I have a question about how to handle a situation. I am trying to be as careful as possible because this is my best friend and neither myself nor my husband want to have any regrets over this situation or lose a friend.
A very good friend of ours has recently gone into business for himself. Technically he has worked for himself for a few years as a hair stylist who booth rented. In January he found his own place and opened his own salon. Currently he is the only one there and is hoping to rent out some booths very soon. I think the cost of things was more than expected with some remodeling issues and the money he had saved to pay his taxes got used up. Now he is being asked to move out of his place as his lease is up and the landlord wants to rent it to family. So now in order to move he has to come up with deposit, first/last months rent, etc. It just is really bad timing for him with taxes also being due and the money no longer in his bank account.
This is where I need help. He has asked if my husband and I would consider having a room-mate. Neither of us are thrilled about it but we know it would be temporary, probably just a few months, and he IS our best friend. The question we both have is what do we say about $$? He talked to us today and never once mentioned rent. It really sounded to both of us that he is hoping we will just let him stay for free. That would be fine if he was homeless and trying to get back on his feet but he is just trying to save up money to get caught up on everything in order to avoid tax extensions, credit cards, etc. I feel like asking him for a small amount is more than fair, our bills will go up having someone else in the house so it doesn't make sense to me to pay extra to help him save money. Is there any kind of etiquette, here?
I feel like we should ask for a fair amount ($400-$500) which would include EVERYTHING (rent, electricity, cable, internet). It would allow him to save over $1000 a month on what he is currently paying in rent and utilities, cable, internet, etc. At the same time I don't want to offend him or make it seem like we are taking advantage of his situation. One pro to asking for the money is that it should keep him from over-staying his welcome. It could get really awkward if 5-6 months have gone by and he hasn't paid a dime and still hasn't hinted about leaving. He can stay for longer than he intends if he is paying rent.
So, what do you think is the correct way to handle this? Do we ask for rent at all? How would you handle this?