When it comes to work and money, it’s hard to draw the line with our family and friends.
Sometimes we get really burned when we try to mix the two, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Regular_Tomorrow_397 found herself caught in the middle when some of her family members wanted to utilize her rental property.
When she was criticized, the Original Poster (OP) questioned how she handled the situation.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for sticking by my no-family policy?”
The OP began renting one of her properties to family members.
“I (52 [female]) inherited some money and decided to invest some of it in properties to rent out.”
“Things were good for a few years, so when a cousin of mine approached me about renting in one of my apartments, I agreed but only under the condition that they pay the same amount of rent like everyone else.”
“My cousin agreed and the first year, everything was good.”
When they struggled with their finances, the OP tried to help.
“Then they ‘hit hard times’ and were begging for leniency.”
“They were family and had kids, so I decided to work with them a little as I was told that this was only temporary.”
“They still paid me something regularly but only paid the market value once every three months because, again, ‘times were hard.'”
“Any time I tried to speak to them about it, they would give me some sob story, and I would get pressure from other members of the family because they accidentally found out.”
But then the OP found something terrible out.
“For two more years, I put up with this crap until I found out that, not only did my cousin bounce back about six months from when they first tried to, but they were doing better than ever and bragged about how they could get away with paying less rent.”
“How did I find out? The wife posted pictures of a trip on social media because she loves to brag.”
“When I confronted them, they tried to say that the trip was paid for by someone one else.”
“But when they refused to provide proof, I hit them with an eviction notice.”
The rest of the experience was ugly.
“As predicted, they sent the flying monkeys after me but drew out the eviction process as long as possible.”
“In the end, I managed to get them out, but not until after they did some damage on the way out.”
“I’m still angry and refuse to talk to my cousin or his wife to this very day.”
“After that, I made a ‘No-Family’ Policy and made it known to relatives that, while I would recommend them other places to rent, they could never rent with me.”
When more family members wanted to rent, the OP hesitated.
“Everyone eventually seemed to get it, or at the very least stop pestering me about it, until I was approached by another cousin (from the other side of the family).”
“She asked if she could rent from me.”
“I told her a gentle but firm ‘No’ and explained my reasonings.”
“She seemed disappointed but didn’t bring it up again.”
“However, I did get an ear-full from her mother, who told me that it wasn’t even their side of the family that screwed me over, so they shouldn’t be punished.”
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 were insistent that the OP not rent to family.
“NTA, I have similar rules. I will GIVE family money but no lending because that creates issues like this. I will never borrow money from family and I will never rent from them or to them or accept jobs from them.”
“I’ve had two half brothers offer to rent me apartments, as well as an older niece offer to be my roommate if we went halves on a place, and my dad also offered to let me move into his place. My oldest half-brother has repeatedly offered me a job with the firm he owns.”
“I decline in favor of living and working with friends or strangers because of exactly what you went through here. It’s just terrible what you were subjected to. It’s always bad to mix money and family, unfortunately.” – neeksknowsbest
“NTA. The policy is sound, but if I were you I would consider telling everyone that either all of the units are rented out or that you sold them. Make renting from you a non-option.” – KINGCOCO
“NTA. It’s a smart policy. I wouldn’t rent to friends, either, TBH (to be honest). Business is best done with folks without any personal ties.” – slydog4100
Others said the OP learned a valuable lesson.
“NTA. Your cousin took advantage of not only your kindness but the fact that you’re family. No other landlord would have been that lenient. Now you know better and are sticking to it.” – AssassinBeamish
“NTA. Doing business with family never ends well as you already learned.” – Walktothebrook
“NTA. You got burned and learned. Anyone who has a problem with it can contact the leech who made you take on that view.” – jammy913
Some pointed out the mother’s behavior was a bad sign, as well.
“Your property, your rules.”
“Don’t mix up business and family. You have all the evidence you needed and honestly, I think given that her mother came at you, renting to this person would end poorly as well.” – Analizethispease
“NTA – I would say, ‘The rental process between me and a potential tenant is just that, between me and the potential tenant. The fact that you are involving yourself in something that is frankly none of your business, is exactly why I have this no family policy in place. I’m sorry your daughter is disappointed, but you are exhibiting exactly the behavior that contributed to this policy in the first place.'” – Alert-Potato
“Based on how hard it is to deal with the cousin’s mom now means it probably only gets worse from here if you did rent to her.”
“I also wanted to say, you set boundaries. Doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks or whether they’re from a different side of the family – people should respect your boundaries!!” – AllWeb90
Though the OP had some reservations after this altercation, the subReddit was quick to defend her and her right to rent to whomever she pleased, and to not rent to family. There are, of course, plenty of other places the family could rent instead.