Renting from someone you know usually has one of two outcomes: either you have the best landlord ever, or you look back on the experience and shutter. As your Columbia DeHaven’s mover unloads all those boxes, you don’t want to immediately regret your decision. To avoid some really potentially awkward situations here are some tips to renting from a friend, family member, or acquaintance.


1. Always sign a legally binding lease, especially if it is family member. Let’s face it, if your friends or family members aren’t willing to sign a contract, there’s probably something shady in your future. You need to have every aspect of your leasing arrangement included, from price to limitations in pets. Hashing out all the details in the lease will make the terms of this arrangement clear to both sides. Make sure you figure out which party will pay for the utilities. And once you’ve got that sorted out, make sure to check on an estimate on how much these monthly bills will be.


2. If your renting situation is temporary, be sure and define the terms. There is nothing worse than ambiguity in terms of your living situation. Be conscious of your friends or family members, and make sure to be honest and communicate your intentions clearly.


3. If your lease is violated by either side, be sure to have a backup plan. Renting from friends or family can be a great situation, for sure. But remember that your relationships are more important than the place you live. After all, you can always find a new house or apartment. But new friends and family are much harder to replace. It’s smart to maintain a back-up living situation, in case renting from your friends or family doesn’t work out.

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