5 tips before you rent out your home
THE SUNDAY CAPITAL
A real estate agent cherishes the one-story ranch house she has owned and babied for 14 years. To enhance her place, she recently painted the entire interior. She also sanded and polished her hardwood floors and expanded the kitchen, making it light, bright and open to the dining area.
This agent can’t bear the thought of selling her beloved sanctuary. But that sentiment is now competing with her engagement to a man from another city where she plans to move, however temporarily. So, to buy time before making a final decision, she’s placed the property on the rental market.
“She’s holding her breath that a rental will work out without any serious problems, and so am I,” says Elizabeth Weintraub, a colleague and friend of the property owner.
Weintraub, a real estate broker who has sold homes since 1979, says the odds are good her friend will do well as a landlady because of her background in the housing field. But she said many homeowners who convert a residence to a rental property are more naive about what that entails.
For instance, Weintraub tells the true story of a couple of clients who had a terrible experience renting out their house to a pair of doctors. When it came time to sell the place, the doctors were so angry at being uprooted that they poured castor oil all over the white wall-to-wall carpet.
In recent years, many local governments have tightened regulations protecting tenants. As Weintraub says, longtime renters are typically much more familiar with these regulations than are first-time landlords, which puts them at a disadvantage if a dispute develops.
Here are a few pointers for homeowners considering a temporary rental:
“Many people find it annoying to be a landlord. It’s like being a parent.”
Many homeowners who convert a residence to a rental property are naive about what renting entails, says Elizabeth Weintraub, a real estate broker.