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Are You Cut Out to Be a Landlord?

rentwell
By Rentwell

In today's real estate market there is an increasing interest among homeowners to rent out their existing property or purchase foreclosed properties for rental. Maybe you have a new job and need to move but your home's value has fallen so dramatically you decide it is unwise to sell immediately. Alternatively you might see the bargains on some properties as an opportunity to invest and rent out the property. In either case it is important to consider what becoming a landlord entails and if it is the right decision for you. 

An important factor to consider is that finding tenants in the current market can be very difficult. Vacancies are up for a variety of reasons including the simple fact that people are out of work and are even being evicted from rentals or are skipping out. Filling vacancies has become very competitive as landlords are offering special discounts in an effort to attract qualified tenants. This can make filling your rental a full time and difficult job for a first time landlord.

 

Screening rental applicants with background and credit checks is a standard practice for landlords but finding qualified tenants is still difficult. With the economic downturn the requirements that were used, often no longer apply. Now many applications might have a good income and credit but also a history of home foreclosure. Screening in this new environment can be quite difficult even for experienced landlords and property managers.

 

Once you find a qualified tenant you must consider how you are going to address things such as pets and repairs. Managing a property can be quite time consuming and costly. If you ever need to evict a tenant that has also become more difficult as there is a backlog of evictions in courts and local sheriffs have in some cases refused to carry out evictions. All these factors should give you pause before deciding to become a landlord. The alternative is to hire a property management firm that can handle all the issues associated with being a landlord. They should be better equipped to find tenants and fill your property with qualified renters. Once occupied they will also be better able to address tenants needs with fast repairs and other services.