3 Things First-time Landlords Should Know - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

3 Things First-time Landlords Should Know

Baltimore has more renters than it does homeowners, and between 2010 and 2015, a major change in the housing industry started to develop. The change was the building of 5,360 homes with 15+ units, and this has led to the apartment boom in the city.

But this isn’t the only boom that is being experienced.

A lot of people don’t want to rent an apartment, so they will search for private renters. There are a lot of benefits to renting a home versus an apartment, and a key benefit is that there’s no need to worry about noise or the sound of people’s feet running upstairs.

Landlords are in a great place in Baltimore, and every area is different. The average rental price of $2,040 in key areas, including Butcher’s Hill and Fells Point, is a good indicator of what a landlord may be able to receive per month in rent.

Prices are higher in some areas, with rent up to $2,500+, depending on location and home size.

First-time landlords need to know a few things:

1. Understand Your Rent-Price Range

You cannot base your rent range on other properties you may own across the country. The same home in Baltimore may rent for less than a home in Mason City. You need to do your due diligence and see what the market is demanding.

Hotpads and similar sites will help you conduct your own research on the area.

You can also follow the 1% rule if you can’t find a similar home in your area. The rule state that you can demand 1% of your home’s value in monthly rent. So, a $180,000 home would demand a $1,800 per month rent.

But you can also calculate this price based on how much is owed on the home, mortgage, and property tax rates.

You want to make sure that all of your expenses are covered and a little money is left over to pay for maintenance-related items.

2. Landlords Have a Lot of Responsibilities

In the ideal world, you’ll have a tenant sign a lease, and you’ll just collect your money every month. But in the real world, your job as a landlord is vast, and you’ll be taking on many key roles, including:

  • Debt collector
  • Scheduler
  • Repairman
  • Supervisor
  • Salesperson

You have an immense job to handle, and while this isn’t a 9-to-5, being a landlord will involve more than just walking to your mailbox to collect rent checks.

3. Legal Rules Must Be Followed

Being a landlord has a learning curve, but you need to learn all of the legal rules prior to renting. Discussing legal concerns with a lawyer is a good choice, but a few of the legal rules that you will be required to follow include:

  • Safety codes
  • Health codes
  • Eviction rules
  • Fair housing laws
  • Laws regarding a tenant’s security deposit

If you fail to meet any of the laws, you may be held liable for damages. Start by discussing how you must operate as a landlord and all of the legalities with a legal professional.


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