, but I don't know if that is true. I also know she has young children.

I am a "huge" believer on church and state. I do not recommend renting to coworkers or anyone who you having to make business decision come back and negatively affect you. I own a rental that I ended up having to rent to a member of the same squadron as my husband. If the market wasn't soft and I wasn't losing money every day. I would "never" have done it! As it is when the lease comes up for renewal next year and I want to raise rent zinc they are $200 below market. While makes sense business wise it's probably going to cause ruffles so I might not do it to keep the peace. On the other hand you should never have to not make a business decision to "keep" the pease in your personal life.

Ask yourself the question -- what if that person has trouble paying rent?  Would you still be a good business person and evict them if you had to?  Or since you work with them, would you start giving them "exceptions" that you wouldn't ordinarily do?

For example I would not rent to my father because they are a smoking household and I do not allow smokers.  Even if it was my dad, I don't want it.

agree with @Dawn Anastasi   on the eviction part.

also, if you screen her, then, unexpectedly found that she has huge amount of unpaid debt, then, you reject her... oops... can you handle that kind of strain relationship with a co-worker?

If the market rent go up crazy next year, do you have the guts to raise her rent?

Well, unless your company is very big, and she is in a department where you dont really have to interact with her at work, then, you can kind of consider. 

The points made are certainly valid. Might hope she doesn't ask.

But, if she does, I'd point out the possible issues if they are appropriate, what is the coworker relationship? She your boss, are you hers, working side by side or anywhere near each other? Any influence with others that may effect your relationship with others?

Need to treat her like anyone else, she shouldn't be disadvantaged because of where she works, would be a bit of employment discrimination.

You might raise your income requirements and look to credit more closely, if she really can afford it and credit is good, why not?

Getting a divorce, those are other issues, do you know her personality and level of responsibility? Probably know here better than other applicants, and if she is more mature, business minded and the two of you can reach an agreement with the understanding the relationship is not personal, then why not.

If you turn her down or make excuses saying no, don't apply, you're already in a pickle, same if you turn her down after processing, same if you lease and then have issues. so I'd say consider all the outcomes from what ever you do.

One way to get out of it is to get it leased to someone else. But, I'm not saying it can't work out either, she could be a very good tenant, the relationship can be positive and beneficial for the long term. Only you can make that decision.

While in the Army, I leased to superior officers and subordinates, while only one was in the same unit, we didn't work together and in that environment, it was a little odd because I felt that it was. I pointed that out to a superior officer and he informed me of his opinion and approach as the military has rules concerning relationships. He said that our relationship had no personal issue to it all, that it was a business transaction, that rank had nothing to do with it, that if he failed in his obligation he would expect me to conduct myself accordingly as any other landlord would and that he would expect me to fulfill my obligations just as any tenant would expect. It was a good relationship and the approach I pointed out to other military tenants regardless of rank or professional relationships. They are not the same matter and should not be comingled. If you can do that, go for it!  :)    

Excellent answers from everyone & all got my vote. If it were me, I try to stay away from doing business with friends, though hopefully it won't lead to a discrimination complaint. Oh the trials and tribulations of dealing with renters. The only way to discriminate legally is the income, or lack of it. Good luck with whatever way you go, and my final suggestion is to consult the magic 8 ball; its always right... http://www.ask8ball.net/

I would allow a co-worker the same opportunity I would any other member of the public. If she is interested, let her know how you are advertising. She can check out the advertising on her own. If she wants to apply, screen her the same as all others. The key would be to define the landlord-tenant relationship in clear terms and treat her the same as you would any other tenant.

My dentist and I are good friends. He treats me as well as any other patient of his, no more, no less. When my husband and I go out on the town with him and his wife, we have a good time together as friends should. It is possible to separate roles.

@Bill Gulley  

Be very careful about the military discussion and honestly check with you boss to now that I think about it. We recently rented internal to my husbands command. Not under his command just the same "division". We had to go through the chain of command to get permission because of the officer/enlisted dynamic. When we received final approval, we were told we were approved on the condition that my husband has "nothing" to do with the house. All work must be completed by me or a handy man.  

Thanks all for the advice and suggestions.  If I turn my head to the left I can see and speak to her as she sits right behind me.  We aren't friends and very rarely do we speak any more than Hello and Hey. So not being cold, but I would absolutely have no problem evicting and coming in the next day like nothing happened.  Wouldn't affect my work or day whatsoever. That was my first thought of how would I feel if there was late pay or eviction... just another tenant to me.  I definitely agree that establishing the relationship as business would be best.  She hasn't asked but just in case I wanted some expert advice.

I kind of agree with @Marcia Maynard  too in treating everyone the same, but, in her case, it's a little easier because she doesn't have to interact with her dentist everyday. When friendship turn sour, you can reduce the frequency of hanging out with each other. When co-worker turn sour, I think it's tough to still deal with each other everyday at work. 

@Dawn Anastasi  You mentioned you wouldn't rent to you dad because he's a smoker.  So I'm reading that as if the applicant smokes, you reject them automatically, period.  Not "You can smoke outside, but no smoking in the home."  Is that correct?

It's the same principle as doing business with family and close friends...don't do it...just my opinion !

Originally posted by @Arthur Banks :

@Dawn Anastasi You mentioned you wouldn't rent to you dad because he's a smoker.  So I'm reading that as if the applicant smokes, you reject them automatically, period.  Not "You can smoke outside, but no smoking in the home."  Is that correct?

 "Outside smokers" will turn into inside smokers.  Smokers are NOT a protected class so you CAN discriminate against them.

Originally posted by @Elizabeth C.:

@Bill G. 

Be very careful about the military discussion and honestly check with you boss to now that I think about it. We recently rented internal to my husbands command. Not under his command just the same "division". We had to go through the chain of command to get permission because of the officer/enlisted dynamic. When we received final approval, we were told we were approved on the condition that my husband has "nothing" to do with the house. All work must be completed by me or a handy man.  

That was in the 70s and I wasn't giving advice to military, I'm sure it hasn't changed much either. You generally need command approval to conduct any business activity, if RE, contact post housing offices as you may need to register off post housing. Each command may have different requirements. My point was not as to the military compliance matters but leasing to those you may have a working relationship, and the Army certainly has hoops to jump through on that topic, the point was to business relationships. You may have read more into the post than what was actually suggested.

Typical Army, have nothing to do with the house really means, nothing to do with the relationship with the tenant, I'm sure they didn't mean take his name off the mortgage, the insurance, property taxes and the deed. Typical Green Machine Mentalities. LOL

renting to people you know.

I've done it.

sometimes it works great. Sometimes it's a pain.

many tenants can be a pain. Strangers or not.

I've never ran into a total disaster or anything. 

I don't really know if I'm for or against it.

I'm indifferent to the whole idea.

@Bill Gulley  

No worries, it almost bit us in the butt  a month ago :) That's why I am probably more sensitive to it! 

As always love that we can share different perspectives.

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here