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Are You an Accidental Landlord? Here's What to Do Next

System - Tuesday, July 13, 2021
Property Management Blog

More people live in Miami than ever before. With an estimated 2021 population of 478,251, Miami is growing every year. And the demand for rental properties is also growing.

Real estate investing can be lucrative. Investing in a property, like a rental house, can create a long-term income stream. Being a landlord can be a real business. 

But not everyone who finds themselves with a rental property planned it. Some property owners become accidental landlords.

Managing a rental property can be challenging, especially if you didn't plan to be a landlord. Here are some things you should consider and some landlord tips. 

What Are Accidental Landlords?

Being a landlord might seem like something only people investing in property do. But people do find themselves as landlords when they hadn't done any real estate investing and hadn't planned to take on tenants.

There are several reasons people become accidental landlords:

  • You may have inherited a house that already has tenants
  • You may have needed to move to another city but didn't want to sell your home in Miami
  • You may have bought a new home and had trouble selling your old home, so you decided to rent it out to cover your expenses

However you happened to become a landlord, there are some things to consider to be successful.

Understand Your Obligations

There are some differences between living in a home you own and renting it out. If you didn't plan to be a landlord, you probably aren't a professional property manager. 

Managing a property can be stressful. You'll have a lot of responsibilities, including:

Maintenance on the Property 

You are responsible for making sure that the rental property is in good condition. You will need to take care of routine, preventive maintenance to keep it that way. You'll also need to respond to any maintenance emergencies as they occur. Even if you didn't intend to get into the rental business, you would want to set a maintenance budget that ensures you don't lose money.

Collecting Rent 

You'll need to set firm due dates for rent and then determine how best to collect it. You'll also need to decide upfront what happens if your tenant is late with their rent and at what point you will evict them. Then, you'll have to go through all of the legal requirements for eviction in Miami. 

Tracking and Reporting Your Rental Income

Even if you are still paying a mortgage on your rental property, you will need to track your income and expenses. That's because the rent your tenants pay to you is income. 

Screening Tenants 

Finding the right tenants for your property isn't always an easy process. You'll need to understand Miami's fair housing laws. You'll also need to screen prospective tenants to make sure they'll be good renters. That should include verifying their income and rental history. There's a lot to check. Here's a list of the things a professional property management company would check.

Among the most important landlord tips is the reminder that you have options for managing your rental property. Help is available. 

Help for Accidental Landlords in Miami

Accidental landlords in the Miami area don't have to go it alone. A property management expert can help you look out for your interests, help maintain your rental property, and help you screen and take care of your tenants. 

The skilled team of property managers at HomeRiver Group® Miami can help you make the most of your investment, even if you find yourself a landlord by accident.