For 10 years, I rented out an apartment in my house. I have given up on being a landlord because of the high stress.

Tenants called at all hours because they had locked themselves out. Among many other calls, I had a call at 3 a.m. because heat had stopped working (the thermostat just needed new batteries, but the tenants had broken the wires, so I had to contact a plumber); a call at midnight because of water in the basement; and a call at 5 a.m. because the driveway was not yet plowed (the storm started after midnight).

I painted, repaved the driveway, mowed, gardened, raked, shoveled, upgraded appliances, fixed windows, repaired leaks, converted to gas heat and more.

I had tenants who regularly paid rent late. Neighbors complained about dogs barking. Property taxes took 50 percent of the annual rent; the rest went toward my mortgage.

This year, because of the new Housing Safety Office requirements, I would have had to spend $3,000 to have custom fire doors made.

Landlords are being blamed for high rents. Being a landlord can be a great source of supplemental income, but it costs time and money.

Whenever a tenant moves out, there is lost income until a new tenant is found. Maintenance costs, tenant issues, unpaid rent and laws set up to protect tenants over landlords all contributed to my decision to get out of the business.

Unfortunately, if enough landlords feel the same, more units will be taken out of the supply, which adds to the shortage.

It would be helpful to update laws to encourage and protect landlords as well as tenants, so that smaller property owners are not afraid to take the risk of renting to strangers.

Joy Ingrao


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.