Three things you need to know about property rental before being a landlord

You’ve heard landlord horror stories—especially from landlords. When property rental goes bad, you’re left wrestling with difficult tenants, costly evictions, or even destroyed properties. Fact is, while bad stories get repeated, they’re greatly outnumbered by successful property rental experiences. Making that happen comes down to knowing three things.

Know property rental costs

Before you take one step into property rental, remember this: renting is a business. Successful businesses show a profit. Factor in your monthly mortgage and tax payments. Add in maintenance and repairs. What about time when the house won’t be occupied?

What about insurance? Rental property insurance covers much of what your homeowners insurance covers, but offers additional protections. Get a quote.

Once you know these costs, shop the market. What is the going rate for comparable property rental in your immediate area? Once you add up your costs of doing business, make sure the potential rate cover your costs.

Know the property rental law

There are local, state and federal housing laws. There are relevant tax codes where investment properties are involved. Don’t use a fill-in-the-blanks approach to setting up your property rental business. Meet with your CPA and attorney early in the process.

Know your potential tenants

Background, criminal and credit checks make sense. It’s surprising how many amateur landlords skip or don’t compete this step. This is business. Treat it like one.

You may be tempted to rent to family or friends. That can make it difficult to enforce terms of your lease. That’s one reason using a leasing agent makes sense.

One more thing to know

Know your limits. For most people, managing one house is enough. Managing another, occupied by someone else, may take more time and skill than is realistic for you. That’s where a professional leasing agent comes in.

While a property rental agent, like Houston4Lease, will charge a percentage of the monthly rent, they also take day-to-day property rental responsibilities off your shoulders. That includes securing and screening tenants, collecting rent, monitoring the property and handling maintenance.

If you have the time to put into these things, you may be willing to handle your property rental. Other other hand, now that you know what’s involved, it’s possible leaving your property rental to a professional makes more sense.

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