Is now a good time to invest in rental properties? This is the question most people ask me when they realize I have been in property management for over 26 years and an investor for almost 30. My answer is an undeniable yes. There are many factors affecting our market today. The economy is improving and interest rates are on the rise which impacts greatly an investors bottom line. In addition, the housing market has bounced back in most areas and prices are steadily rising. The demand for rentals exceeds the supply, thus allowing an investor to command a higher rental price and obtain a better-quality tenant. The Millennials’ are not interested in home ownership as they do not want the responsibility nor do they want to be tied to one place long term.
So you purchased a new home but want to keep the old family home too? Today you might consider renting the old family home and becoming a landlord. Tomorrow, you might regret this day if you don’t make careful decisions.
Congratulations on your new business venture! Wait? Did I say business? Yes I did and there will be more on that later. Beside business stuff, there are many pitfalls that the new landlord needs to watch out for.
First pitfall might be friends and family. You might have a family member, let us call him Randy Renter, and he can’t wait to rent your old family home. This is a perfect situation, right? You have known Randy all your life, so why not let him rent your home? Since he is family, do you really need a signed lease? Also, you might feel pressured by other family members to allow the Randy Renter to move in right away.
There are a couple of scenarios that can play out in this situation.
As with many areas in the United States, rental demand continues to climb in the St. Petersburg, Florida area. The latest data from the Federal Reserve suggests that now is a great time to be a property owner since during the last three months of 2015 property owners’ rental income amounted to around 4.3 percent of the U.S. national income. Meanwhile, key takeaways from the “Emerging Trends in Real Estate” report published by the Urban Land Institute and pwc has us looking forward to successful investments for properly managed rental assets.
It is important to be aware of changes to real property law and contract law. Perhaps what is more valuable is to have a lease reviewed by a lawyer who specializes in landlord/tenant law. Our management professionals always make use of a carefully worded St. Pete, Florida lease agreement that has been reviewed by an attorney.
Recently, major changes have been made to landlord/tenant law in places like California, Wisconsin and other parts of the country, which has social media all abuzz. In an effort to equalize the position of property owners and their tenants, landlord/tenant law is constantly evolving and landlord’s rights and landlord’s responsibilities in St. Pete and elsewhere are constantly changing. For instance, prior to March of 2015 landlords in Wisconsin were obligated to make arrangements for storage of any personal property that belonged to an evicted tenant. To fulfill such an obligation, landlords in that area needed to notify the sheriff’s department, hire a bonded mover, and give notice to the evicted tenant. The revised law now allows a landlord to presume that property left behind and to deem it abandoned. There are exceptions to the rule, of course, and this is just one example of how estate law can and has evolved in places around the country.