Should You Rent to Family? Tips From a Charleston Property Manager
Whether you love them (or can barely tolerate them), friends and family might suddenly appear when they find out you have a Charleston home for rent. If you bought a new house, and you're putting your current home up for rent, you might wonder if it's a good idea to let family members or friends become new residents for your single-family home, condo, or row home.
As with any property owner to renter situation, you can choose who lives in your Charleston rental home (within the law). However, when considering friends or family as your next renters, property investors should weigh the pros and cons of a renter-owner relationship with people you know on a personal level.
You might have a cousin or uncle that you know better than to let live in your home! However, if you're trying to help a friend or offer your rental to more trustworthy family members, follow these tips from a local property manager Charleston property owners can trust.
Keep in mind; we may be the best property managers in Charleston, but we aren't attorneys. This blog isn't intended as legal counsel: when you need real-time aid, get in touch with us here at Charleston Property Company or reach out to an attorney!
Follow Best Practices—Always
'But, they're family!'
If you hear yourself say those words, make sure you read through these best practices before letting your brother or aunt move into your Charleston rental property! Being family doesn't exempt anyone from the rules of living in your investment property as a renter.
Every renter (including family and friends) should:
- Fill out an application and go through a screening process
- Sign a lease agreement
- Follow the rules of living in your property
- Pay rent
- Have renters insurance
- Allow you to enforce the rules of the lease.
As a rental property owner, you're not in the business of giving away a 'free' place to live or allowing residents to do whatever they want in your property.
The Rules Apply
Turning your Charleston home into a rental means it becomes an income source for your long-term financial goals. Being a property owner is not an opportunity for family or friends to take advantage of you or your home.
If your family is used to visiting you in your home and doing whatever they want, as renters, the rules have changed—and it's your job as the property owner to establish and enforce the rules. They'll be responsible for property upkeep, on-time rental payments, and behaving according to the property's rules.
However, the rules change for you, as well. When friends or family sign a lease to live in your property, they become residents. As the owner, you can no longer enter your property without providing notice. You must provide maintenance services, respond to maintenance requests, and follow the law as the property owner by providing a safe place for your residents to live.
Protect Your Relationships
While it might seem harsh to turn your friendship or family relationship into a business relationship, it's the best way to protect your Charleston rental property—as you would with any other resident. Choosing to turn your home into a rental is a business decision for your future! Relaxing the rules with friends or family can detail your investment plans before they get off the ground.
As a property manager, Charleston investors, we urge you to consider your relationships as they are now and how they must change when allowing personal friends or family members to become your new residents.
- If it's the simplest (and quickest) way to find a renter you trust to live in your investment property, friends or family can be a good option. However, make sure everyone is on the same page with the 'business' aspect of living in your rental home. It's not a place to 'crash.'
- If your friendship or family bond might suffer from becoming the property owner to your new 'renters,' it might be a better policy to exclude friends and family from living in your rental home. Helping a friend with a place to stay is a noble offer, but make sure it's a short-term solution on the way to finding a long-term resident who will pay the rent and follow the rules.
Many property owners find it hard to rent to family members while being the rule enforcer—and that includes rent collection.
If your property is the best solution for you and a family member, give yourself a buffer from the new 'business' aspect of the relationship. Hiring a professional property manager, Charleston investors, is an excellent solution when you don't want to be the 'bad guy' dealing with renters who you know and love as friends or family!
A Property Manager Protects Your Investments (and Relationships)
A renter must be a paying renter—even if they are a friend or member of your family! Benefitting from monthly rental property income requires monthly rental payments, and that includes managing rent collection and payments from friends or family who rent your Charleston property.
Don't put your relationships (or income) at risk. Choose a professional, full-service property management company to manage your renters and properties.
Charleston Property Company handles every property and renter with impartiality. We follow the lease agreement to enforce rules and collect the rent. Stay friendly with your friends and family, and let us help you find the best residents for your properties!
Managing the professional relationship you have with your residents is just one way we protect you as your property manager, Charleston investors! However, it's not the only way you should be protecting your rental! Learn more for free with our resource, Protecting Your Investment Property: A Guide!