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Man gets yelled at by friend's bro he's renting to; 'I didn't know you're the landlord.'

Man gets yelled at by friend's bro he's renting to; 'I didn't know you're the landlord.'


The renter's market is a mess. Prices are sky-high, wages are stagnant, and more people are being evicted and kicked out on the street than ever.

Finding an apartment that is both affordable and high-quality feels like finding a four-leaf clover, which means it's hard, but not fully impossible.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a man asked if he was wrong for renting out the basement of his house to a friend who helps cover mortgage payments.

He wrote:

AITA for not telling my roommate I own the house?

Brief backstory: About a year ago my last remaining grandparent passed away and my father inherited all assets, including a house. I had been saving for a nice down payment (at least 50%) so I could have a lower mortgage payment each month, thus allowing me to save money for travel.

When my father inherited this house, which he had no interest in moving into yet, he offered to sell it to me for well below market rate, with the caveat that he and my stepmother could eventually move into the basement apartment. I agreed, because they're both incredible people who are not at all invasive and would give me my privacy if they lived there. So he sold it to me and I moved in.

Present day: About six months ago I started considering renting out the finished basement apartment. It has two bedrooms, one bathroom, a living room, and a small kitchenette (sink, fridge, microwave, but no oven). A friend of mine said his brother was moving to my city and needed a place. He's a brand new teacher and doesn't make great money, so he needed a place that wasn't expensive.

I offered to let him rent my basement for way less than market rate ($650) which would include utilities. He readily accepted and signed a year long lease. Well a few days ago he asked if he could start paying the landlord directly instead of giving me rent money each month.

I was under the impression my friend had told him I own the house, so I was confused and I told him we don't have a landlord and that I'm the owner. He got very upset and screamed at me for 'lying for over six months' and 'taking advantage of him' by making him pay so much in rent.

For the record, an apartment similar to the one in my house would be well over twice what he's paying me, closer to three times for something as nice.

He asked how much of my mortgage he's covering and I said 'Why does that matter? You're getting a nice, quiet place to live, access to a full kitchen and laundry room, and you're paying an amount that you can afford. My personal finances aren't really a factor here.'

He stormed out of the room and slammed the basement door. He's still not speaking to me. I asked a few other friends and some family members, and most said I'm wrong for having him cover my mortgage payments. Only a few say I'm in the right. So AITA for having my roommate cover $650 of my $775/month mortgage?

ETA: He has a lease so I won't be evicting him over this alone. If he does any damage or becomes hostile, I'll look at the eviction process. But for now, he will remain unless he chooses to break the lease (which I'd allow him to do if he wants). He also didn’t bother to read the lease before signing. The lease clearly states I’m the homeowner. I didn’t trick him or keep info from him.

He simply didn’t read what he was signing. I didn’t get the house for almost free as some people choose to believe. My father sold it to me for about 75% of its value, more or less as an advance on “rent” he and my stepmother will pay when they move in here in a few years. We already agreed they won’t pay monthly rent but will contribute to utilities and groceries at that time.

People had a lot to say about this.

ahopskip_andajump wrote:

OMG are they freaking serious?! What is they think people do when they rent? They cover the landlord's mortgage payment! You are definitely NTA and quite honestly, do not renew the lease with this person. How entitled can one person be? I rented an Airbnb for a few months when I was new to the area.

More precisely, I rented a bedroom. Yes, I had access to the kitchen, shared bathroom with whoever else were guests, shared laundry room, and pool, but still...bedroom, for more than you're charging for a finished basement apartment. It sounds like your renter is going to get sticker shock when he moves out.

Tell everyone who thinks you're ripping the guy off to check the market rate for the area then go kick rocks. Were you supposed to let him stay for free?! Again, NTA but I think I'd start looking for smarter friends.

BetweenWeebandOtaku wrote:

NTA. The question isn't the mortgage. It's a fair market rate for what he's getting. I get the shock he's feeling, but he's not entitled to free housing just because you're friends. God, I hate defending a landlord. Makes me feel dirty.

ChaosAside wrote:

NTA. He’s paying well below market rate and the amount you’re “paying in rent” shouldn’t impact this as it’s your house. Would he expect to live there for free if you had already paid off the house and had no monthly payment?

Ask_Amy wrote:

Wow, the cojones on this one. I'd give him notice; if he thinks he can find a better deal, let him. $650 for a two bedroom with utilities included?? I don't think you could get that good a deal in Oklahoma.

WikkidWitchly wrote:

NTA. Ask them what their problem is. You were planning on renting it out. You found someone to rent it to and you gave a lowered rent because it was through a friend. The renting was always going to happen. So why not to an acquaintance at a lowered rent as opposed to a stranger for a market rate?

Where is the difference in this other than they get a deal? 'Am I not allowed to rent it out? Because I own it? What are you trying to say here?' Frankly, it sounds like they're just salty you have the option and they don't. So it's better to villainize you as 'a greedy landlord' instead of just a poor tenant.

Conversely, you can also invite this person to go look at rental rates in the surrounding area and come back to you when he finds anything lower than what you're offering.

OP is definitely NTA here, and it sounds like his friend's brother is in for a world of sticker shock when he inevitably has to find another place to live.

Sources: Reddit
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