Architecture & Real Estate | January 25, 2021 1:00 pm

Homeowners Encounter Unexpected Challenges When Becoming Landlords

Do the hassles outweigh the benefits here?

Houses, seen from above
Being a landlord comes with its own set of challenges.
Maximillian Conacher/Unsplash

Since the pandemic began, there’s been a lot written about people rethinking their living spaces. Some, having found their jobs evolving into remote work, might find themselves looking for a place to live in less expensive cities or towns. New Yorkers moving to small towns and suburbs near the city has been covered in depth over the last few months.

It’s not the case for everyone who’s sought a new place by a long shot, but for some, pandemic moves might lead to the experience of being a landlord. Perhaps they’re continuing to rent out their old place as they move into a new one; perhaps the allure of remote work will wane and they’ll want to move back to the city while continuing to own their pandemic-era purchase.

As with any major life decision, becoming a landlord requires a particular skill set and offers its own challenges. At The Wall Street Journal, Katy McLaughlin explored some of those challenges in a new article. McLaughlin notes that some things that look like benefits — like tax deductions for depreciation on rental spaces — can have their own costs, like recapture taxes, that can balance those out.

The main issue at hand, McLaughlin explains, isn’t necessarily unexpected costs or expenses — it’s that being a landlord comes with responsibilities that can sometimes translate into late-night emergencies. A broken lock, a malfunctioning appliance or a leaky pipe — all of them can come up at the worst possible times. If you aren’t prepared for that, it could make your time as a landlord far less inviting.

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