When the recession hit, some homeowners turned to renting out their property if they couldn't find a buyer. They became known as "accidental landlords" and took on a responsibility they might not have been ready for.
General contractor Samantha Strong and Michael Vraa, managing attorney and hotline director at HOME Line, joined The Daily Circuit to talk about the risks and benefits of becoming a landlord.
That conversation yielded these tips for the accidental landlord, or for those who might become one:
1. Keep plenty of cash on hand, so you're ready when the furnace fails.
2. Expect to have to make time-consuming repairs.
3. If you look for sample leases online, make sure to download one that's specific to Minnesota.
4. Consider hiring an agent to act on your behalf.
5. Get expert advice about the tax implications of becoming a landlord.
6. If you think taking on a roommate would be simpler than becoming a landlord, be warned: The minute you ask someone for rent, you're a landlord.
7. Make a written list of criteria that guide your search for renters, and stick to it.
8. If you require your renters to maintain the property, accept that they may do things differently.
From MPR News:
Many accidental landlords don't know that they need to pay fees to the city and need to request a city inspection, according to housing inspectors in Minneapolis and St. Paul. New landlords also may not understand city housing regulations.
"If they're going to get into the business of rental, they need to find out what the rules and regulations are around that," said Joann Velde, deputy director of housing inspection services for the city of Minneapolis.
LEARN MORE: 6 reality checks for accidental landlords