Hey, I know you’re spending a lot of time at the BF’s house. So… Can I rent your house?
It’s the second time in 3 months that I’ve gotten this text. In a way, I guess it should be nice that people want to rent my place. I’m sure lots of people would be thrilled that people are seeking them out for a rental. But honestly it hasn’t been that great for a couple of reasons:
1) Yes, I typically spend several nights a week at the BF’s house. But we aren’t living together. Far from it. I still go home every day and get ready for work. Yes, after a year it’s starting to wear me down. But I’m not sure we’re there yet. Actually, I’m not really sure where we are in our relationship right now. So other people weighing in on where we should be is a little bit frustrating.
2) The two people who have asked are both related. I love my family dearly, but no. Renting my house out to close family seems like a terrible idea. First off, the expectation would be that I wouldn’t charge them more than it costs me. If there’s no profit to renting, I’d be better off selling. Second, I’m not even sure I want to mess with being a landlord. I’m by no means the world’s greatest house keeper. But I’ve seen the way they both live, and the damage they’ve done at previous places. They see everything as being disposable. I’ve put too much time and money into my house to sit back and watch someone else destroy it.
The first time I was asked, I tried to delicately evade the situation: I’m actually still living at my house, and plan to be for some time. I’ll keep you in mind though if the situation changes. This time, in my effort to learn to say no, I was a bit more honest: I don’t know that BF and I are there yet. Besides, I’m not sure I’d be comfortable renting to family. I’d be worried about ruining our relationship if something went wrong.
I’ll admit, it wasn’t the easiest thing to do. Both of these people are in tough situations, and my automatic reaction is to want to help them out. I have to remind myself that mixing family and finances always ends badly for me. Besides, both of these people are in bad situations because they don’t want to help themselves. They’re looking for someone to take care of them, not someone to help them get back on their feet. No matter what I were to do, in the long run, I wouldn’t really be helping them out.
It may not seem like much, but I’m learning to put my stability and needs first. Sometimes it feels a little bit selfish. But I’ve learned the hard way that it’s all too easy to drown yourself when you put others first. It’s like they tell you in an aircraft: In case of emergency, put on your own oxygen mask before helping loved ones. I have to find my own stability before I can help someone else. Otherwise, we’re all doomed.
– Cindy W.