There are a lot of advantages of renting out a vacant property. Not only will it lessen the financial burden, but also it will generate some additional income and tax breaks. Furthermore, if you are moving to another location temporarily for an extended period of time or you cannot sell the apartment for acceptable price, renting out can be a viable option.
If you are wondering how to make the most of your vacant apartment, read on the following tips on how to make your place ready for showing and attracting potential tenants.
What to do before renting out an apartment
Being a landlord comes with a series of responsibilities you need to fit into your day-to-day life. You’ve probably heard a lot of discouraging horror stories about tenants ”from hell”, expensive evictions, damaged properties,… Bad tenants can cause a lot of constant stress, headaches and financial loss, so you should be very attentive while choosing the person you will let into your apartment.
By following our guidelines you will be able to reduce potential pitfalls and turn your property rental into a profitable affair.
But, before you advertise your place, make sure it looks as appealing as possible.
Landlord’s responsibilities: part 1
– Inspect the entire property. Keep in mind that your apartment’s curb appeal will either attract or turn off potential tenants. A well-maintained apartment may reassure future tenants of the good shape and safety of the property. Don’t let potential tenants just drive right by your property! Make them feel comfortable while picturing the apartment as their new home. For a more serious approach, you can enlist a professional home inspector to identify any vulnerable spots that may cause major issues. And remember, the more you invest in repair and upkeep projects, the higher the rent can be. Eventually you will realize that those kind of investments usually pay off in the long run.
– Perform a thorough inspection of each room in order to identify possible weak spots. Tackle problem areas – roof leaks, sidewalk and floor cracks, damaged electrical outlets, leaky faucets, broken windows,… Upgrade your old appliances, cabinets, wardrobes and add items that may make the property more appealing like granite and stainless steel kitchen appliances, large flat screen tv,…
– Add a fresh coat of paint in order to breathe new life into a space. Make your apartment stand out among all other rental properties by improving some of the commonly desirable features. Also, a fresh coat of paint may boost your curb appeal and add value to your rental property.
– Check whether your homeowner’s insurance covers damage while the place is being rented. Notify your mortgage and insurance company that you are renting out the place.
– Certain expenses can be claimed against income tax on property rental profits. Consult your lawyer to establish which tax deductions are applicable for your specific situation.
Landlord’s responsibilities: keep reading
– Clean an entire home thoroughly. As it turns out, a dirty place is the most common deal-breaker when it comes to renting an apartment. Hiring a cleaning company can go a long way towards having a spotless place ready for new renters. Have professionals clean your apartment from top to bottom while you are handling other important tasks.
– Inspect flooring and carpets. Give your carpets a nice steam cleaning. Worn out, smelly and outdated carpets will make an entire place seem dirty, so make sure to replace them as soon as you decide to rent out the apartment.
– Make your rental property more secure. Potential renters don’t want to feel unsafe in their home, so make safety one of the top priorities when preparing your property for renting. Therefore, consider investing in proper lighting, secure doors and windows, alarm system,…
– Invest in storage unit that can accommodate all the items you may need in the future. This especially makes sense if you are renting out an empty apartment. Take advantage either of short or long-term storage in order to preserve appliances, furnishing or items you are emotionally attached to.
Letting go of sentimental clutter is one of the hardest things to do when downsizing or purging your home. Also, if you are storing valuables, you may want to get an appropriate insurance so as to ensure your peace of mind while your precious belongings are away. The good news is that you don’t have to do all the packing and moving yourself. A reputable moving company will come up with an efficient relocation plan and get your household items transported in no time.
How to attract good tenants when renting out an apartment
-Do a background check on your prospective tenants. Finding the best quality tenant who is going to take care of the property and pay the rent on time is the best way to avoid potential headaches and nightmares. If you are not willing to let complete strangers into your apartment, you can gather references for your prospective tenants and check their credit history.
– In addition to the first month’s rent, ask for a security deposit and arrange an appropriate payment schedule. A security deposit may financially protect the place in case your tenant fails to pay the rent or causes any damage to the property. Hopefully, you won’t have to use the security deposit and will return the total amount to your tenants upon the end of the lease.
– Assess comparable rental properties in the neighborhood to as to be able to set a competitive price. Go through newspapers and online ads to check the pricing for similar apartments in the area. Remember that due to unreasonably high price tags tenants may lose interest in your property.
Once your place is in top condition, place an advertisement of your apartment on reputable websites. How soon you will get a tenant depends also on the time of the year you are advertising your place. Although you are not obliged to perform a complete makeover of the place, at least make it look decent by all means.