Many people have asked me if I intend to rent out my house again after finally getting rid of the tenants from hell. At first I was undecided. But since my neighbor wants to move in I am going to give this landlord thing another try. Most people think I am crazy for that. Hopefully I have learned a lot about being a landlord and the landlord/tenant law and I am better prepared. Like they say, if you fall off a horse you should get right back on. I'll be an expert in no time.
I downloaded a free rental application and gave it to my neighbor. One thing that I noticed was that the rental application that I used before was only 2 pages. This new application is 7 pages. It covers everything from employment to criminal history. That would have been helpful. I am going to require the full deposit allowed by Arizona which is 1 and a half times the rent. Last time I only asked for $700 because I was thinking short-term. I inspected my neighbor's rental house and it is very neat and tidy, they have no pets and it doesn't smell like cigars or any illegal substances (and they actually know what a trash can is for!).
I have also thought of a few things that I would like to add to the rental contract:
No guests for longer than a week without notification.
No pets without notification and $200 pet deposit.
Inspection of premises every 3 months.
No waterbeds. (maybe I should say no fish tanks?)
Require change of AC/heater filter!(I gave the last people TWO spare filters. Did they change it...NO! I have never seen a filter with an inch of dirt before!)
I'm sure I will think of more.
I haven't decided how to incorporate tree trimming and pest control. Perhaps I will say the landlord or designee will perform those duties every 3-6 months. It would give me another excuse to drop by. My termite warranty runs out next year and I want to keep an eye on the place. It costs $1200 to renew the warranty but everyone I talk to just sprays the perimeter of their house themselves.
The main reason I want to continue renting out my house is that it is an integral part of my early retirement plan. And it is the fastest way for me to meet my goals (as long as I rent to the right people). Plus, with my job on shaky ground, if I was laid off I would only have to worry about my basic needs instead of my mortgage. I hope that doesn't happen and that I can continue to pay off my mortgage at an accelerated rate. Then in 2 years I won't have to worry about my mortgage at all.