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Old 06-24-2011, 06:07 PM
254 posts, read 736,812 times
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Hi! DH will be moving soon to FL for reassignment and I am still awaiting my request for transfer. We just moved to NoVa 3 yrs ago from TX and bought a house but unfortunately, we didn't anticipate this move. We have decided to have the house rented and we are going to have the benefit of having a "property management" team taking care of having the house rented. They said that we can specify what we want,,e.g. non-smokers, no pets and all that. They said that it's better for us to use them since they will require that pics be taken every few months. Can anyone give us tips as to what else we should consider? We are new at this and we don't want to be blind sided. My neighbor who is moving out of state said that her contract specified that they only park 2 cars. Pls. help!
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:13 PM
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- Read the "landlord-renter rights"...

- Ensure your insurance policy is for your home as a rental property vice your home.

- A good way is no pets/no smoking/

- Specify in the lease that only people on the lease can live there. It is not uncommon for people sign a lease then bring in their friends etc..to cheapen their costs. Florida has a "bedroom law". Which means only so many people can live in a home based on the bedrooms.

- Specify the tenant will mow the lawn and have the mgt. team keep an eye on the any extra requirements like weed control etc....

- Renting to college students is usually not a good idea.

- Ensure the rent is paid on time, no excuses.

- Put a 30 day notice requirement from you to them that they have to leave.

- Put in the lease that cars/trucks can't be parked anywhere but in the driveway or garage.

- No trampolines

- If the tenant has guests from out of town, put a time limit. I used 14 days limit.

- Take a video before they move in and walk through with them when they move in so they can point out any damage etc...

- 1st/last/security deposit. I would think at least 1,000 dollar deposit depending on the condition of the home, but 1,000 is pretty fair.

- References/credit check should be provided by the tenant.

- I had two rental homes in FL for 20 years and only had problems the last 2 years I owned the homes. In Fl it is difficult to evict...time consuming..lawyer...I lost about 5k in damages, and the kicker..I had to rent a van and help the bumb move his junk to his new "castle"....talk about "gritting my teeth", but I had to get him out....

- The company you hire is very experienced and has access to a good lawyer. They should give you the copy of the lease which should spell out everything.

- In Fl. we have the "homestead" exemption, which you loose if you rent out your home. Many people don't notify the tax collector when they do this so it's a roll of the dice if they get caught. Might check with your tax office to see if they have any rules like this.

- One advantage of renting out your home is the tax right off for repairs. If you plan on moving back there or get the home ready for sale you can write off the repairs. Not a dollar for dollar but a good deduction. However, you have to live in it 2 out of the last 5 years or when you sell it, you have to pay tax. (Federal).

Being a long distant landlord is a risky idea, but might work out for you. If you don't plan on moving back there, it is a good idea to consider selling that home. If you have to take a beating, you might make a few bucks in a few years and then sell it. Don't let a home become a boat anchor.

Good luck!
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