For starters you need to make sure that your area has a market. While renting has increased there are still areas that don't have many renters or there are already too many apartments. You also need to make sure that you will be able to rent the place for enough money to make it worth while. If the market price rent in you area is too low, it might not be possible for you earn enough for it to be worth it. It is also necessary to determine if the area is zoned for renting if you choose to purchase a complex. Then you have to find the right tenant(s). The last thing you want is to end up with a tenant that doesn't pay rent or decides to grow drugs on your property. Then you'd be out of money or at risk for being arrested or held liable. Sadly since its your property you can be held responsible for your tenant actions. Finding the right tenant is normally somewhat long process if you want to do it right. First you need to advertise to find some potential tenants. The are many ways that you can go about this, websites, the newspaper, signs. The route you choose generally depends on your area and your own personal decisions. Its possible that a sign would be enough if you're in an area with lots of renters and you get a decent amount of driving traffic going by. Next you need an application for potential tenants to fill out and a lease for them to sign. You can download these off of many different sites and alter them to fit your needs if necessary. Then comes the screening process. This generally consists of a credit check, criminal record check, eviction record check, though it can vary somewhat. There are many different sites that do tenant screening, such as http://www.tenantverification.com/ and http://www.atenantscreen.com/. However any decent site is going to charge money. Fortunately for you it is common to charge an application fee to cover this price. However your not done yet, once you weeded out anyone who can be considered a risky tenant, such as someone with multiple eviction or a criminal record, you also need to contact any past landlords and the tenants current employer. It is also advisable to request a pay stub and bank statement. You want your tenant to be making roughly 3 times as much a month as rent costs. Once you have your tenant you are still responsible for maintaining the property. Depending on the age and condition this can be a minor thing or a regular issue. If you have the money, you may want to consider hiring someone to do it for you. This includes things like painting, mowing the grass, fixing issues and so on. If your lucky and got a good tenant, this may be the bulk of your problems. How even the best tenants can become a real problem if they lose their job or get sick. There is a chance that you may have to deal with an eviction or chase down rent. This can be quite a hassle and could easily result in you having to take them to court. You can find more information on tenant landlord issues at http://www.tenantsinfo.com/. However if you think your up to the challenge and have the money to invest then becoming a landlord can be a rather rewarding business.
Guide to staring out to be a landlord and some of the challenges you face