The initial financial investment is one of the hardest aspects of becoming a landlord. Despite the success of many other landlords, this deters many people from entering the real estate market. But it’s not impossible to become a landlord without any startup money. We will provide you with insights and give you some options to become a landlord with little to no money, becoming a landlord checklist and its pros and cons. And also to answer the question, do you need a license to become a landlord?

How to Become a Landlord With No Money

Being a landlord is difficult, especially given the housing market of today. Prices rise as a result of the strong demand and little supply, forcing you to compete with wealthy customers. It will be quite challenging to purchase a property without the money for the down payment and other upfront costs.

But what if we told you that you could start investing in real estate even if you don’t have the funds on hand to make your first purchase? To draft your deals, all you need is persistence, some original thought, a few collaborators, and an experienced real estate lawyer.

Learn how you may become a landlord even if you have no money.

Seller financing

If you were to operate normally, you would have a ready supply of money to put down on your first investment property. However, you can always make an offer on a house where the seller pays the closing costs if you don’t have any cash on hand.

You can make several concessions in return, such as raising the monthly payment amount or deferring the down payment for a set length of time.

You can then refinance the home conventionally and buy the seller out after appreciation has enabled you to accumulate equity in the property. Just be sure the arrangement you create permits you to lease the property and produce a profit during the interim.

Leasing with the option to purchase

In this case, you and the seller can agree to lease the property at a specific rate and for a specific amount of time, with the opportunity to buy it after the term. This would allow you to apply a percentage of your monthly lease payments toward the purchase price.

Alternately, you might arrange for a portion of your monthly lease payment to be applied as a down payment in the future. When you reach that amount, you can then apply for a conventional loan using the remaining balance of your lease as the down payment. Just be certain to agree on a purchase price in advance, have the authorization to sublet, and have enough space in your lease payment to achieve a positive cash flow.

Consider an existing mortgage.

This is a simple approach to purchasing a house with little upfront investment if the seller’s mortgage permits. Remember that you’ll need a very high credit score to pull this off. The lending company will examine you in the same detail as they would if you went to them on your own to apply for a home loan. The seller will act as a sort of co-signer with you, which is the sole distinction. In the event of a default, the seller will regain ownership of the home and the mortgage.

Accept a boarder

Rent out a room in your house if you currently own a property and want to start investing in real estate but lack the liquid funds for a down payment. The money you earn can then be used as a down payment for a full-fledged rental property in the future.

Join forces with family and friends.

Consider putting together a group of family and friends who have enough money to cover the down payment if you have a talent for getting along with people and are skilled at resolving minor issues that arise around the house.

To earn their permission to give you a portion of the investment, offer to manage the property for them. Your investors operate as silent partners while you find the property and manage the practical aspects of being a landlord.

Benefit from Poplar StreetCred

Renting from Poplar Homes allows you to accumulate credits that you can use to purchase a property. We return 20% of your rental charge to you when you use Poplar StreetCred. Because of this, the longer you rent from us, the more credits you earn. A great method to put your money to work for you is by doing this.

Simply said, you can become a landlord with no money by using these methods. Yes, having the money on hand makes things a lot easier. If you’re adamant enough, you can still begin your real estate investing adventure in a variety of ways even if you don’t. Today, give one of these strategies a try.

Do You Need a License to Become a Landlord?

A landlord is a person who owns a home and lets another person live there in exchange for monthly rent payment. A landlord could have a single rental property or many. A specific license, degree, or qualification is not necessary to become a landlord. You may need to register with the neighborhood building department or apply for a specific permit, depending on where you reside, but you are not required to have a license.

Even though you don’t need formal education, learning about property management, landlord laws, regulations, and best practices is necessary if you want to run a profitable business and get a return on your investment. Nothing restricts your need to educate yourself about the industry, but if you’re going to thrive, you must fully comprehend how it operates, including why some landlords are successful and others are not.

Becoming a Landlord Checklist

Five fundamental areas can be used to organize a broad checklist on how to become a landlord: marketing and advertising, tenant vetting, creating lease agreements, handling money, and property preparation. The following elements have to be on your landlord’s checklist when you move on.

Promotional & marketing

  • Choose the platforms that will best promote the property.
  • Take excellent pictures of the property.
  • Produce advertising materials.
  • Get ready for displays
  • Set a date for an open house (if necessary).
  • Prepare a document with guidelines for renting.
  • Create a sample tenant application form.

Tenant vetting

Make a rental application form first.

  • Conduct an extensive credit and background check
  • Obtain a form for employment verification.
  • Get a verification form from a prior landlord.
  • Obtain copies of tenant identification cards
  • Verify the prospective tenant’s legal status if they are an immigrant to ascertain whether they have the right to a lease. Obtaining a copy of their passports, permanent residence cards, travel documents, Right to Rent paperwork from any immigration agency, or proof of registration as a legal citizen may be required in addition to identification, depending on where you live.

Prepare a lease agreement

  • Describe to the renter all policies and procedures, including the landlord’s right of entry; agreements for maintenance; responsibility for property damage; term restrictions; a ban on unlawful activity and other disruptive behavior; and the right to maintain pets.
  • Go over the terms for the security deposit and any other necessary expenses, as well as the amount of the rent.
  • Request the tenant’s signature on the lease (including any addendums, if necessary).
  • Clearly state the lease’s start and termination dates.

Monetary considerations

  • Establish a method for sending and receiving payments.
  • Obtain the deposit as a security.
  • Obtain full payment for the initial rent.
  • Request that the tenant purchase renter’s insurance.
  • Establish a procedure for refunding deposits.

Property preparation

  • Conduct regular inspections and fix any damage to the property.
  • Acquire a certificate of energy efficiency (EPC).
  • Make sure the device is clean.
  • Modify the door locks.
  • Transfer ownership of all utilities to the tenant (if applicable).

Be prepared to deal with any specific requirements that some renters may have (such as requests for wall painting, accommodations for animals, or accommodations for people with disabilities). Existing laws may require you to comply if the request is justified by need; otherwise, you may choose whether or not to comply with their request.

Pros and Cons of Being a Landlord

Being a landlord has its perks and drawbacks. Both positive and negative aspects of maintaining a rental property are inherent in the job. Because of our expertise in dealing with hundreds of landlords and overseeing thousands of properties, we can offer you the actual scoop on the benefits and drawbacks of being a landlord.


Increased Income

A solid, stable income is produced by a rental property that generates more monthly income than it spends on expenses. That money can build up in the long run. As an illustration, even a meager $100 monthly income equates to $1,200 annually, which, if invested at a 9% return, can provide $38,404 in 15 years.

A wise investment

A well-kept rental property can contribute to your net worth over time, enhance your income in retirement, and increase its value. Maintaining the home in good condition is essential if you want tenants who can pay the mortgage as the value of the property rises.

Expense reductions

If you set up your company properly, you’ll benefit from the tax breaks that come with running a business, which can boost your income statement. For more detailed information about your case, speak with an accountant who has experience with rental properties.


Less easy to finance

Keep in mind that banks often only give higher interest rate mortgages on rental properties and need a larger down payment if you are buying a home particularly to rent it out.

Occupancy rates not known

You pay for the property’s vacant periods every time. Finding suitable tenants can be challenging for a variety of reasons beyond your control, including the state of the property market, the economy, and even the season.

To reduce the risk of an empty property, it’s crucial to keep tenants satisfied with excellent customer service and thorough tenant screening before they move in.

Income taxes

You have to keep meticulous records of your income and expenses, pay quarterly taxes, and don’t generate as much money as you’d like because the IRS taxes your rental income.

Legal issues

You need to abide by the rules and legislation that apply to rental properties as a landlord. You are still accountable for these laws even if you don’t comprehend or understand them. Either hire legal counsel or educate yourself on the problems. Additionally, evictions are a legal procedure that can cost up to $10,000 every occasion if you have to evict terrible tenants.

Unanticipated costs

Roofs collapsing, water heaters bursting, pipes bursting—there are a plethora of things that might fail and cost you a significant, unforeseen sum of money. Not to mention that these occurrences never seem to take place on weekdays between 9 and 5 p.m. Your tenants will count on you to fix the problem right away after hours.

Time commitment

It takes time to handle maintenance on the property, screen renters, collect rent, return calls from tenants, and maintain financial records. If you are already busy and strapped for time, this could seriously hinder your success as a landlord.


It’s not possible to become a landlord without any financial resources. The fact is that no one can become a landlord without making a financial commitment because they will unavoidably have to cover charges such as upkeep, insurance, property taxes, and management fees.

As was previously said, there are some ways to purchase real estate with little to no down payment. It is up to you to make the best decision for the start of your career as a landlord. We advise conducting a thorough study before deciding which option will assist you in achieving your goal of becoming a landlord.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is being a landlord a good way to make money?

If you add the income from cash flow, appreciation, and mortgage pay downs, a landlord can make up to $12,000 per year with the acquisition of one $200,000 property. That amounts to $120,000 over ten years.

Is being a landlord worth it UK?

The possibility to make a significant income is frequently a key motivator for becoming a landlord. Landlords obtain sufficient funds from rent payments each month to pay off any remaining mortgage obligations on their properties. This implies that a landlord’s overall income will increase as their portfolio of properties grows.

How much profit should you make on a rental property?

The 2% rule of thumb is one general principle to follow when it comes to profitability. It claims that you are more likely to produce positive cash flow if your rent is 2% of the purchase price.

How much tax do you pay as a landlord?

The basic rate, which ranges from £12,571 to £50,270, is 20%. You pay 40% of your income between £50,271 and £150,000 at a higher rate. You must pay an extra 45% tax on any amount beyond £150,000.

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