There are approximately 44 million renter households in the U.S. The owners of many of those rental units are big property investment groups, but individuals own a sizeable portion of them as well.
For some of the owners, property investment was a decision. They decided that they wanted to own a rental property, or several, and become a landlord. Yet, there is a smaller percentage of those property owners who fall into a category known as accidental landlords.
Never heard the term accidental landlord before? Keep reading to discover what accidental landlords are and how they operate.
What Are Accidental Landlords?
Most landlords made a decision at some point to buy rental units. Some people see it as a profitable side hustle, while others chose it as a new career.
Accidental landlords never set out to own a rental property, but end up with one anyway. That occurs in a couple of ways.
Many accidental landlords inherit property from someone. If moving into the property won't work, they must do something with it.
They can sell it if the market is right - otherwise, they rent it.
The other way that most people become accidental landlords is when their job requires them to move. They keep the home they currently own and rent it out to help cover mortgage costs and taxes.
Challenges for Accidental Landlords
People who decided that they want investment properties can study up to prepare for being a landlord. Accidental landlords go in nearly blind. They face a number of challenges they likely didn't expect, such as:
- Renovating the property
- Marketing the property
- Screening tenants
- Rent collection
- Property maintenance
Most accidental of them know very little about fair housing laws, which protect potential renters from discrimination based on a wide range of factors.
If they try managing a property themselves, they must find reliable service providers for things like plumbing and electrical repairs, as well as lawn maintenance and handyman services.
Property Management Simplified
Accidental landlords can use a variety of technologies to assist them, such as automated payment reminders. In the end, though, many of them look for a property management service to assist them.
A property management service handles the everyday administrative needs of a rental property, such as maintenance and rent collection. They also handle the trickier tasks of marketing, tenant screening, and lease management.
Using a property management service makes the lives of property owners simpler and easier.
Are You an Accidental Landlord?
The biggest problem with becoming an accidental landlord is that it usually happens without preparation. Most people don't need to know about writing leases and fair housing laws, so they never learn.
This makes becoming an accidental landlord an experience with a steep learning curve. You can take it on yourself if you feel confident that you can manage all the details. If not, consider a property management service to pick up the slack.
Gulf Coast Property Management offers property management services in Sarasota county and Manatee county. For more information, contact Gulf Coast Property Management today.