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The Accidental Landlord: What You Should Know

What is an accidental landlord and how does one become one? Accidental landlords are property owners who unintentionally become landlords due to certain circumstances. And becoming one is not really that far-fetched. It usually happens when homeowners are unable to or unwilling to sell their property. In most cases, it happens when the property owner does not have enough equity that a sale would not amount to pay the total cost of the mortgage.

If you are currently planning to buy a house or if you own the house you’re living in now, then there is a likely chance that you will become an accidental landlord. So what happens when you find yourself in a situation where you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place?

The answer to your predicament is to keep the property and turn it into an investment. BUT like everything else in business, it’s not that simple.

Before taking on your new role, there are a few things you need to be mindful of.

  • Like you, your tenants also have rights. Be sure to know what those rights are. This means that you can’t just change the locks if a tenant isn’t paying rent. There is a certain process that you have to follow to ensure you are not violating anyone’s rights..

 

  • Understand that a property rental investment is a totally different concept compared to selling or repairing your property. It has a separate set of rules. Familiarise yourself with these rules. Do your research. Talk to property managers to understand your rights and responsibilities as a landlord.

 

  • Know the local laws. Be familiar with the legislation surrounding property investments.

 

  • Hire a competent property manager. Being that you were thrust into the role of a landlord, you likely do not have much experience with managing a rental property. Do so to lessen the chances of making  unnecessary mistakes in managing your property.

The bottom line is that owning a rental property is a business. Yes, you may be friendly and cordial to your tenants but always know when to draw the line. At the end of the day, you are the landlord and what you have between yourself and your tenants is a business relationship.