When we see someone we love in trouble, if we have the means to help, we would love to help them through it.
But sometimes our help gets misunderstood as something else, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor fisevedo was happy to help their friends when they realized they were having trouble with their rented apartment.
But when their friend accused them of taking advantage, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if their solution was somehow flawed.
They asked the sub:
“AITA for offering my friends to buy their apartment and rent it out to them?”
The OP’s friend received bad news about their rental.
“My friend, Zoey, and her boyfriend rent an apartment near us.”
“They love living there, but their landlord announced that he will sell it soon.”
“Zoey and her boyfriend are devastated.”
“They even talked to someone from the bank and sadly, they can’t afford to buy the place. If their downpayment offer were to be accepted as-is, their mortgage would be more than double their rent payment.”
The OP and their husband tried to offer an alternative.
“My husband and I talked and realized that we have enough money to buy the apartment.”
“I told Zoey and her boyfriend that we could buy it and they could keep living there.”
“The only difference for them would be that they are sending the rent money to a different account from now on.”
But their plan didn’t go over as well as expected.
“Zoey’s boyfriend lost it. He basically started yelling at us.”
“He said he doesn’t need us taking away his apartment and then getting rich on his rent money.”
“He said something about us making him buy an apartment for us because the mortgage will be paid with his rent and we would be using him.”
“He called us arrogant, among other things.”
“I’m baffled by his overreaction, but I’m wondering… Was our offer really that offensive?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some thought the OP was offering a wonderful favor.
“OP IS doing his friends a favor because there’s no guarantee the new random buyer won’t triple the rent overnight and/or kick out OP’s friends and go live in the place himself.”
“At least if OP becomes the new owner the friends know where they stand. It takes the uncertainty out of the equation.” – LMF5000
“I don’t know, I mean, if I had someone offer to buy my beloved apartment so that I never had to worry about moving or anything like that, I’d… be down for it.”
“If the goal is the own it in the future and they’re such good friends that they’re willing to do that for them, then I’d try to talk to them about maybe a rent-to-own situation or something like that.”
“I’d do anything before blowing up at them. Sh*t, even just being like, ‘I appreciate the offer, but I don’t know that it would be good for our friendship to add in that sort of dynamic.'” – snoozincutie
“I can’t see how the boyfriend would be hurt by the offer. I would offer to do the same thing for my close friends if I were in a position to, and I can’t imagine they would be upset about it. It sounds like a win-win for everyone.” – DrinkingSocks
“I don’t see why it’s AH behavior to suggest something if you’re open to hearing that your friend doesn’t want that.”
“I see gradations between something not being the best idea and something being AH behavior.”
“Buying it without telling your friend or buying it in spite of being told it makes your friend uncomfortable = AH.”
“Asking if they want you to buy it so they don’t have to deal with rent hikes or move = not AH though maybe risky.”
“I personally would consider this offer from a friend I truly trusted. It would let me stay put with a stable rent payment while I figured out how to afford to buy my own place and where I could afford to buy it.” – Maximum_System_7819
“I’m renting from my friend right now too. I’d rather pay her rent money and know it’s going toward helping a friend earn capital and property than the money going into the abyss that won’t help anybody I care about.”
“It’s sad to think his ego is so big that he can’t view it as a blessing. He gets a chance to live in the same place he wants to stay in and help their friends out.” – are_those_real
Others didn’t like the idea but still thought the boyfriend overreacted.
“Suggesting a way to help that may be too tricky in reality does not make someone suck. The boyfriend is the AH, blowing up on people (especially your friends) is ridiculous.”
“It could have been like, ‘Hey, if you’re down for the power dynamic to get weird, you could keep your apartment.'”
“‘Ah wow, I mean that’s an interesting idea, but I think that would strain our friendship too much.'”
“‘Maybe you’re right! I wouldn’t want you to feel weird.'”
“Done. Adults.” – shieldy_guy
“ESH. The boyfriend’s reaction was over the top.”
“But I’ll be honest, I’d feel SO uncomfortable if one of my friends suggested this.”
“1. The ‘only difference’ is a significant one. I don’t want a friend to be my landlord.”
“It would change our relationship and suddenly ‘my’ place would become ‘their’ place. Visits would feel like an inspection. I’d never be able to talk freely about my home to my friend.”
“Mixing friendship and business… Not good.”
“2. When something sh*tty happens to me, I don’t necessarily need to be ‘rescued’. And especially not when it’s a solution that my friend would ultimately profit off.”
“In my view, OP sucks became their friend is in an unfortunate situation, and their suggestion would a) change the dynamic of the entire friendship and b) benefit OP financially.”
“It sounds lovely and rosy, but it’s an ill-thought-out idea.” – happybanana134
“NTA, but it would be a bad idea. The dynamic of the relationship would be fundamentally changed regardless of what then happened.”
“You certainly didn’t deserve the reaction you got, but I’d see it as a sign of what it’ll do to your relationship. Talk to them about it (if you’re interested in staying friends), and then rescind the offer.” – LuciusMaximal
“There’s definitely some legitimate anger to be had here. It’s understandable to be angry that a bank wouldn’t give you a loan for a place even though you can afford the rent at the very same place which is necessarily a greater amount.”
“But that anger is misdirected. They should be angry with the bank and the system, not the OP for offering them a way to remain in their apartment.” – Shufflepants
“No, the boyfriend is most definitely an a**hole. Calling someone a bunch of names and calling them arrogant and selfish because they offered to do you a favor? That’s AH behavior.”
“I’d like to emphasize that they offered, they didn’t even buy the house or go through with it.” – CarelessPath1689
Some urged the OP to reconsider mixing their friendship with business matters.
“You’re NTA, but making that new power dynamic could seriously hurt your relationship with that friend.” – Mo_the_axolotl
“It’s a terrible idea to jump into being a landlord with no prior experience because you think it’ll be easy mode with friends living there.”
“And it’s a terrible idea to rent to friends because it’s so easy when you don’t have money and need a break somewhere to say, ‘Oh, Bob will understand if rent is short and I pay him back next month.'” – ChaseExplainsItAll
“I don’t even think it’s about jealousy. Some people are genuinely thinking that owning a place you don’t intend to live in is acting like a parasite because it removes available housing for people who wish to buy one as their primary home.”
“On top of that, it’s easy to see that proposition as an ‘opportunistic move’ or low risk/high reward investment where OP and her husband are buying an apartment only because they know they already have tenants to rent it as it is (I am not saying it is the case, just that it’s easy to make that assumption).” – Jed08
“I mean, you aren’t the a**hole, but don’t mix business with pleasure.”
“It’s literally bound to change your relationship even if they are the perfect tenant and you are the perfect landlords.”
“But, just to add, your husband and you don’t sound like you’ve done any research into what a landlord needs, etc. You just said, ‘We have money, let’s go,’ and he’s reacted like that rather than exposing why it was insulting.”
“So neither of you sound like you would be perfect.” – procrastinating_b
“Combining business with friendship never seems to end well.”
“If you do decide to do this, have a third-party property management company handle any and all interactions with them, take yourself out of that line of communication. They’ll also be the ones vetting tenants, so you can also keep clear of that drama.”
“NTA. They’d rather pay for a stranger’s mortgage via rent than pay you, when basically they’re still doing that, regardless.”
“His reaction sounds prideful and arrogant and while I can see him feeling like sh*t for the entire situation and reacting poorly, that was still incredibly sh*tty and I’d probably do it anyway, lol (laughing out loud).” – Evilbadscary
While the subReddit could appreciate what the OP and their husband were trying to do for their friends, the whole arrangement seemed inherently problematic.
It inevitably would change the friendship forever, as money has a tendency to do, and since the rental property would benefit the OP, there might be a lingering question of what their true motivations were.