Various circumstances can make you an accidental landlord. This includes inheriting a property, working abroad, and renting while you’re away, or renting out your home because you’re unable to sell it.
About half of single-property landlords initially purchased their property as their primary residence. Somewhere later down the line, they decided to turn it into an investment property.
If you didn’t purchase your home to rent it, but now that’s where you find yourself, you’re an accidental landlord. Keep reading to find out how to make the most of it.
Accidental Landlord? You Need Landlord Insurance
You will need to have landlord insurance on your property. Neglecting to do so may invalidate your policy. Traditional homeowner’s insurance will not cover you if you’re renting out your property.
You’ll also want to inform your mortgage provider you are renting out your property. You may need to switch to a buy-to-rent mortgage. If you are renting out a leased property, check your lease to make sure you can sublet.
Once you start renting out your home, rent guarantee insurance can protect you in case a tenant defaults on their rent. It also covers legal costs if you need to evict a tenant.
Find a Tenant
Before you find a tenant, decide how much rent you plan to charge. Research other rental prices in your area, whether it is Hampton Roads, or elsewhere. Then come up with a comparable rate that is fair for your area.
Determine what is included and what is not (furniture, utilities, etc.) and create a rental agreement. You’ll also want to document your home with photos in case damage occurs later down the road.
Advertise around your community, in your local newspaper, or use online resources to let people know you have a home available to rent. Do background checks on potential tenants, check references, and then move forward to give them the keys.
If your property is an inheritance with a current tenant, reach out to let them know about the change in ownership. Set expectations early including when rent is due and how it’s to be paid. This ensures there is no confusion moving forward.
Hire a Rental Property Manager
Becoming a landlord doesn’t just mean collecting a rent check. You also need to deal with maintenance issues, handle disputes, and find new tenants. If this doesn’t fit into your busy schedule, consider looking into rental property management.
Rental property management can take a lot off your plate, so you can focus on your family and career knowing your rental is in good hands. Property management services include:
- Marketing your property
- Tenant screening
- Rent collection
- Detailed financial reporting
- Eviction protection
Learn More About Our Services
If you become an accidental landlord, we hope these tips help you in your next steps. Do your research, find tenants, and enjoy bringing in additional income for you and your family.
Are you renting properties in the Hampton Roads area, and need a property manager? Check out the services we offer and contact us today.