Have you decided to become a landlord? If so, you may have just signed up to meet some pretty colorful and interesting people. After all, renters are largely transient and you may rent to everyone from the young and career-minded couple to the eccentric and world-traveled older folks. Besides meeting some interesting tenants, there are other positive aspects involved in being a landlord. However, there are also some follies almost all landlords must contend with eventually that were not covered in landlording 101.
A Stable Income
If you decide to buy a property and rent it out yourself, you will eventually have it occupied by people who pay their rent in a timely manner. This will provide you with a stable income that you can enjoy for as long as you own the property. Some people own multiple properties and make being a landlord their profession.
Should you consider yourself a jack of all trades concerning home improvement and landscaping, you may enjoy doing a lot of the upkeep on your rental property yourself. Everything from repainting empty units to laying new carpet can be a fun change of pace from your usual job, especially if your primary work consists of sitting in a cubicle and wearing a suit. Just be sure to consider that some work, such as electrical or finishing drywall, may require an experienced hand.
Being a landlord is not usually a round-the-clock profession. Short of a structure fire or a burst pipe, your tenants will usually wait until morning to contact you with any problems that arise. This gives you tremendous freedom, especially if you only own a few units. Should you decide to be a landlord as your sole income, you will usually have weekends and evenings free. If you want even more freedom, you can hire a management company to handle the occasional panicky call on your behalf.
Everyone who has ever rented out a property has their own list of horror stories. Some have had to clean up units that looked like the inside of a garbage dumpster. Others laugh about the neat-freak tenant with the spotless, odorless studio apartment who kept seven cats and two dogs. You will not know what is going to happen with any given property or tenant, and unusual circumstances are bound to happen.
Understanding the pros and cons of being a landlord is critical if you are considering renting out a property. But the positives can far outweigh the negatives if you learn the best practices of being a great landlord, not to mention the investment opportunities.