Owning & Renting Property

The Landlord Trend Impacting Your Housing Search

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Over the past few years, you may have experienced a wild swing in the housing market. We went from historic mortgage interest rate lows in 2020 and 2021, to higher rates in October 2023. And this wild ride isn’t likely to end soon – home prices are poised to spike 7% in 2024. This has the potential to make mortgage payments more expensive, potentially hundreds or thousands of dollars more than you would have paid if you had bought a home in 2020 or 2021.

So when these conditions collided, it’s easy to see why increasing amounts of people are choosing to rent, rather than buy, a home. In fact, recent research shows that 35% of American households rent versus own their homes.

But there’s also another condition impacting the housing market: people finding themselves as accidental landlords. Someone could become an accidental landlord for a number of reasons:

  • They inherited property from a relative and chose not to live in it.
  • They listed their home for sale, but interest rates are too high for it to sell.
  • They realized they could buy a second home and rent their first home for a higher price than the monthly mortgage rate.

This means that you could potentially be renting from landlords who may be unprepared for the work it entails. They could be inexperienced in managing household repairs, not know how to draft a proper lease agreement or not have enough time to properly deal with the day-to-day issues that arise.

So how could renting from an accidental landlord impact your day-to-day living situation? Adding on the stress of a landlord disagreement or housing problem can lead to major disruptions in your day. Instead of being able to focus on your career, family and friends, you might spend time thinking about a leaky faucet or unfair rent increases.

Tenant rights can vary from state to state but all renters deserve to be protected in their living space. This is when access to an attorney can be invaluable.

As you’re reviewing your benefits offering for the year ahead, consider enrolling in a legal insurance plan. It can help give you a resource to learn about how to deal with unhelpful, inexperienced landlords. If you’re an ARAG member, a network attorney can review lease agreements, write demand letters and more.


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