What is a rental property?

A rental property is a residential or commercial income-producing property often utilized as an investment by its owner. Rental properties provide the opportunity for an investor to diversify his portfolio, a property owner to earn a primary or secondary income, or even a solution for owners with a home that won"t sell.

Rental properties can include apartments, houses, condominiums, vacation properties, office spaces, retail suites?any available, marketable space that can be utilized according to its zoned purposes. For example, as of 2007, approximately 30% of all housing units, or 36,862,873 units, were rented by their occupants in the United States.1 However, whether residential or commercial, rental properties take time and experience to run successfully.

Rental property management involves complex administrative, financial, operational and legal responsibilities. From marketing the property and showing the available space, to qualifying potential tenants, negotiating a lease and the eventual upkeep and maintenance of the space, property management can be a lot of work. Moreover, as the first point of contact for tenants, it is necessary in many cases to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Many property owners are now opting to hire property managers or management teams to compensate for the time commitment and experience needed to keep a rental property earning its income in today"s market. Professional property managers make it their priority to lower operating costs while maximizing the occupancy and revenue generated by the property; this streamlining often more than justifies the monthly fees they charge.

Rental properties are a great way to earn extra income, capitalize on tax breaks or expand investment opportunities. With the broad selection of properties to choose from, there is a rental market for every type of space and therefore, numerous opportunities for property owners and investors.

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