Accidental Landlord

In this market, there are a lot of rentals which really ended up being more of a “Plan B” solution for a seller. Many sellers seeing the current market value of their home have decided that they “don’t want to give their home away”.  They,  therefore,  decide to rent their home for a couple of years until the market turns around.

For some, this “Plan B” will work out fine. For many others, not so much.  Many homeowners  are not necessarily prepared to be landlords.  It is just an alternative to selling at a lower price.  However, as many past landlords will testify, being a landlord is a business (accidental or not).

Some things to consider before choosing this alternative:

  • Tenant Qualification (it’s  not enough to review the application, you need to VERIFY!)
    • Is the tenant’s income sufficient to meet their rent and other household obligations such as utilities?
    • Do they pay their bills on time?
    • Job references / past rental history?
    • How many occupants in the house?
    • How will you handle late payments? PUT IT IN WRITING
    • How will you handle maintenance issues?
    • Are you familiar with your municipal/village requirements for renting your home?
    • Are you familiar with the eviction process for your area?

Your realtor can find you a pool of applicants wanting to rent your home and maybe order a credit report.  However, as the owner, you own the responsibility of deciding who will occupy your home for at least the next year. The courts are clogged with eviction cases. Make sure that Plan B is a good decision that won’t compromise the value of your home or your future selling options.

Millie C. Lumpkin, Broker