With housing prices on the rebound, it’s easy to see why some Kenai Peninsula Real Estate homeowners find buying an additional property an increasingly attractive possibility. Getting into the landlord business offers the appeal of a growth investment coupled with the possibility of a favorable cash flow situation.
That said, make no mistake about it: renting a home in Kenai is its own business enterprise. Becoming a landlord means making business decisions that carry elements of risk as well as reward. When renting a home in Kenai or Soldotna, there are a number of common — but avoidable — first-time landlord mistakes:
Fair Housing Violations
From the moment you begin marketing your income property, the language in your ad can easily run afoul of the fair housing rules that prohibit discrimination. Avoid phrases that single out any particular group or profile, such as “family-friendly,” “suitable for a couple,” or “singles only.” Since violations can run up to six figures, make sure your ad simply describes the property and the neighborhood in generic terms — and be prepared to accept the first qualified applicant who meets your terms.
Credit Report Mistakes
Another common mistake when renting a home in Kenai is to fail to adequately qualify applicants. Today, accepting credit reports supplied by the applicants themselves is a gamble. Run credit reports yourself (including an eviction check for every applicant over the age of 18). You want to see the history of ALL applicants who will be living in your Kenai Peninsula income property.
Security Deposit Mistakes
When it comes to the security deposit, taking too much – or not enough – is another common first-timer misstep. Too little and you won’t have enough protection; too much, and you risk violating state regulations (with the possibility of jeopardizing your right to use any of the funds!).
Renting a Kenai Peninsula home can be an outstanding wealth-building venture, but your responsibilities as landlord must be taken seriously. For anyone unsure about legal requirements, hiring a professional property management agency can make good business sense. I’m here with recommendations for my clients on these and all other matters that accompany your Kenai Peninsula real estate opportunities.