Letter: No, I can’t rent to you for less than my mortgage
This is to the renters and keyboard warriors out there from a landlord. A number of years ago, after diligently watching the real estate market, I was fortunate enough to purchase an apartment that I could rent out.
My unit is not new, it is dated, but I keep it nice. The appliances are approaching their lifespan and require regular attention. The rent that I collect from my tenant covers the mortgage, HOA fees and homeowners’ insurance and, yes, I do make a monthly profit. That profit is included in my annual income, and it’s taxed, but no, I am not living a lavish lifestyle from this extra income. That extra income is spent on the rental unit’s new furnace, the new washing machine or the after hours call to the plumber to unclog the toilet.
When needed, I spend weekends making multiple trips to the hardware store to reseat toilets and replace garbage disposals, but please don’t confuse this with complaining, please understand that this rental unit is my part-time job and an investment in my future. I spend my time and energy to keep it in good working order for my tenants. Inflation, the increased cost of homeowners insurance (as a result of the increased rebuild cost per square foot) as well as regularly rising HOA fees all contribute to increasing the rent. I don’t raise the rent year-to-year with tenants, but when I am searching for a new tenant, I research both the government’s fair market value calculator and what the market can bear and that is where I set my rent.
Prior to every new renter, I have the entire apartment deep cleaned by a professional cleaner and the carpets are shampooed. My time is spent waiting for prospective renters to hopefully arrive at showings, answering calls from Craigslist and responding to inquiries on Facebook Marketplace all the while getting lambasted for the monthly rent.
I own one unit among the many and I’m not asking you to feel sorry for me, I am just writing to provide some perspective.