No. of Recommendations: 2

This is a little long.....

I've had two experiences with rental properties:
- I rented out my primary residence for five years while I was reassigned out of the area (but knew I would be back). I had 3 separate tenants over that period. The first was excellent and I was able to manage the property myself from a distance of about 200 miles. The second was OK; I was still able to manage it myself. The second tenant left and I had been reassigned about 1000 miles away; I used a "property manager" to find me a tenant and take over management responsibilities. He found a good but not great tenant but did very little to earn his share of the rent. (Example: my neighbors told me the tenant had a dog even though pets were prohibited by the lease; I called the manager and asked him to look into it. I made the point that the lease specifically prohibited pets. He said "Who reads the lease?" My point back to him was that I was paying him damned well to ensure the tenant understood the lease.)
- I inherited a house in a resort area. While I was trying to decide what to do about it (rent it as a summer place, rent it year round, sell it) a little old lady approached me about renting in year round. She lived there for 5 years and paid the rent regularly and made very few demands on me. She also got a good deal on the rent because she did not demand that I fix it up and I was able to store things in the basement that I wasn't prepared to deal with at that point. (I had no manager for this rental.) When she died, I considered putting money into the house to do some needed beautification, but decided to sell it. (It was about 400 miles from the house; if I had been closer I might have used it as a weekend getaway.) Although the rental experience was a good one, I would have been just as well off financially to have sold the house just after I inherited it and invested the proceeds conservatively.

Bottom line is that my experiences have been generally favorable. But I believe in "reversion to the mean" and I think I have used up all my good luck as a landlord and would not want to be one in retirement.

jtmitch
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