Worried About Becoming A Long Distance Landlord? 3 Tips To Help You Succeed

If given a choice, most people would likely choose not to own rental real estate in areas where they no longer live due to concerns about managing the property and ensuring that it is being well tended by the occupants. But if the need to relocate arises suddenly, there may not be sufficient time to get the family home sold before the moving date. When this occurs, homeowners can either let the home sit vacant, which can be cost prohibitive if there is a mortgage payment, or put the home on the rental market to help cover the expenses, including the mortgage, taxes, and insurance. If you are currently faced with this situation and worried about how you will manage the duties of being a landlord from another city or state, the following tips can help.

Screen potential renters thoroughly

As a landlord, especially one who will be managing from afar with a mortgage payment to meet, you will want to ensure that your renters have references, sufficient income to cover their monthly rental payment, and a good credit history. Carefully screening for this information and verifying all references provided is the best way to weed out potential problems with bad renters before they occur.

Insist on a detailed rental contract

Even the most carefully screened rental applicant can become a problem. This is why it is important that landlords use a properly worded, legally binding, written rental contract that spells out exactly what responsibilities both parties — tenant and landlord — must meet. A real estate attorney, real estate professional, or property management service can offer helpful advice for preparing and using these agreements.

Arrange for oversight

When you are living hundreds or thousands of miles away, you will be unable to perform even basic visual inspections of the home and you will also not be able to respond quickly, in case of emergency. Homeowners who are about to become long distance landlords can benefit from having a dependable friend, relative, or neighbor in the area of the home who is willing to drive by it occasionally to see if any problems are noted and to serve as an emergency contact, if needed.

If you find it difficult to screen applicants, prepare a binding rental agreement, locate someone willing to provide oversight, or simply do not have enough time to be a good long distance landlord, hiring a reputable property management service is a great alternative. They have the skills, systems, and trained personnel to provide screening services, legally binding rental agreements, and professional care and maintenance for the home you are leaving behind. In addition, property management services will also handle all the accounting tasks associated with your rental home and ensure that you receive the rental proceeds on time each month.  

For more information, contact local professionals like Shook & Tarlton Rentals.