Is Renting Out Your Property Right for You?
Updated: Feb 11, 2019
Do you have an extra home on your hands that you don’t know what to do with? Are you moving and having a hard time selling your home? Are you moving only temporarily and don’t want your current home to be vacant while you’re away?
All of these questions can lead you to consider putting your home up for rent. Seems easy enough right? Move out, find a tenant and start making cash, right?! Slow down a minute, there are some serious things you need to consider before deciding if renting is right for you.
To start, are you really prepared to be a landlord? Do you have time to take on more responsibility in your life? Is your home in shape to be rented out? How much work will you have to do to prepare the home to rent? Are there other rental properties in the area? Are there any laws/rules/regulations that will not allow you to rent? Once you’ve decided to rent and your home is ready you’ll need to be able to draft up a lease, keep up on house repairs, collect rent, and make sure your tenants aren’t destroying your property.
Secondly, you’ll need to make sure you are following all laws and rules in your area. These can include things such as local property rules and reporting your rental income on your tax return. It’s a great idea to find an attorney to work with so they can help you stay on track with landlord-tenant laws and local governing rental property rules.
Once you’ve made the decision to be a landlord and have taken care of all the necessary paperwork, you’ll need to prepare your home. Tenants are looking for a clean home with working appliances. So cleaning everything from top to bottom is important. No one wants to rent a place with your leftover messes still lying around. This includes the garage if you have one. Any extra pieces or parts pertaining to the house can stay such as leftover paints, window screens, etc. Just have a clean, designated space for those items.
So the house is ready, now how are you going to find the right tenant? There are many different ways you could go about advertising such as newspaper ads, signs, property rental websites, social media, etc. We won’t go into the details of advertising techniques too much today but be aware that there are options and do some research to find the right one for you. Also, consider the time of year. Most rental properties start leases between the months of March-August.
When the time comes to choosing a tenant, take your time, do your research and choose carefully. You will be relying on this person to pay their rent and keep your property in good condition.
A lot of work and legalities go into rental properties. And it’s not something that just happens overnight. It takes time and effort but can be rewarding in the end with those monthly rent checks.