5 Reasons Why Renting to Family Members is a Terrible Idea

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Your cousin Joe has fallen on hard times and needs a place to move his family. You have a vacant rental property investment and need a tenant to ensure you’re not coming out of pocket to pay the mortgage. It’s a win-win! Or is it?

  1.   They are not the best tenants.

Like Joe, many family members in need of renting YOUR rental have fallen on hard times and can’t secure a rental elsewhere. Whether it’s because of financial issues, getting out of jail, the loss of a job, or getting evicted from another place, their plight has put them in the typical “do not rent to” box. In fact, you just denied a guy last week who didn’t meet your screening criteria and was in the same situation, and history reminds you that your last eviction was because you didn’t stick to your guidelines. But Joe’s family, so what could go wrong – besides EVERYTHING?

2.      Business is NOT just business.

You have good processes in place for your rental and are certain Joe will play by the rules with no issues. You give Joe the lease to sign, request a security deposit as normal, and specifically state that he shouldn’t smoke in the house and that his dog has to go live with a friend. He agrees to everything but is in a mad rush to move in so promises that he’ll get the lease and security deposit to you next week. Next week comes and goes, and Joe is radio silent on his promise to get you the signed lease and deposit. A few weeks go by, and you show up at the property to see how things are going, only to be greeted at the front door by Fido, Joe’s not-so-friendly Pit Bull, and the smell of cigarette smoke billowing out the open window. Joe gives you a warm hug, tells you to take a chill pill, and calmly reminds you that he’s not every other tenant. He’s family.

3.      They will likely take advantage of you.

Aside from the fresh nicotine covered