Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Mom and Pop Business Owners’ Day: Landlords of Small Rental Properties

While March 29 is designated as Mom and Pop Business Owners’ Day, let’s take a look at some facts about mom-and-pop landlords and small rental properties. In real estate, mom-and-pops are owners of small rental properties (1-4 units), and they do the day-to-day management of these properties. But being a mom-and-pop landlord can be challenging, especially when someone is starting out and doing everything from evaluating and purchasing rental properties, finding and screening tenants, collecting rents, keeping the books, dealing with taxes, observing local laws, and performing routine maintenance and repairs.

Among 49.5 million rental housing units in the U.S., nearly 46% of them are small rental properties of 1-4 units. Over 70% of the small rental properties (1-4 units) are owned by individuals, and about 70% are managed by the same owners, defined as mom-and-pop landlords.

The U.S. Census Bureau conducts the Rental Housing Finance Survey every three years. The main purpose of this survey is to learn about the financial health of rental properties. Specifically, it provides insight into the financial, managerial, and physical characteristics of rental properties nationwide by covering topics such as property configuration, ownership and management, rental income and expenses, financing, and capital improvements and expenses.

10 things you need to know about small rental properties in the U.S.:

10 Facts About Small Rental Properties