Lake Havasu City housing is largely owner-occupied, with an above-average rate of 74%. If you have a family member in the area, there's a good chance that they own a home-and that you could come to inherit that home.
Inheritance is one of the most common reasons accidental landlords exist. Unlike property investors, you didn't set out to run a rental property, and now you're facing a steep learning curve.
Selling the property is an option to consider, but renting out your home can yield extra income. If you want to be a landlord but don't know where to start, read on for our quick guide.
Learn About Property Maintenance
Under Arizona state law, landlords must maintain fit and habitable living quarters. This language is vague and applies to a wide variety of things, from plumbing to pest control to structural soundness. Not only are you financially responsible for maintenance, but you must also take reasonable steps to schedule maintenance in a timely manner.
The best approach to rental property maintenance is to prioritize preventative maintenance. You should also make it easy for tenants to report maintenance problems and anticipate the occasional emergency maintenance call. While you may have the ability to tackle basic repairs, know your limits and call professional contractors as needed.
Master the Screening Process
As an accidental landlord, you may not know that resigning a current tenant costs less than finding a new one. Always screen your tenants before you approve their application. That way, you can assess their:
- Current income
- Credit score
- Debt history and current debt
- Criminal history
- Past rental experiences
The goal is to find a tenant who will pay rent on time and in full every month and who will treat your property with respect. Look for tenants with a credit score of 690 or higher and an income that is about three times as much as your monthly rent. Talk to their previous landlords to verify that they were reliable tenants who didn't break the lease.
Partner with a Property Management Company
At the end of the day, you may not want to take on the duties of a landlord. Perhaps you don't live in Lake Havasu City or already have a full-time job. No matter your reason, property management can help.
Property managers take over all or most landlord duties for a percentage of your rental income. This includes things like maintenance and tenant screening as well as tenant relations, marketing, and accounting. Rather than facing a steep learning curve, consider partnering with the experts.
AZ Living Is Here for Accidental Landlords
Each day, new accidental landlords find themselves wondering what to do with their property. While you can take on the challenge, learn state and local laws, and take care of tenants, you can also outsource that role to a property manager.
Arizona Living has a long history of helping accidental landlords and property investors with their property management needs. We can maximize your profits while turning your rental home into a source of passive income. Contact us today to learn more about our role in your success.