It does not take a lot of effort to change your status from a homeowner to becoming a landlord; you simply need to run an ad saying your home is for rent.
However, it does take some effort to be an effective landlord and to avoid the pitfalls that many novice landlords have experienced.
The rental market in our area has dramatically changed over the last few years in the same fashion as the home resale market has adjusted.
In the past, it has been more challenging to find a rental property in our area, however, in the Oct. 17, issue of the Payson Roundup, there were 86 rental homes on the market.
This is a dramatic increase in availability from just a couple of years ago.
Obviously, as the resale market has eased, homeowners have looked to renting their properties in the interim to try and weather the economic storm and this has created a “buyer’s market” for rental properties.
If you are contemplating renting your home, it is imperative that you think of it as a business with all the associated legal and financial ramifications, plus the responsibilities that you will take on when becoming a landlord.
Before getting into the business of being a landlord, you may wish to Google “landlord nightmares.”
The pictures you will find will be quite effective in showing why you must take precautions and prepare a protective business plan.
From the pictures, you may agree that the first step and of the utmost importance is to screen your prospective tenants. References and a credit check are a must. You will have to have a lease drawn that protects you as the landlord and complies with the Arizona Landlord Tenant Act.
My friends recently had their tenant move out prior to the expiration of the lease. They were still owed six months’ rent and the home was trashed.
The tenant, who was a white-collar professional with references, apparently thought that their dog could use the carpet for a urinal.
The carpet had to be replaced. The interior had to be repainted. To say the least, the rent received did not cover the damages that were incurred.
Do you have the temperament to be a landlord?
Are you prepared for the midnight calls that the bathroom plumbing is backed up because your tenant has tried to flush a diaper down the commode or because the smoke alarm battery has just gone dead and the smoke alarm keeps beeping? These examples may be an exception but they do happen.
The above is not intended to discourage you from renting your property, as it has proved rewarding for many investors and the vast majority of tenants are conscientious and considerate.
However, as with any business, it is advisable to know the pros and cons before moving forward.