9 Tips Before Renting Out Your Home

Are you thinking of renting out your home for some extra income? Although the life of a landlord isn’t always a “walk in the park,” putting your property on lease is a great way to earn passive revenue. Albeit, it’s an active investment that may require you to constantly be on the ball (or maybe, pay someone else to be). Nevertheless, the road to successful renting is quite achievable–that is if you learn your way around the whole ball game.

From finding and screening tenants, creating and following a rental agreement, and collecting rent online, we’ll guide you through all the important things to consider BEFORE renting your home out.

Here are nine simple tips for first-time landlords.

Rent should be a top priority

Don’t be lax when pursuing rent (as some landlords surprisingly are). As a landlord, your rent is your revenue, so you must stay on top of it at all times. Even if it goes against your nature, don’t hesitate to get aggressive when there’s a need to be, especially for late fees and unpaid rent. If a tenant refuses to pay and communicate, start your eviction proceedings accordingly.

Screen your tenants

Properly screening your prospective tenants helps you avoid late payments, no rent, problems, and headaches in the future. Again, it may not seem like a nice way to treat people, but remember that your investment and revenue are at stake. Be sure to pay attention to credit scores and collate rent references and proof of income.

Consider a pet policy

Pet lover or not, as a landlord, you’ll have to think long and hard about your pet policy. If you allow pets into your property, there’s a high chance that they can cause major damage to carpets, walls, and furniture; and at best, even the best-behaved animals will shed and leave hair everywhere. Odor won’t come out easily, should puppies and kittens, and even older cats and dogs, pee on your carpets or hardwood floors. So, if you WILL allow pets, consider requiring a pet deposit to cover deep cleaning costs at the end of the lease.

Know your local laws and regulations

Are you managing your rental yourself? Be sure to know the ins and outs of the local legislation. Doing so will keep your rights as a landlord intact, as well as your renter’s rights. Get all of this in the tenant agreement, so you can be sure that you and your tenant know where everything stands from the get-go.

Contemplate before getting expensive renovations

Is your property in a neighborhood where rental prices are mid-range? If it is, there’s no point in getting top-of-the-range renovations. Know your market and how much rent you can charge. From there, work out a renovation budget and figure out what you want to update or remodel.

Staying organized is key

Leasing your property should be treated as a business, so you must keep records of your rents, any expenses incurred, and your mileage to attend to rental needs, late fees, etc. Doing so will also prevent penalties during audits and tax deductions. In addition, you can see how profitable your property is and have a better idea of how to improve by keeping track of your comings and goings.

Don’t forget to get insurance

Your home is your business asset and should be insured as such. Get in touch with a specialist to see what they can offer, and be sure to look for products that cover dwelling protection, detached private structures, and liability. You can also consider optional extras like appliance coverage, rental income, and water damage protection.

Get the help that you need

Don’t have the time to be a full-time landlord? There are other ways to rent out your property. Hiring a property manager will typically cost around 8 -10% of your rental income per month but will also reduce your stress ten-fold. They’ll take care of everything from screening tenants to dealing with emergencies and repairs.

Go for a watertight agreement

Before you welcome your first tenant into your home, be sure to get everything down in writing, especially your house rules, dispute procedures, and processes for how you’ll deal with late fees or non-payment. Your tenant agreement should be reviewed by a legal professional to protect your rights as a landlord as well as the rights of your tenants, ensuring a happy tenant-landlord relationship.

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