Many homeowners on the East End rent out their property for various parts of the summer season in order to recoup their carrying costs on the property and to have an additional source of income. Some even rationalize their initial purchase of their vacation home by calling it an investment property, where they plan to designate a set period of time that the property will be used for investment purposes and another limited time where it’s designated for pleasure. So when a friend asks to rent this vacation property, knowing of its availability, it may sound like a godsend: you can have an easy experience, avoid using a real estate broker, and save on brokerage fees while also helping out a friend who will love your property as you do. However, before letting your friend lease your property, you need to ask yourself: do I want to lose my friendship with this prospective tenant if the rental doesn’t work out?
If your answer to this question is that it’s completely inapplicable to you because your plan is to simply allow your friend to live at your expense and you have no problem with the financial burden resulting from the lost income stream, you should nonetheless consider possible liabilities that your friend can cause you. Beyond the liabilities of town/village code violations for noise violations, parking violations, rental permit violations, and so on, there is property damage and don’t forget feeling unappreciated when you are doing a good deed.
Regardless, all landlords should ask themselves the following questions before just jumping to the conclusion that renting to a friend is a good idea: