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Helpful Tips for the Accidental Landlord

Believe it or not, not every landlord becomes a landlord by choice. We cannot tell you just how many landlords we have assisted who have become one accidentally!

While that may sound strange, it happens more often than not! Sometimes, accidental landlords inherit a rental property from a family member that has passed away. Or, when the real estate market isn’t in the seller’s favor, property owners may opt to lease their home instead of taking a loss on a sale.

Whatever the reason, if you are a landlord by accident, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed. Rest assured, even the most experienced landlords can feel overwhelmed. However concerned and unsure you may be, please know that owning a rental property can prove a lucrative investment for you and your family that will grow in value for years to come.

As you move forward with this new and accidental endeavor, keep the following in mind:

Speak With the Lender and Utility Companies (If Necessary)

If the property has a mortgage or utilities that the landlord covers (and not the tenant), it is essential to provide the required documentation to list your name on all appropriate documents. Note that you may be required to provide proof of transfer or ownership, which you will likely need to obtain from an attorney.

Obtain a Landlord Insurance Policy

This is crucial. A landlord insurance policy helps protect you financially from damages related to injuries that occur within the rental property. It will also help cover repairs (or a rebuild) due to a covered event (hailstorm, wind damage, etc.) and vandalism. Some policies may even help cover lost income (for a set period) should your tenant(s) stop paying rent.

Review the Lease Agreement(s) in Detail

Take the time necessary to fully understand the lease agreement that is currently instated, making a note of any provisions you would like to include upon renewal (providing adequate notice prior so that tenants have the chance to move if they so desire). Ensure that the rent amount is fair for the area and property and that expectations are clear. Your tenant(s) will need to be notified of the change in ownership as well

Move Forward With Property Maintenance

Besides rent collection, one of the most challenging aspects of being a landlord is maintaining your rental home. Failure to take care of preventative maintenance needs will result in expensive repairs in the future. And let’s face it – costly repairs, well, you need to have reliable, trustworthy contractors on hand, ready to tackle whatever may come. These services must be provided promptly and efficiently for the sake of your rental home’s value and out of respect for your tenant(s) residing there.

Ask for Help

We are a locally owned and operated Property Management Company here in the Waco, TX area. With 30 years of expertise, we can turn you from an “accidental landlord” and into a pro in no time. Lease administration, rent collection, maintenance needs, and more – we are focused and committed to your success. Contact us today: 254-651-0576. We would love to hear from you!

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