5 Things to Know Before Putting Your Property Up for Rent

Photo of author

(Newswire.net — January 22, 2020) — If you’re looking for a side hustle to subsidize your primary source of income, make retirement more manageable, or be able to afford a vacation home, you might be considering leasing your property. Renting out a room in your home or the entire thing can be a great way to help you cover your mortgage, afford extras, or just make ends meet. But being a landlord isn’t an effortless way to make money. From fixing appliances to hounding tenants for rent payments, a lot goes into renting out a home.

Before you post  that “For Rent” sign in your yard, be sure to read this guide. To help you prepare for your venture in real estate, we’re reviewing 5 things you need to know before leasing out your property. We’ll also give you some tips and tricks to help you make the process as easy and lucrative as possible!

1. Your property should be in tip-top shape

The first thing you want to do before you list your property for rent is make sure it’s in excellent condition. Why? Resourceful, experienced tenants know their rights and if the property was damaged before they even moved in, they’ll most likely take note of any issues and document them with photos and descriptions so that they’re not blamed or held financially responsible for it when they vacate the property.

Whether it’s chipped paint or unreliable plumbing that you’re dealing with, you’ll want to make sure to hire a handyman to perfect your property before move-in day. ProTip: You’ll likely encounter other issues later on down the road that your tenants may need help fixing, so it’s a good idea to contract with a reliable handyman so that you always have someone to help when you need.

2. Not all tenants are reliable or respectful

While we’d like to believe that all tenants will pay their rent on time and never cause damage to property, that’s not the reality we live in. Unfortunately, there are hundreds of issues you could experience if you approve the wrong tenant to move in, but there’s a limited amount of things you can do to stop these things from happening.

To do your due diligence and increase your odds of getting good tenants, you should be running tenant background checks as well as rental credit checks. Both serve different purposes but work toward the same goal—helping you find quality renters.

  • Background checks identify criminal records and analyze rental history
  • Rental credit checks review a prospective renter’s credit to help you evaluate if they have a good record of paying bills on-time

3. Keep records on-hand

We live in a litigious world these days, so it’s critical to protect yourself and your property as a landlord. There are many laws designed to protect both tenants and property owners, but in order to have the law on your side, you have to play by the rules!

Use a lease agreement template to make sure that your paperwork aligns with real estate regulations and be sure to provide a copy for your tenant and keep one for yourself, too. Any document that relates to you, your property, and your tenant should be easily accessible for all parties. You might consider using an online renter’s portal to house documents, request rent, and exchange messages with your tenants.

4. Listing your property online is a must

Depending on where you live, the rental market in your area may be highly competitive or not at all. If it’s super competitive, you might get flooded with applicants as soon as you post a yard sign. But if the rental market isn’t so fast-paced, you may find yourself desperately searching for tenants. If you want to expand your pool of applicants so that you can find the best fit, you’ll definitely need to list your property online.

To make your rental listing more appealing, follow these tips:

  • Hire a professional photographer
  • Create a visual when writing your description
  • Be communicative and clear with applicants

5. Move-in checklist are helpful for both parties

Like we mentioned at the beginning of this post, there needs to be clear expectations on what your tenant is and isn’t responsible for as far as property condition goes. One way to make it easier for you and your tenant to get on the same page is to provide them with a move-in and move-out checklist. This way you have a record of any damage and you can provide instructions for cleaning when they move out!

Final notes

Use these tips to help you run your rental property and it will be as stress-free as can be.