The Perks and Pitfalls of Sharing Landlord Duties with a Friend

In this two-minute read, we ask if it’s wise to buy a rental property with a buddy.

Purchasing a buy-to-let property with a friend is an appealing prospect – on paper, at least.

But it’s important to carefully weigh up the risks and rewards before taking the plunge.

Here’s a list of the pros and cons of becoming a landlord with a friend.

The pros

  • The role of landlord comes with a plethora of responsibilities. Sharing these duties with a trusted friend will lighten the load.
  • Your co-investor may have a different skill set to you, meaning you can play to your strengths while they play to theirs.
  • Most lenders require larger deposits for buy-to-let mortgages. Splitting your investment means you don’t have to pay as much cash up front.

The cons

  • You never really know someone until you’ve gone into business with them. If the two of you disagree on how to manage the property, the friendship could suffer.
  • If your tenant falls into arrears, as landlords, you’ll have to stump up the cash. However, if your investor buddy can’t pay their share for whatever reason, you’re liable for the shortfall.
  • You might be on the same page as your friend right now, but people’s circumstances change. Further down the line, your friend may decide that they want to sell up when you don’t, or vice versa.

Tips

If you’re still keen to invest with a friend, here’s how to mitigate some of the risks.

Get a good lawyer 

You need a legally binding agreement that states:

  • How much each party is investing
  • The ownership split
  • Responsibilities regarding bills and maintenance
  • What happens if one or both parties want to sell
  • A dispute resolution mechanism should you disagree on an issue

Get a will

In some cases of co-ownership, if one party dies, the property automatically goes to the other person unless otherwise stated in a will.

Don’t feel pressured

If your friend thinks a formal agreement is unnecessary – they may see it as a sign that you don’t trust them – politely, but firmly, pull out of the deal. 

Without the right paperwork in place, you risk getting caught up in a protracted and messy dispute later on. 

Going ahead based on a wink and a handshake could cost you the friendship and much more if things don’t turn out according to plan.

For more advice on investing in the buy-to-let market, contact us here at Leysbrook.

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