Landlords are often denounced as wealthy, cost-cutting investors by the tenants who rent their houses. However, as Ayla Miller writes, it’s not as simple when you’re suddenly handed the keys as an owner.

Inheriting a house at 27, when I never dreamt of home ownership, almost seemed like a waste. There were so many other people out there desperate to own their own home. Yet here I was eating avocado on toast in my childhood kitchen, signing on the dotted line. This was a millennial’s dream. But not mine.

Becoming an accidental landlord had come at the expense of losing my mother. Regardless of how this fate had befallen me, I couldn’t live in the house and I wasn’t ready to sell it.

So I hired the first property manager who returned my calls.

Before my name was ever on a deed, and after joining one too many millennial-heavy meme groups, I subscribed to the widely held belief that all landlords were rich, greedy boomers.

That was, until I thought about it some more. If I’d unexpectedly been landed with a house, then there must be others out there in the same situation. According to New Zealand Property Investors Federation executive officer Sharon Cullwick, there are a lot more accidental landlords than you might expect.

“There are 190,000 private landlords in New Zealand and 90% of those own only their own homes plus one other. So I would say a lot of those would be accidental landlords,” she says.