Why I Have No Interest in Renting a Property as an Investment or Income Source

I’m sure there are many people who make a reasonable income from renting residential properties. There are probably others who find it a worthwhile investment. I know I’m never going to be a landlord though. I’m just too nervous to try it. Here are some examples of why I have no interest in renting out a property.

This story has been reported on various websites, including in this article by CBCNews: A woman rented half of a duplex to a seemingly nice man. Within months, he had declared HER duplex unit an “Embassy” changed the locks, gutted some of the rooms, painted the bedroom black, and arbitrarily told her he was only going to pay half of the agreed monthly rent in future. Oh, and he also slapped a lien on her property and sent her a bill for $26,000. While finally the police are getting involved it has taken months and the landlady has spent hours looking for assistance and has been physically and mentally harassed.

How often does this kind of thing happen? Hopefully only once every few years. However, with my kind of luck, I would be the one finding myself housing a “Freeman” for free.

Here on the Canadian Money Forum, a landlord discovered that if a piece of his equipment failed unexpectedly (in this case a water heater) his tenants can make a claim on their tenant insurance for damages and if he (the landlord) doesn’t have his own insurance, he may be held personally liable to pay the tenants’ insurance company back for the alleged damage. In this particular instance, the landlord will probably be able to resolve the issue by involving his own insurance company. But the hassles. And the increased insurance premiums….Not for me.

I’m not as sure I’d get caught in this trap because I believe in insuring but I still wouldn’t enjoy the hefty premium increases that are almost sure to follow.

On Red Flag Deals there was a heated and long discussion of a case where a landlord claims he was not paid the rent and a tenant claims the payment was made in cash put in the landlord’s mailbox. According to the discussion, the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board sided with the tenant.

I would be caught off-guard by a problem like this because I would mistakenly think that the tenant would have to provide some kind of receipt or canceled cheque to prove payment.

On Timeless Finance, Sara posted about  tenants who through neglect caused an incredible (and expensive) mess. It was bad enough reading that the water heater failed and wondering how I as a landlord would cope with a phone call about that, without reading on to find these tenants never even told her. As you can imagine, leaving a leaking water tank in place for months makes trouble. And do I really want to try to dispose of someone’s months’ old garbage?

And a town in Maryland has decided to hold landlords accountable for renting their properties to drug dealers. I can understand why they are trying this approach, but frankly it discourages me from wanting to ever be a landlord. I don’t think I’d cope very well if I visited my property and found the nice young couple I thought I had rented to had morphed into criminals.

I’m sure there are many people who rent properties and enjoy it. But after reading tales like these, I know I’m not one of them.

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