• Keeping Friends

Collecting rent may trump hanging on to a tenuous friendship

Published: June 15, 2014 | By | 2 Replies Continue Reading
A landlord can’t get her friend to pay his rent.



I am a concerned 49-year-old woman who has a 20-year-old friend. Recently, he became unemployed and is unable to get more hours in his job. Our friendship has been quite distant and financially, he hasn’t met his rent arrears owed to me.

He chooses to stay at the next door neighbor’s house. Although I have spoken to him and his mum about my concerns, he feels he can’t communicate with me. I have given him every opportunity to keep the communication lines open.

I am a single mum trying to make ends meet. This has being very difficult. What should I do?

Signed, Tammy


Hi Tammy,

It’s very hard to balance a friendship with a landlord-tenant relationship, especially when your friend isn’t paying his rent.

You are a single mother and need the income from this rental so you need to treat this like a business relationship rather than a friendship.

You need to let your friend know in no uncertain terms that his rent is past due and if you don’t receive it within the next thirty days, you’ll have no option but to start eviction proceedings.

Friends don’t avoid contact when they owe a debt. Your first responsibility has to be to your own family rather than an irresponsible friend. Moreover, you need to examine why you are holding on to this tenuous friendship.

Best, Irene

Some prior posts on money and friendship on The Friendship Blog:

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Category: Friends and Money

Comments (2)

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  1. Mike says:

    Anytime there’s a working or business relationship, that part has to be successfully addressed before the friendship can kick in.

    If he’s not paying his rent, she needs to start acting like a landlord dealing with a delinquent tenant and not like a friend. The fact that he’s not talking to her about his rent problems suggests there isn’t much of a friendship to begin with.

  2. Amy F says:

    Well said, Irene. This guy isn’t treating you like a friend, he’s not even treating you like a person he respects. I’d give him 30 to pay the money back or find a new place to live. You probably won’t get the money back, so chalk this up to a lesson learned about the boundaries if landlord first, friend second.
    Good luck.

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