The 411 on buying and owning a rental property

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    By Maryalene LaPonsie/MoneyTalksNews

    Picture this: Cash rolls in like clockwork every month, and you don't have to do a bit of work to get it.

    That's the promise of rental properties. In theory, they are passive cash-generating machines that deliver you money every month with little to no effort on your part. In reality, they can be a real pain or, worse, a drain on your wallet.

    If you're serious about owning a fleet of income properties, you may want to read one of the many books available on the subject to uncover all the finer details. And if you're interested in renting your house to travelers, read this article on how to turn your home into a profitable vacation rental.

    For everyone else who is playing with the idea of buying an income property, click ahead for a rundown of the basics.