There are many reasons that you may be considering putting your home up for rent. Maybe you found your dream home and it’s time to move your family. Maybe the market isn’t thriving in your location. Or maybe you are looking to dip your toes into the real estate investing market and this is your first step!
Whatever your reason may be, there are a few things that you need to consider prior to jumping in feet first. Sure, it isn’t difficult to find a thousand landlord horror stories. It doesn’t have to be that way if you are proactive and do your homework. Keep reading and find out a few steps to take prior to putting the ‘For Rent’ sign in your yard!
Know The Laws
This is a big one to start with. Tenants have a lot of rights under The Fair Housing Act. You will want to be sure that you are familiar with the discrimination laws and the laws are constantly changing. These laws advise you how you are allowed to list your property and also what is considered prohibited. You will also want to be sure to check with your local city permit office. Many municipalities require rental homes to file special permits. Permitting is specifically focused on safety and an inspector will come out and inspect and be certain that there aren’t any safety hazards in your home.
Upgrades and Repairs
Once you have received your permitting inspection, there may be things that need your attention. Furthermore, you may want to update a few things to keep up with the current demands of the market. Upgrades don’t always have to be expensive and can be easy! Inexpensive upgrades may look like anything from a fresh coat of paint, to adding a smart thermostat in the home. Not only will this show well in a rental listing, but upgrades will also keep your home competitive in a booming rental market! The more pride that is shown in upkeeping your home, the higher rent you’ll be able to collect! Everyone wins.
Research Property Management
It is no secret that managing your own rental can cause some major headaches. You will be the ‘everything’ person. Accountant, maintenance department, legal representative, on-call for communication, and more! Hiring a reputable property manager will help alleviate some of these pain points! They will work on your behalf and you will likely be able to collect higher rents based on the amenities they can provide your tenants- and they will even screen potential tenants for you so that you don’t have to. Property managers can provide you with a market analysis and an estimate of what your property may rent for. Property managers will also be able to assist with any legal processes such as an eviction or past due rent collection.
Establish Ground Rules
Do you want to allow pets? Who is responsible for yard maintenance? How many people do you want to occupy your home? What about swimming pools, hot tubs, and fire pits? These are all things to heavily consider when you are looking at renting out your home as these are things that could end up costing you later if not handled properly. Property managers can most definitely build all of your wants into your lease to ensure that your property is protected and maintained.
Check With Your Insurance Agent
You already have the home insured, so why would you need to review your insurance? Insurance for rental properties is a different policy than an owner-occupied home. If you kept the same policy but were not living in the home, and a claim situation arose, your insurance provider may not cover the claim. That could equate to a financial disaster depending on the damage. A rental dwelling policy includes coverage for the structure, liability protection, and also very limited contents protection. Your tenant will need to have renters insurance to protect their belongings.
As you can see, there are many things to consider when deciding to rent your home. It is always a good idea to gather the facts and make sure this is the best financial decision for your situation. Here at RentWise Property Management, we care for every property like it is our own from day one! If you would like more information on how to make the transition to property investor LESS HASSLE, MORE HAPPY, visit us at www.rentwisepm.com