When you buy a property with the intent to rent it out yourself (versus hiring a property manager) there are things you should be prepared for. Even if being a landlord is considered receiving a 'passive income', it is anything but passive. If you are the owner and the manager, you're going to have your work cut out for you even if you rent to the best tenant on the planet.
As an owner/manager you will be responsible for everything. Granted, even if you hire a company to manage the property for you, you will be ultimately responsible for everything, but being able to delegate the work does save time (as long as you've hired a good and reputable company to manage the property for you). After you've done the research necessary to make sure you're investing in the community you'd like to invest in and make any updates/repairs to the property you'd like or need to make after buying it, you're next goal will be to rent it out. Listing the property is just the first step in this process and you'll want to make sure that you have the time set aside to properly respond and screen interested parties. You'll also need to be very well acquainted with both federal and local landlord-tenant laws and housing laws to make sure you do not even appear to discriminate against potential tenants when making your choice.
Now you've found your tenant. Fantastic! Being prepared for what comes next is going to be key. You will need to make sure to stay on top of any maintenance issues, complaints, or problems that the tenant faces. If they are late on a payment, you will be responsible for collecting that and if they refuse to pay you will be responsible for the eviction process. Keeping fantastic notes and records will help you should you ever have to evict someone (or if any legal situation comes up at all) so that you have everything documented. Even if it seems trivial, it's better to keep a note of it than not. You never know what a judge will want down the road.
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