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Old 09-02-2011, 04:38 PM   #15
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Do a criminal background check, nationwide, on your renters. It will cost, but they can pay for it.

Ditto on a carefully worded lease. Although we have never rented anything to anyone, we have dealt with many people who were being evicted. Perhaps consult an attorney.

Seems complicated, but there are so very many things that could go wrong--for you.

Maggie
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Old 09-02-2011, 08:49 PM   #16
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An attorney is always a safe bet for a new property manager with a new lease. If I didn't know the business or the tenant, I'd just do a month to month lease. That way I could end the lease with the proper notice, in one month if I wanted to. The last eviction I did that was contested cost me almost $2,000. That's hard costs, not included lost rents, clean up, and re-renting expense.

If I don't know fair housing laws, I should stay away from residential rentals, even land leases. More people I know get burned trying do-it-yourself landlording that anything else. For some reason people think it's low risk easy money.
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Old 09-02-2011, 09:21 PM   #17
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I know there are risks, but I also have had friends who rented out space on their property, or rented out extra homes on their property, and had it work fine for years. I think being really careful about who you rent to, and being protected by a good contract is all very sound advice.
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Old 09-02-2011, 09:33 PM   #18
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Hmmmm have you ever seen the movie "Pacific Heights"? Shudder
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Old 09-02-2011, 09:40 PM   #19
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I think being really careful about who you rent to, and being protected by a good contract is all very sound advice.
You really need to talk to an attorney who is familiar with the laws in your state. In our state the landlord-tenant laws seem to be based on the assumption that landlords are crooks and tenants are innocent victims. We rented a house once, won't make that mistake again.
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:07 AM   #20
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I've had some experience with dirty hippies. I don't think they can be trusted.
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:12 AM   #21
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There's always a risk that you might get a bad apple, but you reduce that chance if you do your due diligence. Check references, do a credit check and criminal record check, interview the prospects and look for any red flags. I've had good luck so far renting my property and have even made some good friends out of it. The extra income is a bonus, too.
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:17 AM   #22
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I've had some experience with dirty hippies. I don't think they can be trusted.
And I've had bad dealings with clean cut, self-professed "Christians" more than any other group. There are good and bad in every segment of society. Generalizing about a group doesn't really help anybody or benefit this discussion. Peace.
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:27 AM   #23
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Renting a spot to a fulltimer

My family has been in the rental property business since 1912, and I have been a landlord for more than 20 years myself. In my area, I have noticed a HUGE increase in problems over the past three years. I suspect that it is likely closely related to the local economy . . . more than 10% unemployment with many having been unemployed for more than two years like myself. I went for 19 years without any evictions and have had two in the past two years . . . and afraid that a third may be just around the corner. . . . in each of the first two cases the tennants had been with me for more than 5 years with one having been in the unit for more than 20 years. My recent experience is why I recommended the checks on zoning, insurance, and the rental agreement/lease - - I have learned the great value of these items through my recent evictions. Even a comparatively straight-forward eviction is going to be costly even if a court battle isn't involved. Neither of my recent evictions included court battles but each included expensive structural damage as well as significant clean-up expense.

The potential damage is less when it is just lot rental, but eviction costs can still be significant.

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Old 09-03-2011, 12:38 PM   #24
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Didn't see whether or not you are living on the property, if not do you drive by every day?
In your state can you remove abandoned vehicles?
Do you have to pay to clean up an oil spill?{changing oil with no place else to dump}
Are there any trees?(cash crop to some)
We have a 3 day warning letter and a 7 day eviction notice, but all contested cases goes thru the court system.
You might want to check tenants bill of rights by googling your state rental info.
Personal and even business letters of recommendation mean zero to your contract.
Are they over 25, as that seems to be a good age of changing attitudes toward other peoples property and adults in general, including our kids.
Good luck, hope you don't need the money seriously, as an extra, it is doable.
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Old 09-03-2011, 03:02 PM   #25
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And I've had bad dealings with clean cut, self-professed "Christians" more than any other group. There are good and bad in every segment of society. Generalizing about a group doesn't really help anybody or benefit this discussion. Peace.
I've had bad dealings with clean cut, self-professed "Christians". I don't think they can be trusted. Peace.
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Old 09-03-2011, 03:04 PM   #26
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Wow, some seriously jaundiced folks here. Needing or wanting to rent is not a character flaw.

Stef, on the bright side, millions of people in this country are landlords & make money at it. Like pretty much any endeavor, it comes with annoyances.

Last winter I rented one of my far-flung bedrooms to a guy I met off Craigslist. He only stayed a couple of months before moving into town for logistical reasons, but Will recently tracked me down at the bar I hang out at to ask whether I'd be interested in having him back. He had a proposal that addressed the things I misliked about having a roommate & the couple aspects that were hard on him since I'm the homeowner & it wasn't an equal-roommate situation.

I thought about it & said sure. It's nicer to have total privacy, but I missed the company & his dog. Plus, the rent will pay for my next trip to France.

The deciding factor for me is that I travel a lot & it is comforting to know someone is here who knows the place & takes good care of the animals. So that might be a consideration for you as well.

Before him I had a gal living here for 3 months & she was kind of a total aggravation -- a middle-aged screwup with a minor criminal record who was a terrible slob & kind of beaten down. I felt sorry for her. But giving her a safe place to live did not change her life! She moved in with 5 cats (!!!) instead of 2, and a garage full of stuff instead of a truckload, and her b'friend would call here at 6 a.m. when they were fighting. And she put a LOT of holes in the wall because she's never been a homeowner & doesn't understand about needing to find a stud to hang shelves & of course she's never had to stick around & patch them.

So she had to go. But it was no big deal, I gave her 2 weeks to find a place & off she went. I kept one of the cats, even, and Fosie is an utter joy.

I didn't have a rental agreement with either of these 2, aside from emails summing everything up. I wish I had gotten a damage deposit from Christie so did with Will & then didn't need it.

All this nattering to make the point that, dire predictions aside, sometimes renting works out & sometimes it doesn't and there are probably a lot of middle-ground experiences.

On a counterpoint to what Kevin said about the economy, my good friend Sharlene has owned multiple units for many years, and she says the housing crisis has been a boon for her -- during the years that everyone with a checking account could qualify for a home loan, she had trouble getting quality renters. But now all those people are back in the pool so she can be choosier.

In a way, your potential tenants already are homeowners if they have a rig, right? So they know the value of property. And they have a composting toilet -- that evinces thinking ahead (not needing a site with sewer, thereby increasing their flexibility) and perhaps concern for their environment. And eviction would be EASY! Just like me, where if I wanted, all their stuff could be dumped at the bottom of the hill & what would they tell the sheriff then (no written agreement, remember, and they always paid in cash). You could simply tow them off the property!

I think you should do it.
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Old 09-05-2011, 09:52 AM   #27
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I would do it. Get a good rental agreement, be clear on your rules and follow up.

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Old 09-05-2011, 10:35 AM   #28
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We had a renter in a 2nd home (right across the street) for 5 years until we sold both properties (weeks after he moved out to a house he built). Worked out great - all the stories about potential issues aside there are benefits to renting. I have a couple of issues with your question. Composting toilets work and at times work well, they still need cleaning out - WHERE does that go? Will they always abide by the "use your own facilities" and not just do an occasional flush of the black tank on the property? Short term renters can be an issue - will you get YOUR investment from the deal by the time they leave? Will you rent again if you get burned? Driveway improvements, traffic, clean-up, lot improvements to level trailer, POWER setup and use (power sharing in rent fees), water useage (car wash to make money on the side......).

If this is a one time thing and they are there only for a semester than can you reclaim the costs?

BTW: I had a $1,000,000 liabiliy insurance added to the homeowners policy that costs very little - just to be safe.
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