Milwaukee, WI, Accidental Landlord Tips

Milwaukee, WI, Accidental Landlord Tips

A prior period of low mortgage rates has led to a growth in accidental landlords. Homeowners who never intended to rent a property have started renting homes or rooms to lock in a low rate. Inheritance and job changes can also lead to becoming a landlord without a plan.

An accidental landlord won't always know the ins and outs of the renting process, though. While the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection offers a plain-language primer on the basics, that won't always help enough.

If you need help navigating the world of tenant screening and unit management, we can get you started below. Keep reading for some of our hot tips for accidental landlords.

Being an Accidental Landlord and Service Animals

Service animals, including emotional support animals, fall under disability accommodations. As a result, landlords can't deny a tenant for relying on such an animal. Landlords also can't ask for proof of a tenant's disability.

If you want to rent out a room in your house, you need to make your peace with the possibility of sharing space with a service animal.

Implied Warranty

Under tenant-landlord laws, you are responsible for keeping the rental property in acceptable condition. You'll need to stay ahead of common maintenance issues like appliance damage and HVAC maintenance.

Building relationships with local vendors will benefit you greatly. For example, if you have a good relationship with a plumber and an electrician, you can handle many issues that might otherwise fester.

Lease Agreements Are Binding

While you can easily download a simple lease agreement from the Internet, make sure that you read the terms before signing it with a tenant. Lease agreements bind both parties, so you should know what you signed.

Always review rental lease forms with a lawyer or property management company. Expert review will protect you and your tenants if something goes awry.

Organization Helps

As a landlord, you'll have to deal with taxes, business income, business expenditures, and other facts of life. Start tracking your expenses as soon as you know you'll need to serve as a landlord. Most landlords count as self-employed persons under tax law.

If you have trouble organizing, add an accountant to the list of local vendors you want to build a relationship with. Even if you do have a good grasp of accounting, hiring an accountant will free up time for other tasks.

No Mistakes: Just Happy Accidents

Whether you inherited property or want to hold on to a great interest rate, becoming an accidental landlord shouldn't affect the quality of your life. If you lack solid management and organizational skills, though, you may want to contact a property management company.

That's where PMI of Greater Milwaukee comes in. We combine the expertise of a national organization with the responsiveness of a local, independent office. We offer full-service property management services.

If you don't know where to begin, reach out to us for a free rental analysis. This complimentary service comes with no obligation and can help you know where to start with renting out your property.