door knocker: Open door stock photos If you need to sell your home and find that you are having trouble selling it, why not rent it? For many, this is a frightening idea because people believe there are so many ways for problems to arise within this particular arrangement. To avoid any possible problems, homeowners simply need to arm themselves with a few key pieces of information. For starters, you must be able to emotionally disconnect from the house. You need to approach this new situation in the way you would if you were selling the house, since tenants do have privacy rights. Secondly and most importantly, you must screen each and every tenant that you consider. You may consult the Landlord Protection Agency website for screening worksheets. Beware of “professional tenants” who seek out landlords that do not screen and bank on the idea that you may not know how to remove them from the house. Thirdly, learn the laws in your state. There are many laws that protect the tenant and you must tailor your lease to your state’s rules. Fourth, be smart about what you charge for rent. Consulting a real estate agent to learn about competition and rental prices is always wise. Finally, be prepared to decide who is responsible for which repairs and upgrades. A basic rule of thumb is that if something breaks that affects quality of life or poses a danger to your tenant, you are responsible for it. Upgrades are obviously not requirements, although you may want to consider them if you find an agreeable tenant that you wish to keep long-term. For all landlord related questions see The Landlord Protection Agency Website.