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Thread: Friend as a short term roommate?

  1. #1
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    Default Friend as a short term roommate?

    I need some advice.

    A friend of mine just broke up with his gf. They were living together at her place so he has moved out and is staying with another friend at the moment. He has his own condo but it's rented out so the soonest he can get back in to it is May 1st.

    He asked me today if I wanted a roommate and I'm not sure what to do. I'm divorced with a 6 year old daughter who I have part time. That shouldn't be a huge issue. I have a spare room he could use if he brings his bed. It's just been my daughter and me at my place for the last couple of years so I think I should run it by her to make sure she's ok with having a roommate for a few months.

    Do I charge him rent? how much? He work's from home so I'd obviously have to charge him something for the increased utility use. And I assume that even though it's short term, a rental agreement is always a good idea.

    On the one hand, we have been friends for over 20 years so I want to help him out. On the other, it would be a bit of a disruption to my life and you always hear stories of how living with friends can end friendships.

    Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

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    Have personally seen this kind of thing break up alot of friendships. Just had a couple friends try the move in thing and it broke up a 20 year friendship. Cant even be in the same room together. You think it won't happen to you, but it does. Its kind of surprising and pathetic really how petty people can get.

    Personally I think the only way it works is if you don't charge him rent and present it to him completely as a favor with clearly defined ground rules up front and a term ( ie out may 1 no debates ). And if thing's don't work out between then and now then he needs to fuck off at a moments notice.

    This is especially important with a spouse involved or in your case a daughter.

    I think the working from home is a deal breaker, he will literally always be there.
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    I would speak to your daughter about it, but in the end you are the parent and I would entirely expect she will not say she's fine with it unless the two of them already have a relationship. (Understandably).

    I've lived with a friend of mine before. The close proximity, greater intimacy (no, not that kind of intimacy), and not having a place to go if you have a dispute certainly can be detrimental. In the end, I don't even talk to the guy who I called my best friend for several years anymore. He was particularly dickish, mind you, and I would think that even if it doesn't go wonderfully you guys will probably be able to remain friends through it. If you don't charge him rent (and as a friend, I would recommend not) the fact that you helped him out SHOULD actually bring you guys even closer together.

    The key to this working is to ensure he is very clear as to what the rules of the house are and not to take any liberties, as well as making clear what his exit date is... and subtly reminding him of that date as time passes. I would not recommend any longer than a few months... after which time a) he should be back on his feet, and b) the "honeymoon stage" of living together will have worn off, and you guys will have to find ways to keep from getting on each other's nerves.

    But absolutely I would help out a good friend. He needs you. This is what friends are for.

    Good luck.

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    I generally advise against renting to friends but there's one thing that helps here: He's moving out May 1st regardless. So in that case I'd definitely help him out, its only 3 months and him finding a 3 month rental is a pain. Most places want 6 months or a year minimum.

    You could take a look on kijiji and see whats fair but I'd probably say 500-600$ is sufficient and covers any increased utility cost and some extra change in your pocket for 3 months.
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    I can't see this ending well if you do or don't allow him to stay.

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    Definitely check with your kid first.
    Also the kid's mom might have something to say about a 'strange man' living with your kid.

    Are you prepared for things to handle these situations, and your friendship going sour if:
    -the term becomes extended a month? a year? a undetermined amount of time until he settles himself
    -if he has different living habits (i.e. late nights, loud music, doesn't do dishes immediately, leaves the washer full for 2 days, etc)
    -doesn't pay rent on time
    -other uncertainties?

    I think you're better off letting him deal with an actual landlord.

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    After 20 years of friendship you probably have a good understanding of how the person lives. If it is something that you and your daughter can tolerate it may be good to have him live with you. Charge him $600 and take the kidlet to mexico in the summer. He may be in a bind for a short term rental and depending on the relationship the emotional support could be very helpful. If he were my friend I would do it, but I would also trust all of them with my (unconceived) kids.
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    Originally posted by Seth1968
    I can't see this ending well if you do or don't allow him to stay.
    In any other case this is truth but op can put the blame on the kid and the kids mom. Kids need routine and having another guy there can totally disrupt this even in the 3 months.

    I know as a bro its your duty to help him out but this is one of those situations where i would advise against too. I have a close friend whos going through the exact same thing right now. He got divorced and had nothing so his best friend of over 10 years let him stay at their place for just under a year, he moved out and they have barely spoken in the last couple months. You can keep it as professional as you want with leases and rules but this type of situation is a huge gamble.

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    Thanks for the comments guys.

    I will absolutely talk to my daughter about this before anything happens, and my ex. She has met him a bunch but there are times she just wants it to be the two of us. She gets the final say and if she says no, that's it.

    I want to help him out, but at the same time, I'm not in the position where I can subsidize his living. Especially since he will be at home all the time and my utilities will be going up. So I will have to charge him something.

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    Originally posted by jwslam
    Definitely check with your kid first.
    Also the kid's mom might have something to say about a 'strange man' living with your kid.
    Key here. Unless your daughter is an adult, her opinion doesn't matter much here. It's all about her mom. You may lose custody over this.

    EDIT, looks like you already know your EX has final say.

    Originally posted by cet
    I want to help him out, but at the same time, I'm not in the position where I can subsidize his living. Especially since he will be at home all the time and my utilities will be going up. So I will have to charge him something.
    Isn't that a red flag?

    Let's be real here. There are plenty of arrangement out there for $500-$700 room share. The fact that he is asking for your help means he can't even afford that. You are subsidizing him in one way or another trying to keep the 20 year friendship.

    I was in a similar situation earlier but for me at least it's only money, so it's easy. I am comfortable that I'll never see that money back.
    Last edited by Xtrema; 01-24-2017 at 11:08 AM.

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    If you both act like adults it will be fine.

    If you both act like 6 year olds it won't be.

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    I would lay some very strict ground rules as often the fights happen over little annoyances as some peoples standards are not always the same as others (I.e. set up a chore list up front that he has to help around the house, basic rules like all dishes put in dishwasher immediately after use, wipe all counters and stove once finished cooking every time, clean toilet and shower once a week, etc.). I think helping friends is big and I've done what you have before but I didn't set ground rules and it cause me a lot of stress. As for rent, ask for $400-500 a month if it's a buddy and just a room.

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    I vote don't do it.

    Imo for me, if you ever find yourself, asking yourself in the mirror "but I want to be nice, I want to do a friend a favour"; expect the phrase no good deeds goes unpunished applies.

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    Originally posted by Xtrema

    Isn't that a red flag?
    The whole original post is screaming with numerous red flags. So many that I didn't bother with citing them all.

    I wouldn't do it.

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    Based on the simple fact that I rent out rooms to THREE of my best friends just goes to show that it CAN work.

    Lay out simple ground rules and expectations when it comes to cleanliness and respect (times coming in and out, volume of music/tv) as well as guests.

    As for charging him, yes, charge him something, as im sure he was paying at his EXs and hes making money off his current rental. Nothing astronomical but cover expenses ($300-400)

    I have never had a friendship end due to living with a friend and I have done it quite a bit.

    BUT..

    DEFINITELY run it by your little lady and see if shes cool with it.

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    When there is a 6 year old involved there are some things you have to consider. If he works from home will your daughter have to be quiet when he is working? What is his sleep pattern like? Will he be up late at night being noisy keeping her awake? And is he the type to go out partying on the weekend and will bring random girls/guys home?
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    Yah, i've lived with my good buds, and one rents from me now. If you don't have vaginas it shouldn't be a problem, especially something so short term

    The kicker is the daughter, like said before, if she knows him well then maybe it would be ok? but you don't want her to feel put out at her own home.

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    Originally posted by JfuckinC
    The kicker is the daughter, like said before, if she knows him well then maybe it would be ok? but you don't want her to feel put out at her own home.
    My take is, if OP gives up on having daughter stay over for 4-5 months, goes for it, take buddy in.

    I am not sure how much stress OP put his kid through their own breakup. I am not sure you want to expose the kid to another couple's breakup.

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    That's could be roughly the same cost you would charge your friend by way less drama for you.
    Last edited by Xtrema; 01-24-2017 at 12:08 PM.

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    Jesus christ, some of the reply's.

    If he is a 20 year friend, its worth giving him a hand if you can. Its not like you met the guy a few years back. Reverse the roles. Buddy is going through a breakup AND doesn't have a place for 3 months. Imagine how you'd feel if people were not there for you when life throws you a curveball.

    To make it successful, just plan ahead. Clear it with your kid and ex. Discuss things like groceries, personal spaces, use of shared accommodations (kitchen/Bathroom ect). Quiet hours for both of you. Boundaries with your kid. Visitors ect. Chances are he is willing to agree to pretty much anything because he is likely desperate and its temporary. Draw up an agreement if you feel you need too.

    Personally, i wouldn't charge him rent (maybe a small SD just in case), but id ask for the utilities to be covered and him to buy his own food or at least split it. I wouldn't feel comfortable benefiting over someones hardships but i wouldn't want to be out of pocket.

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    Originally posted by spike98
    Jesus christ, some of the reply's.
    Of course, the key is how well you know that person and how is he handling the stress right now. Again, key here is the 6 year old, without her around, it's a no brainer to take him in.

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