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Old 08-13-2009, 11:43 PM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country, TX
62 posts, read 335,397 times
Reputation: 48

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To make a long story short, haven't researched yet, but want to rent my house. My main concern is: what do I need to do as a homeowner to protect myself while renting my home?....such as, what if there's an electrical malfunction and it burns down and kills an occupant, whats to keep the tenant from suing me?

That's my main concern...or related incident, and is why I'm posting this thread and appreciate some input...How do I protect myself against this type of incident? Other key points:

It is insured (wind storm, flood, and homeowners) - not sure if that might cover me in some way.

It is on the market for sale and I wish to keep it for sale during the rental period.

I own it.

In Cameron County, Texas

I would probably get a generic 'residential lease agreement' for all parties to sign.

thanks everyone for your time..
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Old 08-13-2009, 11:56 PM
 
3,584 posts, read 4,627,055 times
Reputation: 2133
Quote:
Originally Posted by bb5745 View Post
To make a long story short, haven't researched yet, but want to rent my house. My main concern is: what do I need to do as a homeowner to protect myself while renting my home?....such as, what if there's an electrical malfunction and it burns down and kills an occupant, whats to keep the tenant from suing me?

That's my main concern...or related incident, and is why I'm posting this thread and appreciate some input...How do I protect myself against this type of incident? Other key points:

It is insured (wind storm, flood, and homeowners) - not sure if that might cover me in some way.

It is on the market for sale and I wish to keep it for sale during the rental period.

I own it.

In Cameron County, Texas

I would probably get a generic 'residential lease agreement' for all parties to sign.

thanks everyone for your time..
Talk to your insurance agent ... you will need a different policy if you choose to become a landlord.

ETA: You may want to rethink keeping your property on the market while it's being rented - or at least be 100% upfront with your tenants. And believe me, it's a rare tenant that keeps a property in showing condition. (Said by the agent who just showed a duplex this evening and got backed into a corner by the tenant's dog.)
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Old 08-14-2009, 12:07 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
1,571 posts, read 3,472,313 times
Reputation: 1314
My best advise is - Don't do this -If you are trying to sell it keep it vacant. Stage it nicely and keep it on the market.
On the other hand if you want to be landlord - You will want to contact your insurance agent and conver your homeowner's policy into a landlord policy. It will insure the building and your liability - but the policy will not insure the personal property of the tenant.
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Old 08-14-2009, 12:57 AM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country, TX
62 posts, read 335,397 times
Reputation: 48
Thanks, good input. I do want to rent it - it's been on the market for awhile now and no bites....looking at potential rental income instead of it sitting vacant.
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Old 08-14-2009, 02:20 AM
 
Location: Kailua Kona, HI
2,713 posts, read 6,126,166 times
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First of all, nothing can prevent anyone from suing anyone for anything. Whether the case has merit is for the courts to decide. If you for instance had substandard wiring in the house your risk is great. If everything is up to code and you have done everything you know to do to make property reasonably safe by industry standards, your risk is less.

Everything the other posters have said about insurance and marketing I agree with. If your local rental market is anything like mine, any negative at all perceived by the prospective tenant will keep your house empty. That includes having to put up with showings.
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Old 08-14-2009, 02:46 AM
 
29,740 posts, read 26,463,503 times
Reputation: 17350
Quote:
Originally Posted by bb5745 View Post
To make a long story short, haven't researched yet, but want to rent my house. My main concern is: what do I need to do as a homeowner to protect myself while renting my home?....such as, what if there's an electrical malfunction and it burns down and kills an occupant, whats to keep the tenant from suing me?

That's my main concern...or related incident, and is why I'm posting this thread and appreciate some input...How do I protect myself against this type of incident? Other key points:

It is insured (wind storm, flood, and homeowners) - not sure if that might cover me in some way.

It is on the market for sale and I wish to keep it for sale during the rental period.


rd
I own it.

In Cameron County, Texas

I would probably get a generic 'residential lease agreement' for all parties to sign.

thanks everyone for your time..
all rentals really should be within the frame work of an LLC for your protection...... its worth the few bucks to set it up. at least you will have some protection.....

just a heads up that insurance sometimes can be real tricky as to what they cover...

how many realize if you live in a condo or co-op or anything with a HOA that if someone is injured or killed on common grounds and the law suit award is more then the development insurance that everyone is responsible for the overage after that. but heres the thing , you may not be covered under your policies for something like that i heard so i called geico to confirm whether it was true and they said yes.... a homeowners policy or umbrella only covers events caused by you or your insured not someone else....they said there is a rider you can buy for a co-op but not condo or hoa.. better check with your own companies to see what the deal is.. it came up because the security guys in our development in the poconos sometimes chase people out who come in and ride atv vehicles, the question is what if one of them gets killed or hurt and the home owners assoc. is sued and looses for more then the hoa policy limits.....
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:20 AM
 
Location: South Metro Denver for 25 years
8,633 posts, read 19,074,187 times
Reputation: 4341
A generic lease agreement is not sufficient.

You want proof they have renters insurance. They will mow, water and pay whatever bills you agree to.
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Old 08-14-2009, 12:35 PM
 
15,629 posts, read 20,745,172 times
Reputation: 6621
I have a special ins. to protect me against things like the OP describes and I have the property in a LLC + I give them contracts in which clearly the most important rules they have to keep them self to are stated + what they need to do to prevent them from getting fines from the HOA. Every fine I get from the HOA will be paid by the tenant...so far I never got any fines since they know very well what they have to do...and this is the biggest issue that tenants have...their LL haven't given them the rules and regulations and not made it clear who is responsible for the fines...
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Old 08-16-2009, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country, TX
62 posts, read 335,397 times
Reputation: 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2bindenver View Post
A generic lease agreement is not sufficient.

You want proof they have renters insurance. They will mow, water and pay whatever bills you agree to.
Why would they need renters insurance?
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Old 08-16-2009, 11:08 AM
 
Location: Salem, OR
10,927 posts, read 18,576,045 times
Reputation: 6854
Quote:
Originally Posted by bb5745 View Post
Why would they need renters insurance?
Because your insurance you carry on the property will not insure their items. So if the house has faulty wiring and something sparks and the house burns, ruining all of their things, you don't want to be sued for their damages.

Renter's insurance covers all of their personal belongings.
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