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RISMEDIA, Feb. 28, 2008-At a time when a record number of Americans are facing foreclosure, the National Association of Independent Landlords encourages at-risk homeowners to consider renting out their homes rather than staying in them until the bank begins legal proceedings.Homeowners who find their monthly expenses outstripping what they can afford may consider downsizing. By moving to a less expensive home or apartment and renting out their own home, owners will have someone else paying their mortgage. Countless Association members have taken this route, realizing that even after a small or moderate monthly short fall, they will be better able to keep their home until prices rebound.

A troubled homeowner’s first step should be to ask their bank about better terms. Lenders want to keep homes out of foreclosure as much as does the borrower.

Though renting is an excellent option for many homeowners, it can be a risky proposition if it’s not done right, thanks to changes in federal and state laws as well as inherent dangers of allowing someone permanent access to a property. The National Association offers members a clearinghouse for information, forms, laws and advice that affect landlords. It can help landlords:

Find qualified tenants by running credit checks. The three major credit bureaus, in an effort to protect clients from identity theft, now require stringent compliance measures such as on-site visits. This is impractical for many landlords, so the National Association will run a credit check on potential renters, giving them a pass or fail grade so a landlord can determine whether they would be a suitable tenant.
Report tenants’ payment history to credit bureaus as well as report damages renters may have caused.
Collect rent electronically.

For further information, visit