I live in a city with very difficult (and expensive) rent situation. I rent an apartment and I have some loans to pay off. To share the costs (and to make some profit), I decided to look for a roommate. I decided to maintain a professional relationship as I don't wanted to concede upon the terms of living together that we had agreed upon.

The person was very friendly, I responded in a friendly way. And I thought that we could be friends. But, being a landlord, I have to enforce certain rules and I don't want to be at a losing on the terms that I had agreed with him before.

I am finding hard to straddle between professional relationships and friendships. Is it a good idea to mix professional relationship with other kinds of relationships? Is it ever possible to have more than professional relationship? If yes, how can I achieve it?

Basically, I am doing business with someone and making a profit, can I still be friends with them?

Adding more context:

In the beginning, the person did many friendly gesture, like offered some nice food that he had cooked, took initiatives to clean the bathroom (better than I had expected), offered to watch movies together. So, several instances of activities that people would do together as friends.

At the beginning, we had agreed upon certain rules of living together. He followed them all, but eventually I observed that he started flouting those rules a bit, after I had reciprocated his friendly behavior.

He asked for lesser rent and more favorable terms for him (than what was negotiated before). I am feeling that I am having difficulty denying him those favors, even though it is diverging from what we had negotiated.

Overall I think he is a good person, and I might not find another person (as a roommate) who is as good as him. So, I could not deny him lesser rent (it's still more than 50% of the actual rent that I pay) even though, I feel the original terms were better for me.

So, now I am regretting that I should have maintained strictly professional relationship with my roommate. But, I am not sure, if it's the right thing to do.

  • 2
    "can I still be friends with them?": it's up to you, you have to decide what kind of relationship you want to maintain...
    – OldPadawan
    Mar 14 at 16:13
  • 1
    Sure. If they run into a problem paying the rent the friendship may make it more difficult to maintain, especially if you assert that they must pay and do not given them a break as a friend would. Basically if things all go well, it would be fine. It is if things go wrong it may get difficult.
    – Chris
    Mar 14 at 16:27
  • Is this person lagging on their rent payments or something? And thus why you ask about the balance of being friends and telling someone "rent is due, pay by tomorrow"
    – DarkCygnus
    Mar 14 at 17:58
  • @DarkCygnus I edited with more context
    – Porcupine
    Mar 14 at 18:17
  • Not sure what you mean by "make some profit", but that already sounds like this is not a friendship
    – cdkMoose
    Mar 14 at 19:17

1 Answer 1


Don't Do Business With Friends unless you're okay losing money or friendship (or both)

Plenty of people rent to friends, have friends work for them, and even loan money to friends without problems, but when the business relationship goes sour consider what that will mean to the friendship.

The rule for loans and friends is don't loan to a friend unless you're okay with giving the money away. We can probably come up with a corollary about renting to friends that involves losing money. The problems are when a "friend" feels like the relationship is less professional due to the friendship.

  • 1
    This is pretty much the only answer here - it's an old Truism, sadly. Mar 14 at 21:51

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