In my last post, When Heartbreak led to Home Sharing Heaven, I shared the story of how I acquired the perfect home-mate. What I didn’t share was how I negotiated with my landlord so that I could remain in my home.
My break-up was nasty. My former partner thought that because he had the full-time job as a professor at San Francisco State University that he had the advantage over me because I was temping at the time. So I had to come up with a convincing plan that would convince my landlord to let me find a home-mate and stay in the apartment. Part of that plan was finding a good housemate, and introducing him to my landlord.
Be Prepared with a Plan
When the time arrived to tell my landlord that we were breaking up, I went in with a plan of how to approach the question of getting a new home-mate. These were the guidelines I followed:
First, although you are friendly with your landlord, that doesn’t mean you are friends with him. Remember, this is a business transaction. He is providing you with a space and you are paying him for the use of that space.
Second, keep the conversation and what you want to the point. In my case, I said that as a courtesy I was informing him that my partner and I were splitting up. I would remain in the apartment. However, I needed to get a flatmate to afford the rent and wanted to know whether I could proceed.
Third, don’t make your landlord do any extra work. Tell him that you will find the new housemate, and will vet the person which includes getting references, dealing with the security deposits, and providing a new lease to attach to the original one.
Fourth, arrange a meeting between the new tenant and the landlord for introductions, but to also notify him of the moving out date for the former tenant and the moving in date for new tenant.
Fifth, make it easy for the landlord. Use one check to pay the rent. Because I was one of the original tenants on the first lease, I was the primary lease holder and paid the rent.
My straightforward approach turned out to be successful. What I discovered from more than 30 years of renting, your landlord, just like you, doesn’t want any complications when it comes to renting out an apartment or house. Nor do they want to be put in the position of having to do any extra work. Be prepared with a plan and keep it simple.
Read more about living better in shared housing: Breaking Bread , Is Stuff Your Barrier?
Last Updated on January 20, 2019 by Bob Sherwood
I did this years ago with my landlord and it worked very well. Instead of getting a flatmate it was for subletting when there was no provision for that, but otherwise it was the same as above. I found and vetted the person, then introduced her to my landlord with his right of refusal, and I stayed responsible for the contract, full security deposit and monthly rent until my original contract ended.
While the whiney part of me wanted to complain, “Why does a landlord always get everything his way?” the reality was that I was wanting to break/change a contract which would have involved extra effort, expense and risk on his part. The responsible way we did it ended up as win-win-win for all involved.