Accidental Landlords: What to Do When Your Home Won’t Sell
Organizing an estate sale is stressful enough, especially so if you’re trying to sell your house at the same time and it’s getting zero offers. You can only reduce your listing price by so much, but you have heard horror stories about renting out a home. There are ways to make the landlord process viable. Take a breath; you can make this work.
Consider the alternative first. A home sitting empty costs you money. Even if you don’t have a mortgage, you still face property taxes and insurance bills. You insurance is also likely to rise if your home is vacant. Your immediate course of action is to seek assistance from the real estate agent you are working with. The agent can often help you find a quality tenant for your home. If you are not working with an agent, find one now.
Know the Laws
If you ever watch any court shows on TV, you already know rule #1. Get it in writing. A verbal rental agreement is difficult to enforce in court. Rule #2 is that your agreement must follow the laws of your state. Ignorance of the law does not hold up in court either. You must familiarize yourself with issues regarding security deposits, late rental payments and eviction processes that apply to your state.
Know your Tenants
No matter how desperate you are, never rent to anyone without doing some research. The last thing you need is a destructive renter who fails to pay the rent. You can run your own background checks or get assistance with them. One source for information is american-apartment-owners-association.org. You can use tenant-screening services, find forms and get valuable tips to help with your new landlord status.
Do check any references provided by your applicants. Take some of these with a grain of salt. You could receive glowing reviews from the current landlord simply because the landlord wants a problem to go away. Check with former landlords. However, if your applicant has been renting the same property for several years, you should have fewer concerns.
The Right Rental Solution
You do have options in the way you choose to rent your property. A rent to own agreement might solve your dilemma. However, if you choose this course you will need an attorney to ensure that all of your paper work is completed correctly. You may also find tenants who are willing to work with you to sell your home. An offer of reduced rent in exchange for keeping your home pristine and ready to show could be in the best interest of all parties.
If you are moving far away from your current home, you may want to enlist the help of a property manager or even a friend or neighbor to keep an eye on things. Also, listen to your real estate agent. If you have been advised of repairs or improvements you need to make to sell your home, take those actions now. You may be able to avoid becoming an accidental landlord.
Article provided by Steven Spencer. Steven recently renovated his basement into an income property and loves being a landlord.
Category: Estate Sales