Renting your old home instead of selling? Some tips

Published: Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 12:27 PM.

Cynthia Kent and her husband, John, didn’t set out to be landlords, but career choices made it necessary.

“We have rented out our home in Florida for nine years because we move all over with the military,” says Kent, who recently relocated her family from Nevada to Alabama for yet another posting.

Some people become accidental landlords because of a job change or difficulty selling a house. Others find they need to rent out the home of an elderly parent who has moved into a care facility. More than 3 million owner-occupied homes were converted to rental properties between 2007 and 2011, according to a 2013 report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University .

Some advice for those taking on this challenging new role:

Finding the right tenant

A credit check and legal background check can help you find reliable, honest tenants, says real-estate agent Gail Carpenter of Northwood Realty in Pittsburgh .

“Sometimes a credit check alone” will rule out an applicant, she says.



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