Renting out your home

Jun 2, 2008 - 10:02 pm | By

Chicago Sun times discusses the pros and cons of renting out your old home while you wait for it to sell.  In this tough selling environment, renting your home can be a good source of income to cover the mortage.  However, becoming a landlord can be a time consuming task if you haven’t done it before.

Rental income can cover some or all of the mortgage payments, freeing you from having to dole out the entire amount each month. You might even make a profit if your monthly expense is low enough.

The problems arise from the human element of dealing with your tenants.  It’s best to learn the local laws regarding your rights and responsibilities.

Disputes with tenants over tenant rights and unpaid rent could require legal representation and legal fees. – State, local and federal statutes must be understood and followed, with failure to do so often resulting in fines.

Always establish and maintain lines of communication with your tenants, and make sure they understand the terms of the lease.  One of the best ways to protect yourself from problem tenants is to run background checks on them.   With a signed release, you can run your prospective tenant’s credit history, criminal history, and eviction records.  Most background checks for tenant screening are instant, but you can also conduct a more thorough review of county house records if you feel it is important.  The credit report will provide you with valuable information about your tenant’s financial responsibility.   


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