Tips for Homeowners Turned Accidental Landlords

In a weak economy, more homeowners are being forced to rent out their homes.
In a weak economy, more homeowners are being forced to rent out their homes.

Umesh Singh's suburban Minneapolis home sat on the market for nearly two years after he had moved on to a new job in Florida. After dropping the price of his 5-bedroom, 4-bath home from $429,000 in December 2007 to $385,000 by summer 2009, Singh, who carries two mortgages, decided enough was enough. It was time, he concluded, to rent it out.

That was how Singh, like a growing number of homeowners, became an "accidental landlord." But like many new landlords, he quickly discovered the challenges of renting in a bad economy.