You are buying or have bought a house with a mortgage and now you have the intention of renting it out. So, how do you do it? Is it legal? You’ve heard people say that it’s possible but you have no idea how it’s done. The short answer is yes. Homeowners typically can rent out their homes as they wish, but they might run into some problems if the home is also mortgaged. In some cases, borrowers are even prohibited to rent their house out by mortgage lenders. Fret not, my friend, here are the answers to your questions, and more.
Is It Really Legal?
Yes, it is legal to rent out your house but there is one thing: If you took out a new mortgage to buy the house and claim that it will be “Owner Occupied” home, you must live in it for whatever length of time that was stated in your mortgage. You can only start thinking of renting out your home after then. Or, you can check with your mortgage lender to see if that aspect of the mortgage can be modified.
If not, you might have to refinance the mortgage into a “Non-Owner Occupied” one. Let your agent know that you want to “Rate and Term Re-fi” before switching to a “Non-Owner Occupied” mortgage. They may charge you a fee but it beats potentially going to jail for mortgage fraud, right?
But, be sure that you make thorough checks on this aspect of the mortgage though because your worst-case scenario is that your mortgage lender does not offer investment property loans to start with.
Benefits of Renting
Renting out your mortgaged home may not necessarily be a bad idea if you don’t have to face tougher loan terms or HOA restrictions. Not only tenants can help the landlord pay off the mortgage, but landlords can deduct a lot at tax time including property depreciation and maintenance expenses.
You can also rent out your mortgaged home if you have to move to another city (most probably due to work) but will come back one day. Well, even if you have to move out permanently, renting out can also help in allowing you to wait and sell the home when the housing market improves.
Is it Worth It?
Sure, you can see a lot of benefits to renting out your home, but is it really worth it? Are you ready to pay the bills that are associated with a rented property? Do you know that your homeowner’s insurance policy doesn’t provide enough coverage if you rent out your home? You will need to convert that policy to a landlord or business owner’s one for extra liability coverage or repair work. There are other potential business costs that come along with being a landlord. That includes property management fees and legal expenses in cases of unpaid rent or disputes.
Moreover, tenants are less likely to care about a property already in poor condition. This proves the saying, ‘Tenants can turn a nice house into your worst nightmare’ to be right. If anything breaks in the house, from punched in walls to leaking toilets, you, as the landlord, are the one responsible to replace it or call someone.
Other than that, HOA can pose an issue even if you own your home. They might limit the number of tenants allowed or forbid them completely. Even if they do, there are a lot of paperwork and forms involved. And if you or your tenants don’t follow these rules, be prepared to face fines and even prohibition from using neighbourhood amenities. This would obviously discourage potential tenants from renting your property.
So, now you have a better understanding of how to rent your mortgaged home. There are a lot of benefits to renting your mortgaged home but at the same time it is very tricky. Whatever it is, just be sure to make a thorough check before applying for a mortgage or buying a house.