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Becoming a first-time landlord

As the housing market in Detroit continues to improve, many residents are considering an investment property or a second home. Others are considering renting out an existing second home or condo to cover mortgage payments while they wait to sell. In an situation, becoming a landlord can be both rewarding and stressful, but there is a lot that prospective landlords can do to make the process easy and profitable.

Making sure that you know the area and the average price of a rental property is a key factor in a successful venture as a landlord. Many people think that their mortgage payments or the square footage are the key indicators of the proper monthly rent, but renters often look to amenities, number of rooms, and surrounding area as indicators of value as well.

Legal forms are often available online but it's hard to find reliable forms that are also state-specific, and the gaps in the lease that could be affected by state law may mean serious trouble down the line. This is one of many reasons why experts often advise that new landlords consult with an experienced real estate attorney to work out specific lease terms that suit the property and the landlord's needs.

It's also important to make sure that you check with local ordinances and neighborhood associations of the rules of renting out a home or condo. Some neighborhoods do not allow it and others have specific requirements like background and credit checks in order to rent out a property. If you don't check first, you could run in to serious liability issues if something goes wrong.

More information about landlord tenant issues for Detroit property owners can be found on our law firm's website.

Source: Chicago Tribune. "Successfully renting out your home," Leslie Mann, Sept. 13, 2012.

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