A bit nervous about renting out second home for the first time

5 Replies

Earlier this year, we bought a second home that we will be renting out for the first time in January. Unfortunately, we had to take out a mortgage on the small property, not under an LLC. I have read nothing but people saying that to rent out your place, you should be an LLC to protect yourself. Well, that will not happen before January. Now what? How can I protect myself until we can place this home into anLLC? I know, load up on liability insurance. How much? Any other suggestions? Am I worrying too much?

It sounds like you are on the right track already but I would get some sort of umbrella policy and require the tenants to purchase renters ins.  BUT in my opinion the biggest hedge against tenant issues and potential litigation is filling your unit with high credit score renters.  I find that tenants with credit over 680 require much less time and rarely take issue with anything.  I would guess those more likely to sue over something would be the lower tier tenants. 

Rest easy my friend, it will be ok.  Just do your due diligence.  

While it's nice for your properties to be in an LLC it's not essential so I wouldn't flip out over the fact that you'll be renting without one. I manage properties and very few of my clients actually have LLCs. Great advice offered already to require tenants to have renters insurance and to accept only high credit scores. Best wishes!

@Andrew Michael advice is good.  I'd like to add, clearly observe their manners when you speak with them.  Observe their vehicle and notice if it's in good condition and clean.  Check the rental history and references.  Verify employment with their employer and ask for paystubs.  Be thoughtful on the selection of how you will advertise your home for rent.  Just a few ideas.  

Sometimes it takes experience to know good renters.  Hope this helps.

Check that you have the correct insurance for a rental. Are you doing a vacation rental? If so there may also be insurance based on who you book it through. Insist on tenants having insurance.

I guess I should have clarified. This place is located in the desert southwest, thus I will be lucky to rent it for four months out of the year, thus it will mostly be short term (one or two months at a time). It is also in a 55 and older area, thus it will mostly be older renters. Thanks for all the comments thus far!

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