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Property Management Blog

A Quick Guide For Accidental Landlords in Salt Lake City

The ratio of people who set out with a goal and those who arrive by happenstance feels one to one. You are as likely to work with someone who chose that job as someone who 'lucked into it' or 'fell into it'. 

Understanding this general pattern is key to understanding the term 'accidental landlord'. It isn't as if you suddenly found a group of college students squatting in the basement and started charging rent.

It is far more likely you rented out a room or inherited a property with tenants attached. Regardless of how you find yourself in the situation, you need to take proper steps to protect yourself and your tenants.

Read the following to learn what you need to consider and where to find more information. 

Accidental Landlords?

What is an accidental landlord? This is a person who finds themselves renting a property for reasons of happenstance and expediency rather than a dedicated plan. You could call them 'amateur' landlords as opposed to professional or commercial landlords.

It's important for accidental landlords in the Salt Lake Valley area to know the laws of the state and the expectations of tenants.

Landlord Legalities

The first thing you're likely to do is put together a rental contract. This is definitive paperwork that lays out the rules for the renter and the rentee alike. 

Of course, a contract isn't valid if it is created unfairly and hard to enforce if the language isn't specific. 

Paperwork on rents acquired, terms for deposit return, maintenance requests and etc, landlords also need to consider their taxes and insurance. Running a rental property (even if it is just one part of the home you live in) requires the partial creation of a legal entity.

Attracting Tenants

If you don't fall into being an accidental landlord with tenants already attached, you need to attract them. 

This requires knowing the amenities nearby, the types of people who desire to live in the location, and potentially how to interact with them and their property on a frequent basis. 

Demographics of Location

Check out local papers and information in Salt Lake City, paying close attention to the area you fall into. Using local references like "9th and 9th" for the Sugarhouse area lets people know you have local savvy.

In creating ads, you want to be specific about what is offered but be careful not to overtly limit prospects. 

Tenant Property

Once you have a tenant on-premise, especially if you live as part of a shared space, you need to understand limitations on property rights.

If your intent on selling a property that has tenants, you want to know your timelines.

Property Management

Your time is important and valuable. Especially if you live far from a rental property, you may want a property manager nearer by. 

Property management firms know the local laws and are used to dealing with problems that come up. If you find yourself becoming an accidental landlord, you'd do well to contact Wolfnest and learn what they provide to help you maximize your rental returns and minimize your rental headaches. 

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