Property Management Blog

Accidental Landlords: What to Do If You Become One

Accidental Landlords: What to Do If You Become One

Accidental landlords seem like an odd title, but it's a real thing. Someone has a property they can't sell for various reasons, so they decide to rent it out for the time being.

How does someone become an accidental landlord? You inherit a house, or a house might have been placed on the market and didn't sell. 

Whatever the reason you become a landlord, there's still money to be made off the property. Keep reading to learn tips for landlords whose goal was not to become property managers.

Accidental Landlords Don't Panic

Gaining an investment property may not have been in the plan, but it isn't a bad thing. You can create a residual income with the right rental plan.

Do a full assessment of the situation and determine if it is worth it to hold on to the property until you can sell. The housing market is constantly adjusting, so be patient and wait for the right time to place the unit on the market.

Research the Real Estate Industry

Now that you have an investment property, you'll want to learn tips for landlords. Start by researching comparable properties in your area. Contact a real estate agent to get tips on how to market the house and attract the right tenant.

You'll also want to understand rental laws for your area to make sure your property is compliant. If the house is in a deed-restricted community, you want to verify that renting is permissible. 

Next, assure the property is up to code. You may have issues if you lease a property and then get cited by the local municipality. In cases where the tenant has to relocate, you could be held financially liable for their moving expenses.

Write a Lease Agreement

Your rental plan needs to include an iron-clad lease. Determine the appropriate rental price. 

Decide if the rental will require the first and last month's rent or if you will require a security deposit. You'll also need to set terms on when the deposit is refundable and what causes a forfeiture. 

Set Terms for the Rental Unit

In addition to the rents and when they're due, you'll need to set other terms for the lease that'll get outlined in the agreement. Your rental plan needs to include the following:

  • Number of tenants on the lease
  • Responsibility for water, electricity, and cable
  • Maintenance on the home and lawn
  • Rent due date and late fee assessments
  • Lease termination notices...both parties
  • Permission for parties and large gatherings

These are just a few tips for landlords to consider when writing the terms for the rental property.

Hire a Property Manager

Accidental landlords often find it isn't as bad as they thought. Sometimes they take on additional investment properties. If the task becomes a burden, there's always the option to hire a property manager.

If you're at that stage, don't panic, we are your premier Cleveland property management firm. Click here and schedule an appointment to discuss your needs.